Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What should I be writing about

ia always a conundrum for me. I don't have the opportunity to post dispatches from Mallorca or Nice nor am I interested with compiling bits and pieces from other sites that more or less record the pulse of the climbing world and leave it at that. There is now a never-ending stream of roughly the same stuff out there. The fifth ascent of 5.14 Blah or V13 Blah by a (fill-in-the-blank) 13 year old, 50 year old, Dave Graham, etc. It's not so much who cares but who cares enough to add one more layer to an already unsavory digital media cake? Facebook is already the roost of way too many press release/publicity posts. Blogs have been descending down the same path for a long time as well. Sponsored athletes pass along the latest nugget from the marketing folks, hoping for that viral buzz.

Here's a piece that I would recommend every climber read and it has nothing to do with climbing. Instead it's about life and choices we make. It's about how we look at other people's lives and compare them to our own. If I could read just one or two times a month something on the same level that related to climbing, I would be much more sanguine about the state of digital climbing media on the web. In other words, if from time to time, we could talk about reality and not just fantasy, we might actually be saying something worth hearing.

(Update) Here's an example of what I mean.


Anonymous said...

you hit the nail on the head. post about 'real' stuff...not fantasy.

post about what you and your climbing partners think about/discuss while climbing.

why you're out there..what are you getting away from or what are you trying to find?

all we read about are these super hero climbers and there are very few blogs where ordinary climbers like myself (all of 'us') and their experiences/fears/etc.

there are blogs out there written by ordinary people trying to sound all superhero. and it's easy to see right through it all.

i have 2 climbing blogs i follow closely mainly because they're written by normal people climbing and sharing their normal thoughts...sometimes topics aren't even about climbing!!

btw. nice link/article!

S said...

Ahhh Peter,
It is not the first time you link to one such gem (though I don't remember what it was the previous time). I agree with you that we are not often privy to such pieces of deep-thought in rock climbing literature, though I am not sure what this is symptomatic of. Is it possible that sometimes we expect our passion (whatever it is) to be deeper, more inspiring, more important, more complex than it actually is?

Re: the article. Funny how sometimes these thoughts just seem to be in the air. I just wrote a post that deals with aspects of this conundrum, and now I wish I had read the article before. Maybe it would have added a layer of depth.

Or not. Often when I read inspiring pieces like that, it just makes me realize my own inadequacies at articulating complex thoughts in writing in a compelling way.

Thanks for that, anyway, a very nice twist indeed on the old Frost's "Road not Taken"

Peter Beal said...

Thanks for the comments so far! I hope you don't mind my linking to your post, Stevie. That was exactly what I had in mind.

Anonymous said...

wow...Stevie's blog seems (just a quick glance) to be what i was talking about in my comment above!

thanks for the link and Stevie just got a new reader...(your 'about me' sounds almost like a mirror to my life!?!)

Tom Markiewicz said...

Interesting you should write this Peter. I've been having similar thoughts regarding my blog as well. Though I'll still link to newsy items to some extent, I've been questioning the value of a lot of what is out there right now. I may transition to more reviews, trip reports, and commentary over the latest send by a pro climber.

Regarding your blog, I love reading /watching videos on your climbing in Flagstaff and around the area. I'd vote for more of those.

chuffer said...

really good stuff

chuffer said...

Although I never felt like my blog had to deal with larger issues, I enjoy a different slant from other blogs. I saw my blog more as an outlet for photos of new problems or areas, day or weekend trips with friends, sharing beta, rejoicing about successes or lamenting about frustrations.

Hopefully, I'll have a blog post about Rumbling Bald next week ...

Brent Apgar DC said...

Even if you don't post something "of substance" quite as often as you'd like. 9 out of 10 of the articles and links you dig up are excellent and make it more than worth while for me to visit your blog to see what you're thinking either through your own words or via your mining the web. Keep up the good work for slackers like me that don't take the time to look further afield.
thanks, BA

Peter said...

Good points Peter, and I agree with the comments. There are thousands of blogs out there, and finding one's "voice" is always a difficult task. I think you are doing an excellent job!

I follow a couple of the "stars" and some of the main climbing "pulse" blogs, but I really like the personal ones. Reading about thoughts from other climbers who are still in the game keeps me going. Learning about "new" stuff on Flag is always cool. Seeing videos, etc. Yours is one of the few that makes me think, which I really like.

My blog is more about sharing my adventures (mediocre though they may be) and trying to get people psyched to check out some new/old areas, appreciating the outdoors, etc. I know I'm not going to do anything that will make news, but I might be able to point someone in a new direction, or share some photos that allow people to see just how beautiful the world is.

Keep it up!