Although it’s an arbitrary date in the diary, January 1st is a good time to think about fresh starts. We all need a fresh start now and then, and once a year is quite a good frequency.
2011 was a complex year. Good and bad. Probably more good than bad.
Many of us enter 2012 with lowered expectations, I suspect. But there will be plenty of opportunities. I’m looking forward to it a good deal.
Most of all, I love my job and I want to carry on doing it. However, there’s a fear at the back of my mind (and I reckon this is shared by many freelance media types) that the ruined economy is going to make earning a decent living more tricky. That sort of fear can be really destructive.
But this last 12 months have been good. I hope that this next 12 months will present me with more opportunities to drink, travel and learn. And make a living.
In terms of the balance of how I spend my time, some changes might be in order. I’d like to do more presenting, lecturing and consulting work, to complement my writing gigs. I’ve made some progress in this direction in the last year. It has been fun.
I’m still focusing on books, and after the launch of Authentic Wine, Sam Harrop and I have landed a new contract to write a book that will be titled ‘Flawless’. It’s about wine faults.
I want to do more writing for consumers: people who drink wine but who don’t know a lot about it. I’m incredibly grateful to the likes of Oz Clarke and James Halliday who wrote books that helped develop my nascent interest in wine 18 years ago. Their books really helped hook me as a wine lover. I think we need to make more effort to reach people with a bit of interest but no knowledge.
Despite what some ‘realists’ say about the wine industry (horrible term), I think it’s fantastic. Yes, it can be a bit inward looking, and slow to embrace change. But it’s such fun to work with, brim full of smart, generous, talented and enthusiastic people. The majority of wine people tend to care more about doing the right thing, and doing it well, than chasing cash, and that makes it enriching and fun to hang out with them. I hope it stays that way.