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.