diannejacob

May 052015
 
Denise-Vivaldo

Denise Vivaldo doesn’t let other people define her.

You’re doing fine until someone makes a snide remark on social media. Then a literary agent says your book idea won’t sell, and two editors haven’t responded to your story pitches.

Soon you’re having trouble getting through the day.

What you need is a mini Denise Vivaldo on your shoulder. This successful food stylist and food writer is one of the most optimistic people I know. She seems to let slights, criticisms and rejection slide right off.  I thought I should interview her to find out how she does it:

Q. You say you have thick skin. How do you define that?

A. I got a thick skin early in life and it has worked for me. As a child I danced and by the time I was eight or nine years old, I was already Continue reading »

Share Button
Apr 282015
 
Early-Peaches2

Peaches in April! Thanks to climate change, these appeared at my Oakland, CA farmer’s market last weekend.

Who has time to keep up with everything going on in our food writing world?

You do! Just click on the peachy links below, especially the fun ones.

This list first appeared in my last quarterly newsletter, a free compendium of links for food writers and bloggers. If you’d like to subscribe, please sign up here. If you’re already a reader, thank you! Here we go:

1. Wondering who’s selling the most cookbooks? Here are the bestselling cookbooks of 2014. As usual for the last few years, Ree Continue reading »

Share Button
Apr 212015
 
The-Good-Pantry-Pancake-Mix

Pancake and other dry mixes are a feature of  Cooking Light’s The Good Pantry.

I don’t know about you but my pantry is out of control.

There are pestos, frozen kaffir leaves, and stocks bulging out of freezer drawers. Little jars of unfinished sauces linger in the fridge. Costco bags of nuts, frozen berries, and fish snooze in the chest freezer downstairs.

And don’t even ask how many kinds of oils and vinegars I keep in the cupboard in a Lazy Susan, along with Continue reading »

Share Button
Apr 142015
 
Here I am, eating bonbons all day as a sponsored writer. Heh.

Here I am, eating bonbons all day as a sponsored writer.

There’s been lots of talk on my blog lately about money and food blogging. (See post about Adam Roberts and Amy Sherman’s post.)

But one thing people don’t talk about is the privilege of being a food writer, where earning money is a secondary ambition for many – not because they’re hobbyists, but because they don’t have to earn a living.

This story on Salon about obfuscating the circumstances that let us write Continue reading »

Share Button
Apr 072015
 

Package-in-the-mailPublishers send lots of cookbooks to food bloggers, hoping for publicity. If you choose to write about a book, they might supply images and recipes. If you’re not going to write about it, they might say: how about a shoutout on social media?

Do you owe them something in exchange for this free book? If so, what?

This is an area of confusion for many food bloggers. You want to be nice and do the right thing. But understand that, first of all, you owe them nothing.

Even if you requested a book, you are entitled to read it and decide not to Continue reading »

Share Button
Mar 312015
 
Kathleen-Flinn-head-shot

Kathleen Flinn has published three acclaimed food memoirs.

A guest post by Kathleen Flinn 

Who writes three food memoirs? Before they’re 50 years old, no less? There’s me, Ruth Reichl, Nigel Slater… it’s not a long list. Food memoirs are tricky, though. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

1. Conflict drives narrative.

Your grandmother might have made beautiful dumplings. You may be obsessed with kumquats. But does your story pass what my journalism mentor called the “Who Cares” test?

Ultimately, readers keep turning pages because they want to find out Continue reading »

Share Button
Mar 242015
 
Sunrise

Some writers write at sunrise. I’m fast asleep. When I get to my desk, I tackle email first.

You’ve read a million times that writers need to write as soon as they get up or as soon as they get to their desks. It’s the conventional wisdom passed down by writing teachers and experts everywhere.

Here’s my dirty little secret: I don’t write first thing.

Why not? I have a different process for shallow work and deep work. Here’s my reasoning:

1. I need to warm up.

I’m not ready for intense concentration first thing. Shallow stuff like Continue reading »

Share Button