On the road and in the blogosphere, I can’t forget my moral compass.
February 23, 2011
As most of you know, I’ve been traveling. Right now, I’m in sunny Los Angeles and before that I was in sunny Palm Springs. Beautiful places, no question, especially where I’ve been hanging. Yet, when it comes to writing for this blog the possible topics are limited. Bountiful sunshine is not a subject. It’s not like anyone wants to read about my hikes in the mountains or the many wonderful dinners I’ve had. (Last night salt-roasted Branzino and Broccoli Rapini. Yum!) As gratifying as all that has been it is boring subject matter -for this blog anyway. A tweet sure. But to go on is journaling and, as valuable as journaling may be to a writer, it’s deadly dull for readers.
I want to write stories I would want to read. And unless one is very good at writing or famous or both, journaling falls flat. In my opinion, bloggers that ruminate are talking to themselves. Perhaps if one decides to come clean about a murder or scintillating peccadillo….
That is not to say I haven’t found any interesting stories during my trip. Despite not smoking it, I was pretty excited about my encounters with medical marijuana. But for the most part those stories were either too personal (aka boring) or off limits because they involved subject matter I was not at liberty to discuss.
And so we come (finally) to the interesting part about this post: the mighty pull to write about stuff even though you know you shouldn’t. For example, today I was privy to a juicy conversation involving the production of a new TV pilot created by my friend and host in Los Angeles. I would love nothing more than to tell you about it. But I won’t because it’s not my place to do so. I have to temper my desire to not be boring with my desire to have good friends that trust me. Likewise, when I wrote about the controversial topic of medical marijuana I was careful not to mention the good people who had it. Those friendships are more important to me than a good story.
If you think these are easy decisions to make then you are likely not a writer. Writers want a story. Whatever the topic, we want to create buzz. The urge to discover, expose and reveal is damn near primordial. Especially when the topic falls into a sweet spot -for me advertising and popular culture. But lest I forget, I am not a journalist. Blogging does not give me license to trample private property. Peeking I will do. Flirting with danger and dark places is a character defect of mine. But if the story isn’t fiction than I must respect the rules of common sense. Yes, it’s tricky. The rules are unwritten. Thankfully, I am not navigating in the dark. I do have a moral compass, albeit damaged. So, while I know it is the M.O. of many bloggers (you know who you are), I do not wake up in the morning wondering whom or what I can reveal and expose. Better to be dull on occasion, than a dick even once.