So it’s been about two years since I’ve started blogging about food. At the lame culinary school that I attended, students are asked to share their culinary goals. The typical answers are: “I want to become a head chef and run a kitchen” or “I want to open up a restaurant”. But, for me, it was “I want to become a food writer”. Going to culinary school is probably not even necessary to go in that direction. But I wanted to study food and also become a better home cook. I could tell that my goals had the chef instructors and “guidance counselors” in a stump on how to direct me to reach my goals. When a guidance counselor tracked down a chef to ask on how a student would go about to become a food writer, she had no idea, but said maybe a chef so and so might know. So they tracked down the chef so and so. Chef so and so’s response was, “Start a blog and start Yelping. People will find out about the blog when they see the reviews you post on Yelp.” That was the best $50,000 advice they could give me. *sigh**
Around the time, magazines and newspapers were not hiring. It was more like… they were busy laying people off. The recession had hit pretty hard for journalists. Even the magazine that I was working for gave half of the staff a pay cut (myself included). The other half were laid off. So my goal of getting into food writing was put on hold.
Years passed by. I still didn’t have a job where I can visit restaurants all day, eat for free, have my own column, and write about what all the things I ate. I think by this point, I think I had already threw in the towel after the unsuccessful search during the recession. But I still wanted to write about food. The blog idea started to sound like a plan. I wouldn’t be making much money from it, but I’d be able to write with an “I”, which is not done in journalism. I could freely share my thoughts and opinions, my personal stories, and whatever the heck I wanted. It was my own little space. The appeal of starting a blog was growing. So in March of 2013, behgopa was born. Yay!
For my blog, I wrote the way “I” wanted to write. I broke the rules. I talked smack. I vented. I shared stories. There was no one I needed to impress. I proved that I could be a terrible writer at times. My topics may be random. There were posts where I might jump from one random topic to the next. But I didn’t care. It was the way I wanted to write. Heck, even in this post, I’m probably breaking the rules. But for my blog, it’s more about getting my thoughts down onto the page than it is about mastering the craft of writing. Unlike with my book, I don’t obsess over a single sentence for hours and days just to delete it the next day. For blogging, it’s more like 5% thinking, 95% writing. So bear with me if I sound like I’m talking out of my ass at times.
It seems that along the way, I lost focus on the actual food writing part. Writing about food should be about writing with our senses. This epiphany hit me as I was going through the first edit of my book. With my recent transition from culinary blogger to aspiring-food-centric-romance-novel-author, I have been learning a lot about trying to write about food using my five senses.
In the first draft, I didn’t go through tortuous hours of thinking up the perfect words to pull a sentence together. With editing, it has been like 90% thinking and 10% writing.
Finding the right words to show (rather than tell) and writing with our five senses is hard. I am guilty of overusing adverbs, clichés, and doing more of telling than showing in my blog posts and in the first draft of my book.
I am currently stumped on a ribs scene in my book. Why is it so hard to find the right words to write with my nose and palate? When I was searching for inspiration on describing taste, I came across this post.
Lol….Who is guilty of overusing these “food words”? I am! Now I am hating myself for it. The ones I have probably used the most are:
-to die for
-taste like crap
-melts in your mouth
-bursting with flavor
Yeah, these “food words” can make weak descriptions of food. None of these words will be seen in my book after the first draft. And I will try to abstain from using them in my blog posts (emphasis on “try”, but can’t promise lol). Editing is hard and painful!!