Jul 302013
 

A freelance writer I’m working with is hesitating about starting a food blog. She thinks maybe it’s too late. There are so many food blogs now, she said. Maybe she could never catch up or get noticed.

She compared herself to successful food bloggers who started long ago, and wondered if she should bother.

I told her that it was normal to think that way, but no good can come of comparing. When I start thinking like that, I say a little mantra that helps me:

“Some people are not doing as well as I am. Some people are doing better. I’m somewhere in the middle and I am okay with that.”

I thought it applied in this case, because if you only compare yourself to Continue reading »

Jul 092013
 

Melbourne-based Sandra Reynolds spends $120 per week on food for a family of four, and teaches others how to budget and eat well.

Last year at Eat.Drink.Blog, the Australian food blogger conference, I met Melbourne-based Sandra Reynolds of The $120 Dollar Food Challenge, who held the audience spellbound as she recounted how a dire situation led to food blogging and a cookbook deal. Recently, we spoke further about her career and her struggle to support herself:

Q. In February 2010, you left your job as a public servant and had to figure out how to feed yourself and your two teenage children.

A. I went to the Salvation Army and they gave me two $60 food vouchers designed to last two weeks. And it started from there.

I went on Facebook to complain to my friends that I only had $60 to feed my family. My friends started asking what I could cook. I sent them recipes, and then someone said, ’91You could start a blog.’

Q. How did you know what to do?

A. I’d read a couple. A friend of mine had me write a few posts for Continue reading »

Jul 022013
 

Teaching at a Food Blogger Connect workshop in London last year (Photo courtesy of Sarka Babicka).

You can get a lot done online, but sometimes great opportunities come from face-to-face, particularly at conferences. Here is how my upcoming Dubai workshop in October came about:

Last summer I did a writing workshop at Food Blogger Connect in London (see this year’s conference July 5-6, with keynoter David Lebovitz). I was there because chef Dorcas Berry had invited me to Ireland on Twitter for a workshop, so I could combine trips after the London invitation arrived by email. How’s that for two amazing opportunities that came from online?

Now for the face-to-face. In London last year, some of my workshop students came to the conference from Dubai (including Sally Prosser of My Custard Pie and Samantha Wood of FooDiva). Organizer Bethany Kehdy and I started talking about Dubai. She said she was intrigued and would think about doing a workshop there with me. So this January, Bethany went to Dubai and scoped it out, talking with food bloggers about an event.

And on October 4, I will do a full-day writing workshop in Dubai! I can’t write this without wanting to Continue reading »

Jun 252013
 

Food Memoirist Judith Newton was surprised to learn her book is studied in university classes. (Photo by Eliot Khuner)

A guest post by Judith Newton

Judith Newton is Professor Emerita in Women and Gender Studies at U.C. Davis. Her recent food memoir, Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen won an IPPY (Independent Publishers Award) in May. She blogs at Tasting Home and the Huffington Post.

In American Food Studies classes, college undergraduates read the food blogs Smitten Kitchen, Orangette, Pinch My Salt, and The Pioneer Woman Cooks with the keen eyes of anthropologists studying the customs of an unfamiliar land.

They analyze the values embodied in recipes, cookbooks, food-related memoir, and fiction. They also study film, cooking shows from classic Continue reading »

Jun 182013
 

Menu board at Farm Burger in Decateur, GA from a recent trip to Atlanta. Amazingly good burgers. I also tasted my first boiled peanuts — salty and addictive.

It’s almost time for my next email newsletter for food writers, filled with useful links for writers, bloggers, recipe developers, cookbook authors and social media mavens. You fit into one of those categories, right? I thought so.

So you might want to sign up for the Will Write for Food newsletter, if you haven’t already. You’ll get only four emails per year, I promise. Here are 10 terrific links from my earlier newsletter, to whet your appetite for what’s to come:

1. Did you miss the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference in New York earlier this year? Here are videos to watch of selected panels.

2. The FTC Clarifies its Rules for Bloggers: New recommendations on Continue reading »

Jun 112013
 

It seems like a million years ago that Julie Powell started her career-changing food blog, The Julie/Julia Project, in 2002, about a government drone who makes every recipe from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking over a year.

Here’s the thing: I didn’t read it. I didn’t even know about it. Eleven years ago, I scoffed at the idea that writing not found in print could be worthwhile or change the course of published writing in America. I was a journalist, after all, with a career only in print.

Then Powell got a book deal. The book Julie & Julia, based on the blog, came out three years later. I never read that either. It was 2005, the same year the first edition of Will Write for Food came out, where I didn’t even mention blogging.

In 2009, the movie adaptation hit the big screen. I saw the movie and wrote a post about it because I had Continue reading »