This is my hundredth post on Ahu Eats. Besides being kindof crazy, it’s made me reflect on this food blogging adventure. I asked myself – why do we do what we do? (sometimes to annoy people, sometimes to help them make & discover delicious things, and always because we are passionate about food).
So, do we blog because we love food, love writing or just to annoy David Chang? My theory is… no one of those things on their own. A few years ago I read a fascinating book called Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew Crawford that really framed the way I now think about all of this. Crawford delves into the merits of being a skilled worker – or having a craft – which has quickly become looked upon as less than desirable in a society where more and more people have become ‘knowledge workers’. What’s a knowledge worker? Well, you’re probably one – especially if your main work product includes emails, powerpoints, or spreadsheets.
Not to say that being a knowledge worker is a bad thing (I myself work in the corporate office of a bank by day where powerpoint and excel are my BFFs), but Crawford touches on an interesting point – that it’s an innate human desire to craft things – to have some sort of physical manifestation of our work. What does this have to do with being a food blogger? I’m going to venture to guess that most of us are in fact some type of knowledge worker and are not able to create something to satiate that need during our day job. So the food blog becomes our craft. And we want to share it with the world.
Although a love of food / cooking / eating drives all food bloggers, it is not an easy endeavor. While fun and rewarding, it requires an incredible amount of planning (content calendar!), skill (cooking! writing! photography & editing!), and just plain dedication. We wake up at ungodly hours on the weekend to cook in time to get the best light to photograph our food, and some bloggers have 6 months of posts planned ahead of time – food blogging requires more strategic foresight than you might think!
My own food blogging journey has been an eventful one. In the last 6 months, I’ve put in hundreds of hours cooking, baking, writing, photographing, editing, tweaking my site and connecting with other bloggers. All of this while juggling a demanding day job and trying to maintain my sanity – I can tell you that I would not have done it were it not for the love of the craft. Do I sometimes struggle to get a post out because of a hectic week or want to give up when my photos get rejected from BigFoodSharingSites? Yes and yes. But I (we) keep on. Seeing the results of the work feeds me, and my long-term vision keeps me on my path. So we keep writing, cooking and eating!
All those dishes, millions of photos, dozens of posts, and that website we so lovingly tinker with – that is our craft, our baby. We aren’t chefs, restaurateurs or professional food critics – nor do we claim to be. But we keep cooking, photographing, eating, testing, tinkering with our baby… and once in a while somebody stops by and appreciates it – and that is the best feeling.