Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Every year, I sit down and think about the direction of this blog. Given how infrequently I post, it probably sounds pretty surprising that I sit down and think about this blog at all. Nevertheless, I care about what I post and I'm always thinking about who I am as a writer. There are so many labels out there... blogger, writer, publisher, recipe developer, hobbyist, professional, photographer, storyteller...
Who am I? Why am I writing this blog?
Perhaps this round of introspection is fueled by my latest and last attempt at medical school. We're always being asked why do we want to become doctors. I think "why" is easier felt than eloquently described. Figuring out why I write this blog is similar... I've always known why, but it was a feeling, not something that was easy to put into words. And yet, that's why I'm here, right? Words.
I started this blog to write about my eating adventures at home, around San Diego, and beyond. Nowadays, my restaurant writing energy is saved for San Diego CityBeat and my brief foray into blogging with recipes left me bored and uninspired. I don't develop recipes and writing about other people's inspirations, reproduced in my kitchen, left me feeling bereft. Shooting the photos was great, but sometimes I became tired of the styling, the need to make things good enough for the food porn sites. I didn't want to build a brand or a business through blogging, but say the word "hobbyist" and many assume you don't take anything seriously.
Let me be clear... I take writing and photography seriously. I stand by my content. I want to write and take pictures and tell stories, but I don't want to do it with the intent of making this thing a job. I had a job (more on that later). And chasing a big dream also became a full-time job. I can go on and on about the confusion I feel when it comes to this blog. How does everything look? Am I being authentic? And on and on...
Instead, I'm going to tell the story of the apple post that never was.
It was fall two years ago. Bloggers were talking about apples. That's one of the things bloggers are encouraged to do: stay seasonal. Who wants to talk about strawberries in December? Anyway, apple recipes were everywhere and gorgeous pictures of apple picking filled site after site. Kristin posted beautiful pictures of her little boy picking apples. Ani posted stunning landscape photos of apple-picking in the same area.
At the time, I thought, I should do an apple post!
Unfortunately, the only cherub I had on hand was... Dan. Well, Bear was pretty cherubic, but most orchards frown on canine visitors. Plus, a wet nose doesn't look that great with apples. The following weekend, Dan and I went to the Central Coast. I suggested apple picking, which was met with a sigh. Off to See Canyon we went, with snacks and a camera on hand. We started at Creekside Farm, headed to See Canyon Fruit Ranch, and then to Gopher Glen. Slowly, our trunk filled with Jonagolds, Fujis, and Braeburns. I even bought a cute basket from Gopher Glen for food-styling purposes, but there were no farms where we could pick apples.
25 pounds of apples later, we headed back to the freeway. Since we had driven north while touring the apple farms, we made our way to a different ramp than the one we exited. There, one ramp north of our original destination was this sign:
U-PICK APPLES. TURN LEFT.
Fuck. So much for the apple-picking post.
It was one sign of many that I'm not meant for an editorial calendar or seasonal posts. What I'm good for is telling the hilarious tales that spawn from the ridiculousness in my life. I've also been blogging for a long time... long enough that it has become old. I can't blog because I have to. Writing brings me joy and I don't want to do it if that isn't the case.
Stop by and join me for the occasional yarn about food and life. Stick around to share your own stories. They won't always be about food. Sometimes they're about places. And sometimes they're just about the craziness that is life. I'm back for now and there's plenty of stories to be told from this long hiatus, so stay tuned...