Thanks to boatinsurance.org for including Proper Course on their recent post 48 Beginners Boating Sites and Tips Pages. But no thanks for the tag they put against the Proper Course link: From a sailor in his 60's.
Come on people at boatinsurance.org! Nobody is going to be motivated by that tag to click on my link. Who wants to read some boring old blog "from a sailor in his 60's"? Especially when the other choices are blogs with such tantalizing descriptions as "A man finds a small boat and uses it for circumnavigation" or "A captain sails the Northwest Passage alone." Even my blogging friend Adam has a good positive plug for his "whimsical nautical blog."
From a sailor in his 60's!!! Is that the kindest thing they could find to say about Proper Course? No mention of my epic tales of world-championship Laser racing. No credit for my talent at self-deprecating humor. Not a word about my zany coverage of monster truck videos and synchronized swimming goldfish.
Why do I bother?
I suppose I only have myself to blame. This whole "Cheat the nursing home. Die on your LASER" ethos kind of draws attention to my age. Not to mention that in my description of myself in the sidebar I start off by mentioning that I am a grandfather and am over 60.
But I don't particularly want this blog to be defined solely by my age. I am more than the number of years that I happen to have inhabited this planet.
Perhaps I need to change those age-related signals that are so prominent on the blog? No more "cheat the nursing home." No more grandfather talk.
Wait. Maybe I should go the whole hog and rewrite that whole mini-biography. Why mention that I am a Laser sailor at all? It only invites readers like Sir Puffing Pecan, or whatever his name is, to have a go at me when every single post isn't about Laser sailing. Apparently he wants more posts about "vang tension" of all things. Get a life Sir. It is what it is.
I could turn this into a more general outdoors activities blog. Or a tree-hugging environmentalist natural food freak blog. Or an advice blog on how to be an active baby boomer in early retirement full of investment advice and health tips. Then I could monetize it with adverts for high fee variable annuities and products to treat erectile dysfunction. Not that I have any problems in that department of course. No wait, that's getting back to the age thing again.
Do other bloggers have this problem? Do you write a "mission statement" for what you want to blog about and then find that you have actually walled yourself in to writing about one narrow slice of the multi-ingredient pizza that is really your life?
Do "real" writers suffer from the same issue of being boxed into one particular genre? Did Arthur C. Clarke ever get sick of writing science fiction and long to churn our some trashy romantic novels? Did Tolstoy want to try his hand at limericks? We'll never know.
Of course, fans get upset when an artist switches gears like that. Bob Dylan's fans booed him when he "went electric" at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 because Dylan was a folk singer and "folk" was acoustic. It just was. Well it was until Bob decided it wasn't. It is what it wasn't.
So, having arrogantly compared myself to Clarke, Dylan and Tolstoy, where do I go from here?
I have no idea.
But I am younger than Bob Dylan. So there.