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Scrappy Doo Solves the Case of the Missing Bloggers, But Redemption Comes at a Price

Posted by on April 3, 2013

So, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we’ve basically been on radio silence since the summer with only a few exceptions.  I want to fill you in on what’s going on and what are plans are for this blog moving forward.

First of all, this was a very hard summer for us.  Grape Envy Guy contracted Lyme Disease, and he spent much of the summer very ill.  He’s doing well now, but the summer was stressful for us, and it involved very little wine.

sack race

Second, my job shifted over the summer and through the early part of this year.  It became very writing-centric.  Because I was spending so much time writing in my professional life, I found it hard to motivate myself to blog.  In the past, blogging was a nice break from myriad aspects of my job.

While I always wrote as part of my job, it wasn’t something I did all the time, so blogging was something I enjoyed doing as a break from my other responsibilities.  When I was writing all the time, however, it became a chore, so I needed some time away.  My job has shifted back to the distribution of responsibilities I had previously, so I’m hopefully that I’ll again have the energy for blogging and that I’ll find the same synergy I did in the past where blogging in my personal life made me a more comfortable writer in my professional life.

Third, both GEG and I got somewhat bored with what we were writing when we were writing.  We started this blog as a tool to help us pay more attention to the wine we were consuming, to help us learn, and to help get us out of our wine rut.  It did all those things, but along the way, people started reading it and caring about what we had to say.  We felt that we had to do certain things (visit wineries at a certain pace, check out new wineries, etc.), and some of the fun wasn’t there.  We essentially wrote ourselves into a new wine rut.  We still love wine, local wine, and VA wine, but we’re in a different place than when we started this blog.


Given the changes in our palates and our desire to continue learning about wine, experiencing new to us wine, and playing with wine and food pairings, we’re ready to shift the focus of this blog to reflect where we are currently.

To that end, our posts may be a bit more sporadic moving forward than they have been in the past (although much better than the last 6 months).  It’s likely that we’ll figure out a rough schedule over time, but for now, we don’t know what it is.  We’ll continue to talk about Virginia wine, but you’ll probably notice more discussion of wines from other parts of the country as well as from other parts of the world.  After all, VA does some wines very well, but we like more diversity to our wine drinking than we can get just in VA.

You’ll also probably notice fewer posts about visits to wineries.  I’m sure we’ll talk about them from time to time, but we’re just visiting wineries less often.  At this point, we have some we really enjoying visiting to do tastings and or to hang out at, and continually hearing about those wouldn’t be at all interesting for you.  There’s also always new wineries opening up, but honestly, few of them offer wines that really intrigue me off the bat.  Given that, we’ll talk about wineries when they are noteworthy for good or bad reasons, but otherwise, those visits will just be something we do from time to time.

As always, we value our readers and the community you’ve helped us create here.  We hope you’ll stick with us through these growing pains.  In the meantime, be sure to fill us in on what you’ve all be up to.

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The Scrappy Doo Solves the Case of the Missing Bloggers, But Redemption Comes at a Price by Swirl, Sip, Snark, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

13 Responses to Scrappy Doo Solves the Case of the Missing Bloggers, But Redemption Comes at a Price

  1. GrapeEnvyGuy

    It’s hard to write about wine when you can’t drink it, and it’s hard to drink wine when something is attacking your body and making it so you can’t stay awake. If you feel like you’re missing out on feelings of exhaustion, despair, and muted panic, I highly recommend Lyme disease.

    Even once that was done, though, I was suffering from some serious ennui (fun fact: ennui is French for “I don’t give a flying f*** at a rolling donut”). As VWD mentioned we were drinking the same wines, visiting a lot of the same places, and it was all becoming a blur. The Fauquier County controversy hit right around the time I got sick so that was exhausting, even with the excitement of having someone tell me I was violating George Washington’s Rules of Civility by daring to have an opinion. The fun was gone, and if it’s not fun and it’s not paying the bills, I don’t want to do it.

    I’ve missed wine, though. And I’ve missed the community of friends that we’ve built up here (and hopefully not completely lost). So I’m looking forward to getting back into it, but luckily not at the Bataan death march pace we had set previously.

    I may do some weird things in this space, too. You’ve been warned.

    Missed y’all.

  2. Stephen Ballard

    Fab title, by the way.

    Personally I was curious that there was nothing since Christmas, and ascribed it to burning out a bit. Broadening the focus makes a lot of sense, and one certainly shouldn’t feel compelled to post something every day, which is why I limit my own posts to once per week, which seems enough to keep those who are interested engaged without being annoying.

    Early on my business partner complained that I didn’t write about the wine enough, but that wasn’t the intention — the goal was to pique interest in our region (to encourage visits) and, by extension, our wines — ultimately to encourage purchasing. At time it’s been a platform for certain views, but that lends depth, I think, and attracts the attention of a broader public interested in things other than wine tasting notes.

    If the content is always the same I think you lose readers — and when it becomes a chore and it doesn’t interest you, then you know it won’t interest readers, so personally I’m looking forward to this new direction. Bravo!

  3. GrapeEnvyGuy

    Stephen, Scrappy Doo is always in need of redemption. That little rapscallion.

    What I think will be cool is that our palates have certainly been shaped, in part, by Virginia wine. So as we explore other wine regions it will always be through that lens. That’s something I really noticed about our trip to the Finger Lakes. So that’s kind of cool.

    From a business perspective I think you guys are definitely hitting the right notes with your blog. Apparently I’m now an “authority” on social media marketing in my real life, as next month I’ll be giving my second talk on how to do it effectively. So that means something!

  4. Kirsten

    I can totally relate to the burnout…and I never even posted as much as you guys did! It was impressive, and entertaining to read, and I know I’ll enjoy any future posts in whatever form and time they come out. I have had several friends now contract Lyme and am glad to hear that GEG is feeling much better! It definitely is no joke.
    Keep up the Snark! :)

  5. Brandi

    I totally understand what you’ve gone through with the changes and reevaluation of what you’ve created with your site. After recently *just yesterday* selling my blog, sometimes things change and you have to make a decision to roll with it or get out. I commend you on your decision to change your focus! Looking forward to seeing your posts again soon!
    Cheers to you! -Brandi

  6. Chef Shawn

    I am so glad you’re feeling better, GEG, and am looking forward to the blog changes! I’ve missed both of your posts, and am excited to read about your experiences with a broader range of wines. And, maybe taste some with you!

    If you’ve got a hobby, it should be fun; and, I think it’s probably more fun to read posts you’re having fun writing.

  7. Annie

    Welcome back. You have been missed.

    Yep, Lyme disease is no fun. My better half got it this summer, but we were lucky. I found the bull’s eye the day he got the fever and aches. Thirty days of antibiotics later, he was doing OK. If I hadn’t pushed at him to check it, and to hit the doctor quickly, he could have been much worse.

    I agree that blogging can become tedious, and found many other bloggers in my circle of reading that have burned out. I still can find new things to write about, since I didn’t pick a narrow focus. But, some days I end up repeating myself. I do want to keep my writing daily because without the structure I would probably quit.

    I agree about new winery reviews. I just can’t seem to get interested in another round of mostly ‘eh’ wines, just to say I went there.

    Looking forward to seeing posts again from you guys.

  8. MEL810

    I have missed you guys something terrible!!! Glad to see you back.
    As to wine tasting, if I can find it at Total Wine, I’ll be glad to share other tastes with you. I don’t travel afar as often or as far as I would like, so it’s gotta come from TW or Whole Foods or Kroger (a couple of our local Kroger’s now have decent wine sections) somewhere accessible for me to join in the fun. I haven’t been doing much VA wine tasting lately, either. And go to my same old, same old local wineries would be boring to report, for sure.
    I can relate to VWD’s burnout. I’ve been on OT at my job since last July and it seems I might be on OT until I retire. My unit is so far behind we can kick our own butts,
    GEG, I have two friends who have had Lyme’s so I know kinda how it must have gone for you. I have health problems that have vampirized my energy (not Lyme’s) so I can relate to feeling half dead. Glad to hear you are better!
    I think you both would have had a grand time with me and the Cougar Gals that day at Blenhiem! Whoopee!

  9. Ed

    Welcome back kids. You’ve been missed. Glad to hear GEG is feeling better!

    Not to worry about the changes. Though I usually do not deal well with change, I think this will be a good one. Like you we’re less inclined to try every new winery that comes along. (Unless we hear some good buzz about it.) And we’ve been expanding our wine horizens as well. The cellar is still primarily NY/PA/VA but we’re starting to explore the Rhone and Italy. Good stuff!

    Always did wonder how you kept up that pace. That had to get old! Time to make it fun again!

  10. VAWineDiva

    Thanks everyone. We’re glad that you’re going to stick with us as we continue our wine soaked journey. It’s definitely going to be interesting exploring a world of wine through the lens of Virginia

  11. Jordan Harris

    Welcome back guys! Glad to here that GEG is feeling better. I know you guys were having a tough ride so here’s to 2013 bringing an easier year for you and having some fun.

    What’s this about you tasting wines from outside Virginia though? I feel cheated :)

    It is a fun world of wine out there. Can’t wait to read about it from your view.

  12. Lawrence Burke

    Welcome back! Sorry to hear of GEG’s health considerations. Hopefully all is well now, they have made much progress regarding Lyme Disease. I had the Lyme shots back in the late 90′s, and a Lyme titre (sic) once we moved to VA. Currently they are saying this battery of shots in not effective, I don’t know.

  13. VAWineDiva

    Thanks Guys – as you can tell in the lapse from your comments to my response, the past few weeks have been crazy (especially for me), but I can at least see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (even if I’m not there yet), so hopefully I’ll get back into a wine and writing routine soon.

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