Saturday, November 05, 2005

Hocus Focus -- Food Writing

I had a blog entry all written to post for today (see above), but I just got back from a class sponsored by the Writing Salon for people who love food and would like to learn food writing and I felt the need to “blog” about it. It is a small class with a good mix of writers and food enthusiasts taught by my friend, Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write for Food, an excellent handbook for aspiring food writers.

We were working on the concepts of first person essay and memoir and Dianne was coaching us to write about the usual that people can relate to but to add context and meaning to make it unusual.

That got me to thinking about blogging and the food blogs I enjoy. The ones I like best are blogs whose creators offer points of view that give a special focus or context to what they are writing about. Which makes me wonder, what is my focus, how do I filter things differently or give the mundane context that you, the reader, find insightful and valuable? If I am writing for myself, should these issues matter?

But am I indeed writing this blog for myself? As more of my friends know about this site, they ask me why I am doing it. My sister-in-law (an excellent writer herself) called it “will write for praise.” Maybe not praise, but to take advantage of technology to be heard in a direct way unfiltered by the vagaries, filters and delays of query letters, book proposals, publishing contracts and marketing concerns. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? If I write for others and no one ever reads it, how can I have an impact? What obligation to I have to myself and what do I have to my “readers” (who at this point probably number in the 10s)?

I don’t really have an answer for this, but I have been more than subliminally aware that Blog Appetit is a bit of a generalist food blog, kind of more like a Fanny Farmer cookbook rather than one of those slim books focused on lemons or olives or the like. Maybe that will be okay, maybe it will need to change. Right now I guess my blog has a dual emphasis – one is to help me find my voice, my context, my focus as a writer, the other is to help me find a readership who finds value in what I write.

Bringing Up Blog – I’ve figured out how to create special interest links to keep some Blog Appetit favorites at your finger tips. Watch for the tentatively named “Blue Plate Special” section coming to a Blog Appetit near you soon (or as soon as I can find time to finesse the coding).


Dianne Jacob and Will Write for Food

Writing Salon

1 comment:

kitchenmage said...

I love the smell of existential angst in the morning. :-)