I find some of the typical “food blogger” stereotypes to be somewhat comical at times… It is assumed that I cook a gourmet meal three times each day, dream of the next time I will have a chance to dine on foie gras, and have a deep desire to one day make my appearance on Top Chef or The Next Food Network Star. Well, today I will share a bit of a secret with you… That’s just not me!
Last weekend, as I sat amongst the 250 other bloggers attending the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle, I was once again reminded of what a diverse group we bloggers really are. From recipes to restaurant reviews, gluten free to gastronomy, and everything else in between, each blogger saw the conference from a slightly different perspective.
For me, the conference evoked a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions. I was surprised by the inspiration I felt in the session on special diets (since that isn’t something I address regularly on my blog and have few dietary restrictions myself). I found it hard to get excited about the session on SEO and cringed at the idea of using trending topics and keywords on Google to decide what to cook in my kitchen and ultimately post on my blog (perhaps you saw my tweets of outrage). While I found the Modernist Cuisine session to be fascinating (and may even have to save my pennies to purchase the book), you probably won’t find a sous vide machine in my kitchen any time soon. I got choked up listening to Penny De Los Santos speak about photography but found myself frustrated with attempts to describe a lemon using all five senses. At times I was much more interested in participating in the so called “aggressive tweeting” than paying attention to the session taking place.
Here’s the thing… More often than not, I found myself thinking, “That’s not me!” But, was that really such a bad thing?
Sure, it would have been great if I left every single session feeling renewed and inspired (and a few times, I did), but the sessions where I felt frustrated or less-than-inspired ended up having an equally important impact on me. Now, as I look back on the conference, I have a much clearer understanding of my personal perspective as a blogger.
I blog because I love to cook and I want to share that love of cooking with everyone who reads my blog. I am not here to give you a flowery description of a restaurant experience (and I even use the forbidden word delicious). I don’t really worry about my blog stats or whether or not my posts contain all of the right keywords to maximize traffic to my site. Instead, I think it is important to focus in the things that I enjoy – cooking with whole foods and local ingredients, baking from scratch, and making food beautiful and enticing while still remaining approachable for other home cooks like me.
So, did I learn all of the secrets to blogging at IFBC and leave feeling refreshed and inspired? Honestly, no. Instead, I was reminded that I need to always remain true to myself. For me, blogging is a hobby. I find joy in cooking and photography, and that’s why I do it. And, if my posts inspire you to get in the kitchen, then I feel that my blog has been a success. No statistics required!