Greetings friends. It's been a while. A long while. I'm still here, really. I've been taking time for myself the last few months, doing much-needed self-maintenance and self-care that had little to do with blogging.
Sure, I've still been cooking and baking up a storm. But I've been doing it without recording everything so intensely and without stressing out over the minimal amount of natural light available during Minnesota winters. Instead of maniacally attacking my laptop as my cookies cooled to write up a post, I've been sitting down with crafts or a book or housemates or friends instead. Instead of spending weekends holed up in my kitchen, I've been doing all kinds of other things. And I gotta tell ya, it's been great.
My time away has allowed me to form interesting perspective on my place as a food blogger. Since starting my blog in 2008, the landscape of the food blogosphere has changed. It's expanded and exploded and everyone is publishing cookbooks and presenting at conventions and writing for Martha Stewart and Real Simple and doing product reviews and partnerships and doing giveaways all the time and buying amazing cameras and setting up small photo bays at home in their kitchens or wherever the light is the best and sharing everything through every social media channel out there. Blogs are looking beautiful these days, and it is truly inspiring. And to watch the way that some of my blogging friends have just soared into the stratosphere is really awesome. Hot damn, they deserve it.
While I applaud the bloggers that have the energy for that kind of thing, I'm realizing that I just, well, don't. I enjoy the inexactness of spontaneous cooking - something that doesn't bode well for recipe development and cookbook writing. I get overwhelmed by all the new types of social media. I don't want to "check-in" or "pin it", my Twitter accounts were dormant for months, and I'm currently on break from Facebook. Sometimes I only want to focus on what's in front of me, you know? All I wanted to do is make recipes, take a few photos, and share them on my blog, and really, that's all I still want to do, without feeling like I need to participate in all the other stuff. I don't need to have a huge reputation or an outstanding Google rank. I just want to do my own thing and create a space I'm proud of, without pressure. And if people keep noticing and reading, that's awesome!
In addition to being a cook, a baker, a canner, a fermenter, and a blogger, I am a musician, a crafter and artist, a writer, a gardener, a community organizer, an activist, a whole foods educator, a proud chosen auntie, a committed friend, and a lady about town. This blog is just one of the many ways I express my creativity and define my identity, and I need room for all of these things in my life if I am to remain happy and fulfilled. It's not that I can't focus - I just like to focus on lots of things all at once.
Honestly, I didn't miss blogging at all until a few weeks ago. It was a relief to allow myself time away from this self-created virtual space, remove myself from the expectations of "oh it's been awhile, I should really post something" or "it's Valentine's Day, I should do a recipe round-up" or "these are great muffins, I should post them". I realized it was okay if I turned the "should" into a "could" and said "no" and did something else instead.
But the desire to write about food and healing is back, and I'll return to my old ways soon, with fresh energy and a new spunk in my step.