I have a confession, an apology, and an announcement.
I have this dream of quitting my “day job” as an energy trading systems consultant so I can work with my best friend, Julie. I can’t imagine why she would want to spend that much time with me, but she keeps telling me that she wants the same thing.
In order to quit my day job I need some other form of income, so I have tried to turn my love for Texas wine into a commercial venture. I can’t say that I have tried really hard to “monetize” my writing and programming, but I worked quite diligently at it for a while. Julie and I spent over a month last year researching and programming Texas Wine Traveller with a little hope that it would bring in enough money to at least help offset the cost of our hobby: travelling to wineries that create true Texas wines and spending time with the owners and winemakers.
I remember when I first started writing about out road trips that I was very adamant that the real stories behind Texas wines are the stories of the people. I was adamant about being a wine geek and not a wine snob, and writing for the rest of us.
Last year in August, Julie and I were hit with a massive dose of reality when I hit my second “dry spell” of the year that lasted until mid-October. We spent much of that time working on Texas Wine Traveller, hoping it would be the tool to allow us to realize our dream, but realizing that as good as it is, the audience for it is not sufficiently large to make any material difference in our income needs. So I got really discouraged.
In mid-October I started a new gig consulting with an energy company and have been working so hard that on the weekends I would just goof off. We also got involved in some community activities that kept us busy, so I all-but-disappeared from the #TxWine scene on Twitter and on this blog. I stopped working on TWT because “nobody cares about it”, blah blah blah (violins playing in the background).
That’s the confession. I jumped into the Texas Wine scene with guns blazing and petered out like a wet bottle rocket. And it was my fault. Not yours, not Julies, not God’s, and not the TDA.
Please forgive me for losing my vision and in a small part, my love for Texas wine.
I have another blog that’s more philosophical in nature where I talk about the word love, and I have this explanation for what true love really looks like: “I will always do what is best for you, regardless of the cost to me.” In my opinion, the three words, “I love you” should always have that meaning, and if I tell you that I love Texas wine, what I am really saying is… well, you get the picture.
Now for the announcement: Texas Wine Traveller is free. For now and the forseeable future, Texas Wine Traveller will be free. Not only is it free, Julie and I are working diligently to update the database of Texas wineries and we will release an update soon. There are new and exciting wineries cropping up, and you need to have that information at your fingertips.
I will also redouble my efforts to get the web site completed that will allow the wineries to update and control their own information, allowing us to keep our promise of having the latest and most complete Texas winery information available to you – at no cost to the wineries.
If the app is free for both the wineries and the users, how will we realize our dream of me quitting my day job?
That’s God’s problem, not mine.