Thursday, March 7, 2013

On Blogging

Before I started blogging, I started obsessively following food blogs. I would discover a blog I liked and read every post in reverse order for hours. Then I’d bookmark where I was (archive page 32 or something absurd like that) and return to it after taking a quick dinner break. Whenever I liked something about a specific post, I’d research the blogger in full and read all about him/her until I was satisfied that I had a good sense of the person behind the blog. If at the end of this rigorous vetting process I was impressed, I’d add the blog to my short list of subscriptions. 

The list is longer now — I’ve cut back my vetting process a bit for timing reasons. Namely, I don’t have enough of it. A few interesting recipes, nice photos and decent prose will earn you a spot. 

In recent months, I’ve spent my focus on recipes. I obsessively find and bookmark recipes to try out and make note of where they came from so that I can credit the source at a later date if and when I test it out. When I find a recipe I like, I catalogue it and keep looking for other recipes. I’ll bookmark like this for hours, filling up my Evernote App so that I can refer to recipes on my way home from work. Pick out a recipe on the train, jot down the ingredients I’ll need to buy, and start baking as soon as I get home. This works best in theory, just so you know. 

In recent weeks, I’ve remembered something important about blogging and why I got into this in the first place. It’s not just about sharing great recipes, baking tips and beautiful food photography. Food blogging ultimately is about the blogger. It is about an individual daring to share what he or she loves and has slaved over for however many hours or days with the world, inviting criticism, praise, or crickets if no one is reading. It’s about a labor of love. 

Since remembering this, I’ve started looking back at all of the recipes I’ve catalogued in the past year and revisited their blog source. In many cases, bookmarking just one recipe proved to be a disservice to myself and to the blogger. I nearly missed out on so much great writing and commentary, even better recipes, beautiful photographs and food photography tips that may help improve my own so far sub-par (rhyme!) food photography. 

There is so much great content out there that I’ll never catch up completely. 

"Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold."

This saying clearly applies to staying true to old friends while building relationships with new people, as any camp counselor or Girl Scout troop leader will tell you. I say it applies to blogs as well. I’ll keep hunting for the new and undiscovered, but there is something really special about following a blogger over the duration of their journey. You learn things about the blogger for sure, but you learn things about yourself as well. Like how much you've got to step up your game.

I hope you’ll keep following me, because I’m just a baby in this world and I have a ways to go!

Yours ‘til dessert,
— Young Idealistic Baker

P.S. That photo is from my visit to Machu Picchu during the summer of 2010. I hiked to the top of a mountain and am looking out into the vast unknown. It's like with blogging information... Get it? 

...Because I don't know what I'll find next

...It's a metaphor.

Whatever, here's another photo:

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