Monday, June 17, 2013

Please Stop Hype-Jinxing Your Outdoor Expeditions.

Man, nothing is as much of a downer as seeing the same blogger posting 30 social media and blog updates about HOW FREAKING EPIC their upcoming trip is going to be.  You know what I'm talking about, usually they tag all the other fishing bloggers that will be going with them, either to the local creek or to some far off country.

Even more of a bum out is how most of those trips seem to turn out:

Not my photo.  Couldn't find a real name for its owner

Let's get real.  It's awesome to have a trip planned.  Even awesomer to have the trip funded (somehow). It's awesome to be excited about it.  But unless it's to the Arctic Circle or the Amazon, your trip preparations and hyping the names and online ID's of your travel buddies are of basically no interest to anyone, ever.  

Making it worse is what I referred to at the beginning of this post - a widely known but poorly understood mathematical correlation between the extent to which you hype an outdoor trip or expedition, and the extent to which the trip will not be productive.  Based on the three semesters of calculus and two semester of graduate level statistics that I all somehow passed, I have decided to call this the "Hype Jinx."  You know what I'm talking about; "EPIC TRIP TO THE CREEK THIS WEEKEND WITH @creekmaniac, @troutsniffer, @size36caddis, @nativebrown69 !!! CAN'T WAIT WILL BE SOOO EPIC!!!!!"   The associated blog post will usually tell some tedious tale of hand-loading ammunition that will end up being not correctly weighed, tying 500 flies that will end up not matching the hatch, forgetting every pair of boots you own, getting into a car accident as  you pull out of the driveway, or getting your luggage stolen on the way to the destination.  Then....the skunk is on.

Unless you are a very talented writer and/or storyteller, your skunking doesn't make for great reading, either.   I should know - after following my stats on this blog for over five years, do you know what kind of posts get the least readership?  The ones where I wax philosophical about the river eternal, the tides of life, or whatever, but in which I also have to slyly admit that I went fishing or hunting and I didn't catch or shoot anything, often due to some dumb mistake(s) on my part. Anymore, I just don't blog about the skunkings - certainly not the local ones.  You don't want to read about them, anyway.  I've seen the stats!  And I certainly don't blog about most of my trips before they happen.  I wish I could say it was out of a lack of boastfulness or out of a studious Christian interest in subduing my Pride.   But that wouldn't be true.  I just don't want to jinx it.  (Ironic, given the amount of time and thought I give to science and my personal religious beliefs...which do not include voodoo or jinxing).

My therapy tip for you:

The next time you are tempted to write a 2,500 word blog post and 40 twitter posts about your upcoming fishing trip, just don't.  Instead, do the following:

1.  Take a somewhat interesting picture of your gear preparation
2.  Make that image full text width in your text pane
3.  Write three sentences about your anticipation of the trip
4.  After the trip, edit the pre-trip post to include a link to the post-trip wrapup.

Example:


It's been too long.  Don't know what I'll find.  Finger Lakes, here I come.


It's that simple!  Give your readers something awesome to look forward to - not just how those 500 flies that you blogged about somehow got wet and then mold cemented them together in your fly box.  Not "remember those five blog posts about my new Yeti cooler? Somebody stole it when we were at a gas station."

Good luck - you can do it!  Most certainly, you can do it better than I can.  So now you have no excuse.

6 comments:

Michissippi said...

This is hilarious and spot on.

The Reverend Fowl ™ said...

Call it hype if you want, but today is the day I am going out to empty the diaper pail. I have been dreaming of this all weekend because the diaper can is next to my bed and effects my sleep. Sure, I might be fishing for online friends to share in my experiences, but if I can help one person to be a better...wait, sorry, I got to go...

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Very funny
SBW

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Owl Jones said...

I'd vainly think you were talking about me, but since I hardly ever fish anymore ( and don't have more than three fishing buddies ) I've ruled myself out. LOL :) I enjoyed reading this. Glad I'm not the only one who feels like this. Oh, and now I know why my first trip to YNP was a bust. Well, that and the painkillers. :) lol Now, I'm off to my epic fly tying session with @...yeah, just me.

Kirk River Mud said...

Owl, my temptation is to hype everything, just because I so love being outdoors with other people, and now that everyone's got social media of some type, it's so easy to do.

I'm trying to think of what prompted me to write this post. I think it was maybe reading some of the carp fly fishing guys' stuff (super hyped...and super skunked) vs. Mike Sepalak's blog (you know, heading out on fly fishing trips to Baja and Bermuda) who says very little about them beforehand, and seems to be better, and happier for it (although he also routinely gets skunked, like the rest of us I suppose). I'd like to emulate the latter and not the former.

In some ways, you full time (or nearly full time) fly anglers are braver than I. There is a 0% chance I would go west with just fly tackle, because there is no way I'm getting skunked on an entire trip....and given my atrocious fly casting, it's a real possibility, and I'm not mature enough to accept that possibility as "OK", I guess.