Me on my first ever trip to Napa
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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.
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.