Lately, the inspiration to write a food blog is fleeting. Cooking is a breeze. Taking pictures happens in a snap. It’s the writing that’s bothering me. It started with an article: Consider the Food Writer by Josh Ozersky. Then Lottie + Doof’s article, You’re Boring. There’s nothing like an opinion to devastate my proud feelings about writing about food. As a designer, I’m supposed to take criticism well, but their opinions hit a personal nerve: The truth hurts.
On the surface, their articles caused me to think more about my style. As I reread Ozersky and Lottie + Doof’s opinions, I also realized their opinions needed to be said among our food writing community. Ozersky writes about a prominent writer, M.F.K. Fisher, who inspires generations of food writers as he acknowledges it’s exclusive, classist style omits other voices that are needed in the food writing industry. While Lottie + Doof’s opinion specifically acknowledges the lack of diversity in food writers’ circles. By the way, there has always been plenty of food writers/bloggers of color. Most of us aren’t universally recognized, because few networking circles deliberately or unconsciously overlap (I wrote about here).
On a personal level, this blog is about my average lifestyle. I am unfamiliar with M.F.K Fisher’s work, but like other food bloggers, we’re unconsciously influenced by her style. Except a few of us, including myself, don’t have a privilege background. My nine to five, graphic design job consumes the majority of my time. I relate to family and friends. My apartment’s structure and layout (spacious with wooden floors) is beautiful, but the decoration is a work in progress. There are few, if not any, stories of beauty products, clothes and shoes. Since my lifestyle is average, many stories start with the pleasantries of the weather.
In reality, the weather and my personal life aren’t interesting topics. Which is why Ozersky and Lottie + Doof’s opinions affect me. Too often, we talk about food and personal stories within a dry style of writing. The majority of us have average lifestyles, in which we embellish with good camera tricks. Perhaps, I need to explore other writing styles.
Ironically, there’s this Asian-inspired dish, Basil Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry. Most people can make it. The recipe is a weekday favorite. When the chicken is prepped ahead of time, and the rice is precooked from another meal, it’s a healthy fast-food dish. The flavors are exciting, thanks to the sweet and savory Navitas Naturals Goji Basil Superfood Cashews. When paired with sweet red peppers, ginger, fresh basil leaves and a sweet sauce made from Asian-inspired ingredients, this recipe isn’t a boring dish.
Some days I feel inspired, and on other days, the inspiration is difficult. The truth challenges me, because I don’t know how not to write about food without talking about my life, hence the name of this food blog, My Life Runs On Food. There’s change in the future of my food writing, but until those changes are defined, my non-glamourous life and the pleasant weather continues to be the star of My Life Runs On Food.