Friday, 22 February 2013

Blog about Blogs

Perhaps this is like writers who write about writers and writing. Nonetheless:

I am a voracious reader of blogs - particularly food and gardening blogs, some on politics. Nothing remarkable here. I have on a few occasions attempted to start a food blog of my own, which invariably falls down because a) I have terrible photography skills, and this is important to a nice food blog; b) my food, though delicious, is not always beautiful (I'm no Martha); c) I have a lot of difficulty committing to it, i.e. posting regularly (this post on this blog is a pretty good example of my lack of posting commitment).

Today I was reading through one of my favorites, which I haven't looked at in a while (Things We Make), gathering ideas for goodies. In the course of doing so, I started to think, I really should post that if I make it. So many people I know would love that. Ooo I should make that and post it. Yes I know someone who would love it, and it would be pretty!

Then I had this thought: I do want to make these, but do I really want to go through the hassle of posting it? Will anyone even care if I post it? If I post it and only 2 people look at it, will that be worth it?

Then a millisecond later I had this thought: Why the hell am I always thinking I should post anything? Isn't it enough that I make wonderful little treats for friends and family and share them in person? Why do I feel compelled to share them on the internet? Why do I care so much whether other people agree that my cookies look scrumptious. I don't care if someone on the other side of the planet thinks they look scrumptious. I only care if they in fact are scrumptious, and only people who are close enough to eat them can tell me that. Why must I seek validation for my baking skills from a non-consumer audience?!

Clearly this whole thing got a bit out of hand very quickly.

But my questions remains: why do I feel the need to share pictures of unexceptional things with others? I might make some delicious delicious cookies, but it is unlikely in the extreme that I will make prettier cookies than Claire of Things We Make or Deb of Smitten Kitchen or David Lebovitz or a host of other much more polished and professional foodies. I really ought to leave it to them to supply the photographs of the finished products. They also have fancy cameras and light boxes, and have attended classes in Spain and Jamaica and everywhere else on food styling, photography and the like. I have a phone with an ok camera, and an ok camera that isn't a phone. I have no light box, and I have pretty much no clue on good photography, though not for lack of reading about it. I am not disheartened or have some kind of insecurity issue. I am merely stating the facts of the matter. I am not a good food blogger. I am a terrible food blogger. So why am I, and so very many like me, always trying to food blog?

If I were to get really socially analytic about my own motivations, I'd say it's to do with the fact that once upon a time, I was more likely to share food with my loved ones in person than I do now. Most of my loved ones live too far away to have the odd Sunday dinner or even major holidays together. These were important  food moments in my childhood, with hours spent around the dining room table having course after course, well into the evening. Those days are mostly gone now, or at least for  now, for the above-mentioned reason. Also there's the fact that Husband's parents are wary of my cooking, so they refuse any food from us 99% of the time. (I won't even delve into the irony of that last sentence, since it is frankly an abyss from which I wouldn't resurface.) There is an element of pride to it, in that I think I wish for family and friends to see that I'm still carrying a torch for the dinner parties of another era, that I can do it as well as my mother did it, perhaps, even though that's getting a little too pop psychology for me.

Lastly, why is my conceit so overwhelming that I felt the need to share this with the universe? Basically that I promised myself that I would write at least a little bit everyday, and I got sick of blathering to my personal journal about these trivialities. Have a nice day!


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