Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A New Plan

Neat Angles Here

I’ve been thinking about this blog, and it’s time I let you in on the news.  It’s been over three years since I started writing Life, Love, and Food, and a lot has changed during those three years.  When I started writing, I had a very simple goal: to refind my voice, the one that felt stifled under the weight of graduate school and career aspirations, the one that wanted to talk about food and cooking and recipes.  Once I started writing regularly, I learned that I really LOVE to write.  Giving my voice a chance to speak through words typed in a clean white space felt amazing, like learning to ride a bike and finally getting the hang of it.  It was a chance to stake my territory, to have something that felt like it was all mine.  It felt great.

Then I started to tell people about this blog.  I actually felt really shy about sharing it with anyone because it seemed silly and I felt vulnerable, putting my writing out there for anyone to judge.  It was one thing to have a blog when no one was aware of its existence; it was quite another to tell friends about this weird internet hobby of mine.  At first I told Matt; he was my first reader, I think, and not once did he ever make me feel silly for writing a food blog.  Of course, at the same time, he was working his way into my life in other ways, and eventually he became woven into the material of my stories.  I told some friends too, Nicole and Anne and James, and they became readers.  Every time I would tell someone about the blog, I would say, “Please, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.  The last thing I want is people who read it because they feel like they have to.”  And I still feel that way today: the last thing I want is readers who feel obligated, like reading my blog is a chore they must finish.  Yuck!  Who wants that?

That’s the thing about blogs: they are supposed to be fun.  That’s what I want from my blogs, the ones I write and the ones I read.  I know this blog tends to be serious; I write about big, important things, but it’s still fun for me to write those posts.  I don’t think fun means I can’t write about serious things.  Sometimes, though, I think all those big, serious posts makes me feel unable to do easy, lighthearted posts, like fun memes I see on other blogs or posts about what I ate for lunch today.  I feel like I have to be uncovering the meaning of life or else I’m not doing my job around here.

But is it possible that I could do both?

The heaviness of this blog is weighing me down these days.  I’d like for it to be more lighthearted, more fun and spontaneous.  I’m working a lot these days, and I need a break from all that serious thought.  Plus the last thing I want to do is spend all my blogging time writing about my job.  Part of the reason my Saturday/Sunday blogging schedule fell apart is that I felt unable to write two good posts, back to back, on the weekends when I was spending 2-3 hours in the lab and trying to get all my errands and chores done.  It was just too much, and I found I had nothing of interest to say.  I felt lucky if I cooked a good meal or two, and then maybe, maybe, I’d have something interesting to say on a food blog.  Oy!  It was tough.

So this is the deal: I’m reclaiming this blog, for all of us.  I want it to feel fun and fresh again, a place where we can talk about squash and lunches, chocolate and green beans, serious stuff like love, and lighthearted stuff like how a vegetarian survives in meat-loving Texas.  (And what does said vegetarian do when her carnivorous boyfriend leaves behind a piece of pizza with salami on it?  Hmm…)

I’m hoping to revive my writing life with a new schedule too.  I’m thinking Sundays and Wednesdays—does that work for you?  I miss the continuity that comes with a regular writing schedule.  There’s something really appealing about a blog in which the stories unfold over time, and I want to capture that sense of wonder, that sense of learning and discovery.  I want to tell you more about my kitchen disasters, in part so that I don’t feel like every post has to contain some masterpiece of a recipe.  Because let’s be honest, folks: effing up is pretty funny, and my stories about effing up tell a lot about what kind of cook I am and how I live my life.  I never really know exactly what I’m doing; I’m making it up as we go.  And that’s how I write this blog too—I don’t know the end of the post until I get there.

Let’s start a new chapter together, friends.  Let’s eat pizza and drink wine and mess around in the kitchen and have a blast doing it.  I can’t wait.  See you tomorrow, with skillet and pizza dough in hand.


Shannon said...

i think whatever schedule works for you is best ;) and whatever your mood strikes... write that! forcing the issue never works out quite right :)

Rosiecat said...

I like your advice! But the thing is, if I don't have a schedule, I'll never actually make myself sit down to write. The discipline encourages me to keep writing and have faith that even on days when I feel like I have nothing to say, I'll find something to say. It sounds like the opposite of inspiration, but I think it helps me find my creativity even on days when it appears to be MIA.

JD said...

Here is my advice....dont have a baby. Blogging suddenly goes to the bottom of a VERY.... LONG.... LIST. I agree with Shannon, you should write when you feel the need to write, but I can see how a schedule is immensly useful as well. I am starting to get that urge back now that things have calmed down a little. Maybe I'll try out a Saturday/Tuesday schedule and see if I can stick to it!

Rosiecat said...

JD! Hello, old friend. I love your new profile picture--you and the little one are a handsome pair :-)

Yes, start blogging again! Of course your family comes first, but I think it's important for parents to find some time for their creative hobbies. You'll find your rhythm if you try to get back into your writing. I mean, hey, you trained for and ran a half-marathon while juggling family, work, and church, right?

Good luck--I'll be reading!