The Reluctant Blogger

Earlier this month I spoke at the Cardiff Bloggers meetup about my experiences as a food blogger.  I've always found the notion of being a blogger a bit strange.  The first post I ever wrote about food, and subsequently the first incarnation of this blog, started as a way of keeping my friends entertained on Myspace way back when in 2006.  Indeed my first post about my experiences of eating sushi for the first time elicited such a positive response from my friends that a few weeks later I wrote a couple of reviews.  After the third post, a review of a little Indonesian place that I'd happened upon by accident after my original lunch plans fell through, I was hooked.

Over the next few months I posted a few more times - everything from opinion pieces to recipes.  Quite a feat since, at the time, I had no internet access other than at work.  These early blog posts are rough and ready, but that was fine as only a few friends were reading them.  As I said at the bloggers meet, I'm such a non-techy that I didn't even realise that I was blogging for the first year!  It just didn't sink in.  I certainly didn't tell anybody.

2007 dawned and with it came my first request for a guest post for the then new site I Love Cardiff.  Over the next eighteen months I wrote several posts for the guys, slowly finding my voice and becoming more comfortable with my role as reviewer.  Then reality hit, my personal life fell apart and I retreated.  My posts became more sporadic as I tried to sort out my offline self, arranging accommodation, moving belongings and all the other fun things that come at the end of a relationship.

I slowly emerged in 2008 and began a foray into the published word for a regional magazine in Derby.  My written voice strengthened and I began to work with a photographer for the first time, not just exploring the written word but also dabbling in food dressing and presentation, something I enjoyed immensely.  Sadly the magazine folded before it had a chance to shine, an early victim of the recession.  In the autumn I became seriously ill and once again real life took precedent over my online world and the blog, once again, ground to a halt.  Baffled, the doctors treated me for everything from a viral stomach infection to fatigue before finally deciding on IBS.  Food had suddenly become the enemy.  The one thing that had always provided sustenance and comfort had turned against me and it took me a long time to discover the triggers to my illness and get my health back on track.

In 2009 the blog took another turn with my first foray into travel writing and meeting other foodies for the first time as well as meeting "proper" food writers whilst swanning around London on a freebie - oh come on, you'd have gone too!  Yet despite writing for 3 years by this point, I still felt like a fraud.  I was definitely a foodie, I knew that, but I wasn't so sure about this writing lark, a theme that continued through a bout of swine flu, losing two jobs and right into 2010.  By this point I'd got involved in Your Cardiff and was getting to know other local bloggers. 

There were other food bloggers emerging in Cardiff, which has been a blessing as well as a millstone - what if I wasn't good enough?  I wasn't a "proper" writer, I had an A-level in English but these guys worked in the media, they had degrees in journalism and everything!  But as my home life started to settle down again and I found my groove everything started slotting into place.  In the past few months I've written for The Guardian, been invited to restaurant openings, discussed the future of the food blog scene with "proper" writers who have gone from being idols to friends and been longlisted for the Wales Blog Awards 2010.  I've started writing more and more guest posts but this time I've taken a step back and started to enjoy myself again, just as I did in those early days.

In a way I feel I've come full circle but I'm finally comfortable to talk about myself in terms of "blogger".


Patric said…
Good to see you back on track. I always said that passion on a subject counts more than a degree and remember- no-one I know has a degree in blogging!

Popular Posts