Why I write and four ace bloggers who do it better
I was tagged in this blog hop by an always excellent blogger and very good chum of mine, Tara of VegeTARAian. You can read her post over here.
Why do I feel the need to sit down every week or so and tell perfect strangers about the latest place I went to sip on an excellent coffee? Why does any of it matter, if there are 70,000 food blogs and who knows how many food-based instagram accounts out there? What is my blog adding to ‘the conversation’?
These are questions I’ve been struggling with and procrastinating over for the last 6 months or so.
What am I working on?
The long answer: Right now, I’m ‘working on’ what I want my blog to be. Corridor Kitchen’s been running for almost four years and I’ve realised quite recently that the ‘template’ or ‘format’ I developed to keep the posts manageable and my motivation high has become needlessly restrictive; it’s actually started to de-motivate me.
I’d like to delve deeper into the topics I want to know more about. Enough of this surface-level soundbite bullshit. Unless, on a particular day, I feel like writing some surface-level soundbite bullshit! It’s my blog, I can write about what I like, isn’t that the point!? I’ve also become ridiculously hard on myself. If I’m not at the hot new coffee joint the second it opens to give people the 411, I often just let the post go altogether.
Chasing decent traffic and heeding far too much advice about staying ‘true to brand’ or ‘on topic’ can sometimes leave me frozen, unable to write a thing. Never mind that fact that anything I write on my blog will be, by definition, ‘true to brand’ because I wrote it. So I’ve resolved my blog, my rules. Fuck what everyone else is writing about if I’m not interested.
The short answer: Whatever the hell I like.
How does my writing differ from others in its genre?
It doesn’t, because there’s a very established format for food blogs. Most food blogs either fit neatly into or include some combination of the four archetypes below:
- The ‘reviewers’, those who write about the places in their area or a specific food type (e.g. they might write about specialty coffee worldwide, or they might write about New York restaurants). These blogs often have a hip, sometimes flippant tone and a finger-on-the-pulse bent and they are incredibly useful when you’re looking for a great restaurant or café somewhere.
- The recipe developers, who create or adapt recipes and sprinkle in a lovely little personal story into each post (I learnt this formula early on, it is what drew me to food blogging). The great thing about these blogs is they are very universal and relatable; their sense of place does not rely on you knowing a ‘scene’ or context’.
- The aggregators or ‘food mag’-style websites – those that aim to cover everything they can relating to food and may have many contributors. These can be amazing for the breadth of information they cover, their reach.
- The originals, who are truly doing something different, refuse to fit into or be part of any of these genres
Ok, ok, my writing does differ, because I have my own voice. But so does everyone else.
Why do I write what I do
I came to start the blog because fear of death.
I have always written; journals, in my free time, all through school from the time I could write until I graduated from uni. I do well in instances where people set me a task and give me a grade. The blog was in itself a writing ‘assignment’ I set myself (write a blog, you’ve got nothing else on kid), because I had an epiphany and realised I can set my own damn work.
I write a food blog because food is easy to write about, we all eat, we all have an opinion about what we stuff in our gobs.
I write about coffee because that I am obsessed with it and I think I know what a good one is, how to make it and where to find it. And I don’t see any reason why that information should not be shared, for free, unsponsored and as free of influence as can be, for anyone who wants it.
I reckon there are shitter writers than me out there writing about the same topics and I refuse to give the entire online space over to them.
How does my writing process work
Of late, it doesn’t work so well. But I’m starting to free myself up.
I take notes on my phone or a notebook when I have an idea or want to remember a phrase. I will sit down and force myself to bang out an entire post in a couple of hours. I will leave that for at least 24 hours and then check back and revise. I’m too lazy to do that a second time, so I’ll often leave the writing at that.
Sharing the love
Ok, now for the good bit. Four excellent bloggers below have agreed to be tagged in this hop by yours truly. I’d put more faith in their wisdom than mine if I were you.
Enviro-warrior, Tasmanian, Travel nut, stellar photographer (seriously) and good mate, Toni over at Shape of Things to Come seriously gives a fuck about sustainability and lives that principle. She’s in Peru right now putting her money where her mouth is.
Simon from The Heart of Food is one of the first Aussie bloggers I really started reading and got to know in person. He is a meticulous perfectionist, consummate photographer and all-round nice guy who’d surely give you his last panna cotta lamington if you asked. His posts are rare but precious things.
Ed has been blogging at Tomato since 2005 on food, writing, journalism, pr, ethics, you name it. His blog makes for a cracking read and that’s no surprise as he’s an ex-journo, social media consultant and self-described ‘punk rock food warrior’.
And Ai-ling over at Food Endeavors of the Blue Apocolypse is my blogging and IRL kindred spirit. She wears so many hats I’m surprised her head hasn’t come off her neck. She’s a food-obsessive, Perth-promoting, force-to-be-reckoned with.
What about you? Do you write? Why do you write?
To see more ‘Why I Write’ bloghop entries, check out all the links at A Welcome Relief.
12 Responses to Why I write and four ace bloggers who do it better
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Disclaimer:All opinions in this blog are mine, an everyday, real-life person. I do not accept payment for reviews and nor do I write sponsored posts. I do not endorse the content of the comments herein.
Lady, I think your writing is awesome and you truly are one of the originals. x
vegeTARAian recently posted…Vegan coconut bread with choc chips
Nah mate. I’m just a mongrel mix o’ cliches.
So great to finally read this post Something that I know only you could have written as it is true to your voice – enough of this surface level bullshit!
We’ve all been there, starting out as bloggers, trying to understand what sits well, and how to write and what to write about. Then you attend conferences and read articles on blogging and they kind of all say the same thing so rather than been our own unique voice and doing whatever we want even if no one reads it, we become concerned about “making it” (whatever that means?!), building traffic, getting hits and then it’s no longer about what we want to write but what we ‘think’ others want to read about.
I think we’ve both come to a point where it no longer going to be about ‘blogging’ but ‘writing’, writing about things that are interesting and matter, and maybe no one will care but that’s ok.
Keep it real bitch!
Yes. I feel tough now.
You’re far too kind for what I deserve.
My experience with writing is not that dissimilar to yours and share a lot of the same issues so I know how you feel. You’re your own harshest critic and you’re better than you think you are, even if you don’t feel it. Keep doing you
Simon @ the heart of food recently posted…Chic Pea @ Plunge
Thank you for curing me of my writer’s block! I felt so obliged to get some decent new content up after 6 weeks sans entries that I knocked out a post tonight.
Cheers for the tag, and thank you for writing what you do. Your voice is important too, and it lets me know where to get a decent coffee when I’m travelling.
ToniFish recently posted…Real world experience
You know I’m your biggest fan. I find your posts are always written so well and you seem to be able to add something beyond. Plus now I’ve had the opportunity to read five other great bloggers.
Jennie D recently posted…Cramming #6 – Arrivederci
Great post. I’ve been thinking about quitting for a while but I realise that happens when I don’t write what I really want to.
Gaby recently posted…Review: Fleetwood Macchiato (Erskineville)
Exactly! And when I break the writing habit. I’m back into it now though.
[…] who had gotten me involved with this blog hop. Thanks for the opportunity! Check out her post on why she writes.For more posts on why people write, check out the other blog hop links.//LinkWithinCodeStart var […]
No one reviews coffee as good and legit as you do yo! Keep voicing out
Ramen Raff recently posted…Brooklyn Social, Surry Hills
[…] It feels a bit wrong to make my first post after a long silence one about why I write. Maybe I should call it “Why I no longer write so regularly” and talk about things like work-life balance and learning to give myself time to process tricky emotions and adapt to big changes, and about having so much to say after such a break that I don’t know where to start. This seems as good a place as any though, participating in a blog hop that my friend Lauren tagged me in. […]