Feb 042014
 
Molly-Wisenberg by Kyle Johnson

Food blogger Molly Wizenberg, whose writing career expanded to include two memoirs. (Photo by Kyle Johnson)

At Food Blog South recently in Birmingham, food blogger Molly Wizenberg shared her story of leaving graduate school and jumping into the unknown with her blog, Orangette. She spoke about taking risks, setting high standards, the importance of showing up, and how blogs are a powerful tool for writing.

Here’s an excerpt from her talk, which Molly graciously allowed me to share with you. It’s an inspiring piece about one young woman’s determination to stick with blogging, no matter what life events come along. If you’re feeling conflicted about blogging, or even writing on a regular basis, pull up a chair:

“I [...] started Orangette in 2004.  I have to tell you, I was so giddy to have a place to write for myself, not for professors; to have a place to let myself fall down the rabbit hole of food; to have given myself permission to go after something that made me so happy.  I think you probably all know that feeling.  There’s nothing that can beat that feeling.

I didn’t know then what I wanted to do with my blog, other than gush about Continue reading »

Dec 312013
 
Teaching in Dubai in October 2013, thanks to Food Blogger Connect.

That’s me, lucky enough to teach a food writing workshop in Dubai this past year, thanks to Bethany Kehdy and Food Blogger Connect. From there, I vacationed in Jordan and Israel. (Photo by Owen Rubin.)

At the end of 2013 — my fourth year as a blogger — I’m taking time to say how grateful I am to have you as a reader. Whether you’re a frequent commenter or you’ve never left a note, I’m thankful you’re here. 

To be honest, sometimes I’m surprised that anyone wants to read, considering how much Continue reading »

Sep 302013
 

Under-ConstructionMy techie husband built my old website at least a decade ago in Dreamweaver, an Adobe web design tool. It served me well over the years, but I got frustrated trying to update it. I didn’t understand HTML code, tables or how to repair all the bad things that happened when I pressed the wrong button. My website languished.

Several kind people inferred that my website needed a facelift. I was too terrified to do act. I’d heard horror stories about the time sink. I pushed it off. For years.

Finally, a colleague told me about a good experience she’d had with a designer. Plus I loved the clean, strong design of her blog. I took the plunge. It was time to move to an all WordPress website.

The designer and I worked together on several drafts. That was the fun part. I won’t bore you with what Continue reading »

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 »