The following is meant to make you think about why you blog. It is also written to make you look inside yourself and question if you’re being as passionate, as bold, and unique as you can be. Thank you Adam Kuban (@akuban) and Adam Roberts (@amateurgourmet) for making me ask myself the same…and because this post weighs as much as a case of Scotch…never let it be said my readers don’t get their money’s worth!
Ok, so I know what you’re gonna think. “WOW, Pav isn’t afraid to piss on anybody’s Cornflakes!” Settle down people, it’s not what you think. Today I’m going to be talking about food blogs. Did you catch that…I said BLOGS. I’m not talking about bloggers per se because this is not a personal attack on anybody, but rather a challenge to them. That being said I’m sure more than a few people will be hacked off and take this as a personal affront to them. To those people I say, “Settle down, it’s not personal…it’s an observation.” Or several…
I was quietly minding my own damned business and writing about the finer points of how I loathe cupcakes when I got a tweet from Adam Kuban. I’m not one who looks at everything that is tweeted my way but as Adam has never steered me wrong, I checked it out. It was a link to the blog http://www.amateurgourmet.com by Adam Roberts. He wrote a post called “Are Food Blogs Over?”
My knee jerk reaction was “holy shnikes I hope the hell not!” After all, I just started blogging in December of last year…barely! I still have so much to talk about! I was compelled to leave a comment but on my way down to the bottom I read some really thought provoking comments. Being so inspired I could hardly wait to leave my two cents worth and get back here so I could put down my contempt for cupcake piece, and get out my soap box to talk about blogs.
It was mid-December and I was bored, and bummed by the fact that my favorite blog linecook415 hadn’t posted in months. I was looking for someone in the entire food loving world that had something different to say, something I hadn’t seen before…by anyone. I don’t mind the odd look at the pretty pictures of what was cooked and here is how I did it kind of blog for a little inspiration but let’s face it…these things are everywhere…just in various shades of gray. Then you have the food blogs that take recipes from books and the people show you and tell you in great detail, something I could have figured out had I bought the damned cook book they got it out of! That’s when I decided to start writing my own blog…for better or worse.
I’m not saying this is wrong, or this is bad….but what ever happened to being different? I suppose you could make the argument that you’re doing it to soothe your soul. You could be like “Hey Pav, suck it buddy….I’m doing this because I like it and it allows friends and family to see what I’m doing!” To those folks I say fair enough, I’m sorry and good luck to you with your future endeavors. But there are plenty of folks out there and I’ll include myself in the mix, that are doing it for other reasons.
I know what your argument is going to be and before you say it allow me to head you off at the pass…Do what you love, and if you can make money doing it…then great! I for one love what I do. I also love how whiteout smells… where was I going with that? Oh, I love what I do…I love to write about food.
Am I any good at it? Probably not, but a few of my close lunatic friends and some family members seem to like it and I get to talk to other people I would have never met otherwise. So I’m gonna keep on blogging until my laptop runs out of pixels. That being said, you’d be stupid to do this if you didn’t love it. You have to love blogging first and foremost or you’ll never be a success at it…if, that is your intention. (That’s what you were going to say wasn’t it?!)
So you’re doing it for love of food….great, let me ask you a question… If you’re getting paid for Blogging are you still as passionate about it…are you still being as bold or cutting edge as you were before you started getting paid? I’d monetize mine but it hardly seems like a good idea to subject five family members and a few friends to twenty different ads every time I post.
Besides that, I know most of my friends are penny pinching bastards that wouldn’t click on an ad if it paid them in sausage and beer…..come to think of it! It’s fine you’ve monetized your site and I’m probably a bit jealous that it makes sense for you, except that’s not why I’m doing this. So let’s talk a bit about me and see why I do this…
I myself am a self-admitted attention whore, and feel like I have something different to say about food. Also, since I was a little kid I always liked to make people laugh. Through humor and food I get that attention without having to eat fire or jump over a burning pit of oil…although I understand fire can be very tasty. At the same time I hope my readers get something out of what I talk about if nothing more than a chuckle. I’m sure that some of you crave the attention but probably aren’t prepared to say it. Here’s why I can…
I am opinionated and verbose because I was quiet and got talked over a lot when I was young. I was also the chubby little kid who rather than get picked on, came up with a self deprecating sense of humor as a defense mechanism. I put up with this until I got sick of it and one day I just started talking back over the top of the people who were talking over me. I wasn’t the soft spoken person I had been and having grown six inches the previous summer, I wasn’t the chubby kid either.
“So that’s what’s wrong with Pav?!” Well, that’s the day Pavlov was born, but we’ll save that for another day. Suffice it to say I’m a Leo and I like to try and be the life of the party, even if the party only consists of me…I’m good with that.
So that’s why I do what I do. Although I’m not against taking a check from William Sonoma provided they didn’t see my piece on “Bill Fresno” or hell, even if they did! It would be better than hitting The Cat up for a personal loan every other day and pulling apart the couch for spare change.
The following is a reply to a comment on the post I read, from a blogger named Rona. Rona believed what the blog world needed was more spit and polish…I humbly disagree. Rona has a fine blog, but I think she’s missing the boat on why food blogs are so flat, boring and flooding the internet with mediocre.
I’ve touched it up a bit as my fingers were moving faster than my brain and I said a picture is worth a thousand pictures (DUH!) and have since put more thought into it…but this is the general idea .
Rona, I’m pretty sure what the food blogging world needs is a little less polish, a little less B.S., and a little more raw. My blog has very few pictures because as far as I’m concerned people take the thousand words that picture is supposed to be worth and flush them down the toilet. People get into the habit of scanning down the pretty pictures… see the money shot then skip right on out thinking they got the idea of the post. I mean really, what is the point in that?!
The last thing I want to hear from a blogger is B.S. infinitely descriptive crap about how a sous vide egg atop a frisee salad on top of poached salmon is worthy of “War and Peace.” It’s an egg, on top of frisee, with celeriac dressing, on top of salmon….that’s too many words already!
If you’re a good writer, and people follow you and trust you… it almost never has anything to do with the four hundred word description of an egg on salmon review. It has to do with the fact they like you, or your content and style of writing…or one would hope. Is my style of blogging better than yours? Probably not, but the one thing it does have going for it…is that it’s different.
I keep it personal, and I keep it simple when I talk about a particular dish or review. (By bringing out what it evokes in me) I personally believe there are too many restaurant and menu reviews, especially in this age of Urbanspoon, Trip Advisor, Yelp, etc…But that’s another story.
That all being said it’s a great big freakin world, with lots to eat and talk about with regards to food…. there is more than enough room for everybody to blog and be heard… (Well almost everybody… I mean someone has to cook) especially the amateurs.
Amateur from the Latin root “amator” which means “lover”. Who wouldn’t want an inexperienced lover? Ok bad example…but someone wearing their feelings about food on their napkin, seeing through their eyes a fresh new perspective on something that you may find old and you’re jaded by.
Is the fall of Rome descending on the food blogging world? Not a chance in hell, and on top of that… not even close. But it could use a kick in the pants…Let’s start doing more guest posts, let’s get out of our comfort zone and say something thought provoking, let’s all go streaking through the quad!
Dare to be different people…Stop being one dimensional. Step out of that warm comfy box and run towards the light…unless of course you’re living in a subway tunnel. Good luck fellow bloggers. Now where was I…oh yeah…those dastardly cupcakes…