An old school guy who dove right
Lebovitz didn't need a blog. He already had
a website, respected cookbooks, prestigious national food
magazine articles with his byline, and a career that included
working at Chez Panisse. So why did he start one?
“I like the fact that it's immediate and there's less
pressure to perform,” he emailed from his home in Paris.
“I write about whatever strikes me at the time. I'll be
pouring my morning café au lait, thinking about what a
swell Italian coffee pot I have, so I'll write about it.
Or I'll write about a delicious buttery croissant I ate
at a new bakery that I dropped in a puddle after one bite,
or an Italian artisanal chocolate I discovered on a recent
trip. I don't need to sell these stories to editors, who
look for more mainstream topics.”
His blog also serves as a good reality check or editor.
“Sometimes I've snuck recipes I'm working on onto the
site then checked readers' comments, since they'll always
point out even the slightest inconsistencies or flaws.
It's like having 10,000 copy editors, which may, or may
not, be every writers' dream.”
Lebovitz points out that many bloggers become obsessed
with their traffic and count how many hits the site receives.
He tries to focus on the quality of content and the challenge
of drawing intelligent responses.
Spending 8 - 10 hours a week on his blog, he writes mostly
in the morning, and updates it three times a week. He
had to learn the programming language HTML. “I spend way
too much time on my blog,” Lebowitz admits. “But on the
other hand, people collect stamps, go to the gym, etc.
My blog is my hobby.”
“The anti-blog piece in a national food magazine complained
that too many blogs just recount last night's cheese sandwich,
which is certainly true. But that's the beauty of the
medium. You do what you want, write as you wish, and if
you get readers, that's great. Even if you don't, it's
still a valid form of self-expression.”