Session #62: What drives beer bloggers?
This month's topic directed me to dig deep into my soul and answer the question "What drives me to write about beer?". I thought about it for awhile and from many different angles but I always came back to a short and bittersweet answer: narcissism.
To keep from boring you with my personal philosophy and the history of my alter-ego HopHeadSaid (I am so narcissistic I even have an alter-ego), I will only focus on three major shifts in my deepening narcissism.
1. At first, it was the shallowest form of narcissism. All I wanted was for people to read my opinions about beer. It was all about me, me, me. This is the beer I drank, these are my thoughts about the beer. Now, go and drink or don't drink this beer.
2. My narcissism only deepened when I started covering the local beer scene. I became more interested (almost obsessively)in learning about the beer industry and its rock stars than I was in writing beer reviews. And while, I still wanted to share my discoveries through writing I was mostly interested in becoming a more knowledgable beer geek.
3. Recently, I have discovered my deepest phase of narcissism. Learning from industry experts only piqued my interest in learning more about beer related topics unfamiliar to me. Now, I actively seek out topics and learn all I can about them only to feed my own intrinsic thirst for knowledge and to increase my beer-geekness. It is a good place to be and one I hope you find yourself in soon as I use the energy and excitement of learning something new to fuel more engaging beer writings.
So, you see, it is my narcissism that has driven me to become a bigger beer geek and as a side affect a better writer. I have become quite comfortable in my own skin, narcissistically speaking, and I embrace what it has done for me and my writing.
Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. Except in the sense of primary narcissism or healthy self-love, "narcissism" usually is used to describe some kind of problem in a person or group's relationships with self and others. In everyday speech, "narcissism" often means egoism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. In psychology, the term is used to describe both normal self-love and unhealthy self-absorption due to a disturbance in the sense of self.