So I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about my online writing habits. Lately, I’ve gotten a bit burned out on the 20-or-more-posts-per-month minimum that I imposed upon myself for this blog earlier in the year, in an effort to get back into the habit of writing and posting. I actually kept to it for 3.5 months, and it definitely helped to get me back in a more creative frame of mind. Like any extreme diet (creative or culinary), however, something eventually had to give. It got to that point probably last month, when I was starting being too concerned over site traffic, adjusting content to audience demands, and whether or not to accept advertisements (I ended up taking one). All the stuff that starts happening as a blog matures, I guess.
Except, y’know, the point of my doing it all was just to have a fun place to throw up stuff that made me happy, to share with friends. This was never meant to be a “serious” food blog, and I think I forgot that at some point. Having it become another obligation was never part of the deal. The whole reason I started blogging more about food and gardening, rather than the stuff I was professionally involved in (costuming/wardrobe for the entertainment sector), was because it provided a lovely sense of escapism. Working in a fickle industry trying to harness fleeting trends, on a per-gig basis with fluctuating hours, always having to be three steps ahead with several emergency backup plans just to keep things running smoothly… it was nice to spend weekends puttering away in the kitchen, working off of fixed ingredient ratios and pre-planned menus, knowing that I had control over every aspect of the whats, when, and hows. Not to mention the instant gratification of being able to eat it afterwards, and know exactly where all that time and energy went.
Yeah, the cooking part is still fun. Heck, food is fun, period. Flip the remote to the Food Network and you’ll see lots of smiling, happy people with rosy cheeks and full wine glasses. Flip the remote to the Style Network and you’ll see lots of stressed, gaunt-looking people flailing around and making bitchy remarks. There’s something inherently honest about cooking — you don’t hear people saying that you’re “too close to the dish” to be able to tell if it’s good or not, you can tell if it tastes like crap and you can figure out a way to fix it. With a design, you might very well be able to pass it off as “artistic” because views vary so widely. And vice versa — you might meet somebody with the most appalling taste in clothes, but be utterly incapable of convincing them this is so, despite having a full education in aesthetics, trend charts and the majority of the media behind you. Taste in food varies, of course, but there’s generally wider agreement across a population over what tastes nasty and burnt, for example.
As most of you know, the work stuff continued to get more chaotic and frustratingly ineffectual until I eventually ended up just throwing the towel in and fleeing the country when the opportunity (in the form of the fiancé’s visa expiring) presented itself. While being a grand new adventure, this move also presented a new set of problems, of course. The most pressing one being that of acclimating to a new culture and language. Once again, the food blogging became a link to stability, providing me with a means to keep myself occupied (and fed), as well as helping to adjust me to my new environment. I don’t think I’d have half my Finnish vocabulary if it weren’t for my constantly trying to track down one ingredient or another at the market every other day. Being able to share all the new stuff I was finding in the stores also gave me plenty to share with folks back home.
So that’s why I was getting so into the food blogging thing. And why I am now slowing down the amount of content that is going into this particular avenue, as I start to feel recharged and ready to tackle the design beast once again. I have a woefully untended fashion blog, you know — there’s a link to it in the column to the left. It might just be seeing some activity soon, if I trust what the little voices are telling me. Because believe it or not, I really do love what I do. It just took a bit of a break to remember that. Whee.