Project Food Blog: Ready, Set, Blog!

 

 

Bottega_Yountville 9-6-2009 2-52-25 PM

Me on my first ever trip to Napa

*If you haven’t already, please buzz my Foodbuzz Alaska Seafood post so I can win a trip to Foodbuzz Festival!

http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/2594074-foodbuzz-alaska-seafood-dinner

You just need to create an account if you don’t have one, log in, buzz, and that’s it! Thanks in advance :)

Where am I going with this? What makes someone devote hours on end each day to carefully shopping for, preparing, photographing, and writing about meals? Where does the drive come for the unpaid writer to whip out a camera in the middle of a crowded restaurant to snap a shot of the perfect amuse bouche? Where do we find the energy and time, after a 10 hour “real” work day and a long run, to follow, read, and comment on seemingly countless other blogs?

The answer is different for each one of us. For me, I haven’t quite figured it all out. It is ever changing, ebbing and flowing, and at least once a month I have a “moment”, the rut that I feel like I will never get out of, the end of my blogging for sure. During those times it’s not my stats or bounce rate or number of Twitter followers that urges me on. . . it’s the community.

I started blogging a little over a year ago as a creative outlet, an escape from a job that was fine but not really “me”.  My blog was for me and me alone, an online diary, a recipe index, a travel memoir.

And then I got my first comment. . .

My little blog, still in its first days, a newborn, got a comment from the James Beard Award winner, Carolyn Jung. I’ve since learned that she comments on my blog, every time I comment on hers, a practice I try to keep up myself. She is, without a doubt, a “big” blogger and much more, and that doesn’t stop her from taking a minute to read a post and to leave a thoughtful comment, showing that she actually read it.

That little lesson has stayed with me as my blog has grown and brings me closer to what defines me as not only a food blogger, but as a person. Community.

 

 

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Baby grapes, full of potential, kind of like me as a food blogger? ;)

Food and wine, two of my favorite things, create a sense of community, memory, sharing, and looking out for one another. We create meals and pour wine to nourish one another and to give joy through our variety of senses. I write to further share those things with not only the people I can touch physically, but with those around the world that have similar interests. If I have an amazing meal on a vacation in California, then I want to send you to have an amazing meal too, and if you can’t quite make it, I want to entertain you and provide you with, at the very least, a feast for the mind.

In addition to the community the blogger/reader relationship creates, I feel like my blogging has partially become defined by the great bloggers I have met. As my network of bloggers in Boston – and around the world – has grown, I have come back for more than listening to myself speak. Blogging has become such a forum for ideas, sharing great meals, and finding lasting friends with similar interests, goals and aspirations. And whether I get 10 page views or 10 million next month, while I will continue to write for myself, it will be contributing to that community that will continue to be the drive on many days, the good and the bad.

So after all of that flowery language, why should I be the next food blog star?

I think that my writing, photography, cooking, baking, and confidence overall have improved dramatically over my year as a blogger. When I started blogging, I had read so many other blogs that I couldn’t help but try to be “like” them. My voice has developed and continues to develop, I have become more adventurous in the kitchen, have started wine school at Boston University, am writing for a variety of different food and lifestyle websites, and I have ventured from coast to coast meeting people that I never would have found without this little blog. My focus will always be on community, supporting other bloggers, being honest, and staying true to the blogger I want to be.

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  1. Lingbo’s avatar

    Yay! I totally agree on all those points. I love your reminiscing about your very first comment, so cute. :)

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Thank you! I will never forget how excited I was!! :)

      Reply

    2. Colleen’s avatar

      What an amazing post! The ups and downs of a blogger…esp with a full time job, I hear ya – and definitely agree that it’s the community that keeps you going. I love having a blog (getting to write about whatever I feel like), but what makes me love it even more is that sometimes a post could be helpful to someone, entertaining to someone, just make someone smile or want to try out a new place, etc….And all the wonderful people I’ve met though blogging as well… Anyway, I love your blog, and you’re doing a great job!

      Reply

    3. Simply Life’s avatar

      oh what a great post! It is crazy what a fun little community is in the blog world that I never would have known otherwise!

      Reply

    4. Emily’s avatar

      Well said! It is certainly a lot of time and energy to keep a blog going, but your recipes, stories and photos are great – keep up the good work!

      Reply

    5. Jean at The Delightful Repast’s avatar

      I agree, Meghan. Blogging becomes positively addictive, but I limit my “habit” to once a week (Friday morning)! In the middle of working on magazine assignments, it’s such a pleasure to be able to have that one thing I can write to suit only myself. I, too, reciprocate when other bloggers comment on my blog and am always a little surprised when others don’t.

      Reply

    6. Daisy’s avatar

      well put Meghan! great story you shared about your first comment. very wise blog community lessons to live by.

      Reply

    7. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite’s avatar

      Good luck my friend! I also wrote about the importance of community in my entry and how it can’t just be all about our own blog – part of blogging is being a part of community and that drives me to devote many more hours than I would care to admit visiting and commenting on other blogs. (ahem!). Cheers to you for how far you have come!

      Reply

    8. Michelle’s avatar

      As much as I have mixed feelings about PFB, I think this first challenge has been great to make us really think about why we’re blogging. I’ve been having some serious thoughts about this lately. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about why you blog and I agree, the community makes it so important. xo

      Reply

    9. Kim’s avatar

      Wonderful post!

      I got the same advice from Chef Dennis about commenting on other blogs and getting comments on your own blog. When the blog you’re writing is still an infant, it can be a challenge to get new readers and gain a following. My blog is a little over a month old and I am still in that “finding my groove and finding my readers” stage.

      Networking is what it’s all about and like you, I have found this foodie blogging community to be an awesome one. I’m still a newb but with amazing writers such as yourself and many others, it looks like I’m in for a lot of fun.

      Thank you for sharing your words. I look forward to reading more.

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        Thank you for commenting! I look forward to reading your blog. I do a weekly Friday Foodie Feature, and it is a fun way to introduce new blogs to my readers. Check out the old features, and if you would like to participate let me know!

        Reply

        1. Kim’s avatar

          Thanks for the offer!

          I’d love to participate in the Friday Foodie Feature! Looks awesome and definitely a fun way to get out there a bit more!

          Reply

        2. Megan’s avatar

          This is an amazing post. I loved reading your reflections, and I could indentify with so many of them. I wish you so much luck in the competition! (I’m not doing it so I’m just going to keep promoting you guys!)

          Reply

        3. Ellen from bottomlesskitchen.com’s avatar

          This is an amazingly honest (& inspiring) post. Thank you so much for motivating me today!!

          - ellen from bottomlesskitchen.com

          Reply

        4. Kimmy Bingham’s avatar

          Wonderful sentiments. It really gets back to the heart of why I, and so many others started blogging. I echo your sentiments about using it as a creative outlet. That’s exactly why I started mine, although the great Boston blogging community has now kept me going!

          Reply

        5. Kelly’s avatar

          I really agree with you about the community of blogging. I’ve honestly given up on trying to “promote” my blog, because I just don’t have time in the day to have a regular life, do well at my blog and promote my blog. But, I still keep it up and still read the blogs that I truly like the blogger behind them (either bc I’ve met them or I feel like I’ve met them I’ve read their blog so much!). I really love the blogging community!

          Reply

        6. Shanna, Like Banana’s avatar

          I love your blog’s focus on wine too! You’ve got a unique voice in the blogging community so keep at it!

          Reply

        7. andrea sutton’s avatar

          This post is very intimate. Really feel like we get to know you through this one.

          Thank you!

          Reply

        8. Jason Phelps’s avatar

          Thanks for the introduction (not really, we’ve exchanged comments) for PFB. This is definitely going to an interesting competition, and no matter how far I go I am planning on executing the challenges to help me grow and share my mishaps and adventures. The feedback from the community will be the icing on that metaphorical cake.

          What is the wine curriculum that you are taking right now?

          Jason

          Reply

          1. traveleatlove’s avatar

            Thank you for commenting! I am taking the Level 2 class at the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center at BU. It is a comprehensive survey of wine, spirits, and beer, but the emphasis is definitely on wine. It is a great class so far!

            Reply

          2. Crunchy Granola Gal’s avatar

            Hi! I very much enjoyed reading this post. Stumbled upon your blog a few weeks back and am loving it. It’s great to find someone who can write well aaaand who eats/cooks fabulous food, too. Keep on keepin’ on!

            Reply

          3. Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

            You’re so lovely, what a great story of your first comment. After almost 6months into blogging I’m still constantly amazed that people actually read MY blog :D

            Reply

            1. traveleatlove’s avatar

              I love reading your blog! Wish you lived closer so we could go out to dinner!

              Reply

            2. Ashlee’s avatar

              Thank you for sharing your life with us.. I am loving this challenge. I posted my FBC this morning check it out and let me know what you think.
              Ashlee
              http://ashandlewplus2.com/2010/09/18/project-food-blog-ready-set-blog/

              Reply

            3. whatsfordinneracrossstatelines’s avatar

              Great post, I enjoyed reading it and share your views! Look forward to coming back and reading you! Good Luck!

              Reply

              1. traveleatlove’s avatar

                Thank you so much for commenting!

                Reply

              2. Grace’s avatar

                I love how this post really places the importance on the food blogging community. Very nice!

                Reply

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