I do not write for a living, but I do, in a way, live to write. I am constantly thinking about new things to add to this website, not in an effete manner meant to expand our literary consciousness, but in a simple and straightforward manner than is easy to read and succinct in character. I enjoy it because there's no pressure and I can say what I please. However, after a conversation I had with Andrew Morrison this week, I began to ponder the anxiety I would suffer from were my salary dependent upon whisky reporting. Not only the stress of deadlines and finding the next great story, but the personal turmoil I would face in keeping my writing fresh and interesting. The subject was raised when Andrew mentioned Dave Broom, a well-known and highly-respected booze writer whom I have never met, yet am obviously aware of. Andrew spoke highly of Broom and I made mention of his intricate and sometimes hyper-descriptive level of sensory. Andrew laughed, saying, "he's got to keep it interesting, I mean it's his job to come up with new flavors and descriptors!" Suddenly my former academic past came flashing before my eyes and I began to look at things a bit differently.
If you're a collegiate-level literature professional, your job is to familarize the budding youth of tomorrow with many of the same manuals from the past. Moby Dick, Ulysses, and the Oddessy are a few examples of texts repeatedly hailed as lapidary forms of stylistic integrity. Lying underneath the mountain of praise these classics have cultivated over the last century, however, is the larger and more significant reason for their continual portrayal: they provide an endless amount of interpretation. As a professor, one can carve out their own philosophical focus and differentiate themself from a pack of other like-minded intellectuals who have simply retaught what was already surmised. The point is that whisky also offers these same opportunities for people who have the desire and the ability to recognize them, as well as the diction and the syntax to make them sound interesting.
Guys like Dave Broom make whisky writing interesting and that's their job. Even if you've never tasted the flavors he's describing, you've got to admire his ability. Thank goodness that all I have to do is sell whisky because it's not easy to do what he does.