It was one year ago today I decided to dive in and start a food blog as a way to share my interest in food, work on my food writing and sharpen my point of view.
If you search the October 2005 archives for that first entry, it reads "Testing Testing". Not much content, but it was enough to start a revolution in my life.
Here are just some of the ways having Blog Appetit in my life has changed me.
1. Technical -- Having a blog forced me to deal with technology and expand my envelope. Just learning how to create a proper link took me a few months. I don't claim to be a digital photo expert, but wanting photos that added something to what I was writing for the blog definitely accelerated my learning curve. I look forward to Blogger expanding its new "category" program to more of the existing blogs so I can add that feature to Blog Appetit.
2. Point of View -- My writing background was as a journalist. There was no "I" or personal opinion in my articles. Writing a blog requires a commitment to share your life, your thoughts and your views. There is definitely an "I" in blog, but for a blog to be read, I think you need to search for something about your personal experience that has a good dose of "we," that is finding what in your life is appealing or interesting to others. Finding that audience or niche while being true to my own p.o.v. or voice is an on-going process. (I began posting as FJK as a kind of a self-protection device. Now, I am pretty comfortable letting the world know FJK = Faith J. Kramer.)
3. Community -- As I went from reading food blogs to creating one, I wondered how welcome I would be to participate in the wider community of food bloggers. Locally and nationally (internationally?) I have been made to feel welcome. Other food bloggers are a wonderful resource, a great audience and a warm virtual community. Sam of Beck&Posh and the Food Blog S'cool, which she started and moderates, deserves a lot of credit, but there are a lot of other bloggers out there who I really felt were welcoming. I also enjoy when I get a comment from a reader. I often email readers who comment, letting them know I appreciate them taking a moment to let me know what they think.
4. Biggest Challenge -- Keeping up with all the posts I write in my head that I never have time to actually put on my blog. My vow for the second year of Blog Appetit is that I work on having less of a backlog.
5. It's All About the Food -- Writing the blog has made me even more attuned to the food around me and the world issues surrounding food. It has also meant I do a better job of capturing and writing down my personal food creations so I can share them on the blog in some semblance of recipe form. I did go through a sense of rebellion for a few weeks a couple of months back where I defiantly ate interesting things and refused to take pictures or notes. I was determined to have some "private" food moments. I've always prided myself on living an examined life, so I was kind of surprised by this emotional reaction. I think I just wanted a vacation from being a "working foodie."
6. On Becoming a Food Writer -- It's happening in baby steps since writing is pretty much a hobby, but I get positively giddy when I think about being able to write about what I want when I want on the blog. I am a food writer already, I don't need newspaper bylines to confirm that, I can just look to the 170 or so posts on this blog to know that. The reaction I get from most food industry people reinforces that. The ones I've met or emailed have tended to take me seriously as part of the food media.
7. Highlights of the Year -- Winning Slashfood's Editor's Choice award last October for my pumpkin posts. Participating in Chez Pim's fundraising efforts for earthquake victims. Having my son, Noah, become more involved with food. Becoming a writer at Well Fed and convincing the editors to let me write a piece every week about my obsession with See's Candies. Getting to know the Bay Area food bloggers in person not just on the page. Being able to say to friends, family, acquaintances and the world: "Hey, you can read all about it on my blog."
About the photo: I thought I would give Blog Appetit some flowers for its birthday. I took this photo at the President Wilson market in Paris in May 2005.