Art. And Blogging.

by Darina on February 28, 2011

I have some news to share with you.

My mother’s website is finally up!  She is a member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and has been showing her here in Vancouver and abroad for many years. I’m exited by this web project of hers, because I believe more than ever it is important for artists of every kind to have some kind of online presence.  You never know where it can lead. Perhaps nowhere, but at least there is that chance. Sometimes all it takes is one contact, one admirer to make a difference in your audience.

With my second blogaversary around the corner, I am reflecting on blogging, tweeting, Facebook pages. On how technology has changed and impacted what it means to be an artist in general, a writer in particular.

I began my blog as an online portfolio to promote my food and travel writing. Little did I know that the market has become so saturated with food blogs, both good and bad, that editors are wary of prospective writers who have them. Food writer Dianne Jacob, in her wonderful blog, says that there is an idea out there that writers should not mention their food blogs when they pitch editors, as they will be seen simply as bloggers (read: amateur) and somehow diminished in their eyes. At the same time, many professional food writers have felt the need to start a blog to demonstrate their expertise and stay visible to their target audience. It’s a complicated issue, one difficult to navigate.

So why do I continue to blog? I often ask myself this very question, especially when I haven’t posted for a week or two and writing is just another item on my list of things-to-do. Things stop being fun when they become mandatory, or when you forget why you’re doing them in the first place.

But then I stop and realize that this is an important part of my writing practice, an outlet for my cooking and photography. It has also helped me meet many wonderful people who share my interests. That makes it more than worth it.

I’m also learning more and more about food every day. It’s a vast topic. There’s so much to say, especially about local and sustainable food–topics that interest me greatly, yet ones I once barely considered. I’m in the middle of researching an article right now for Edible Vancouver, one of my favorite publications. Look for it in the autumn issue.

In the meantime, I’m still working on my fiction, taking pictures when the light permits, and cooking as much as I can. I love the process of learning and hope I never stop.

So tell me. What keeps you blogging?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

KimHo February 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I have a selfish reason of sorts: Because I want to. As long as there is some interest, I will keep on blogging; however, at the same time, I realize that, there will be some turning points. Once I arrive at those turning points, that might be the end for me.

One thing about food blogging (which is easily applicable to blogging in general) is that because it is no enforcement of any type at all – be it conduct, ethic, what not – rather it is a free for all type activity, things can easily go sideways and you can get bad rap as a result. There are some local food blogs where I can’t help but facepalm myself based on what is written (lack of knowledge, minimum common denominator, fallacy by authority, et al); however, people like it simply because they don’t know better. Because of that, at times, I just want to quit in disgust. Oh, well…

Still, I have to admit I have had some great time as well, specialy when eating out with others. After all, that’s how I have met others, like yourself, so I can’t say there aren’t any positives! :)

Darina February 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Well, I for one hope that you don’t quit, Kim. You have a lot of knowledge about food and look at things from a knowledgeable and realistic perspective. I can always count on a reliable opinion from you and I’m sure many other people feel the same.

Sharlene February 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I blog to push myself into being a better baker. I understand what you’re going through.. It does sometimes turn into a chore but after awhile the appreciation for it comes back and I’m renewed with energy to keep it up again.

Darina February 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

It is a lot of work so sometimes I need a reminder as to why I’m still doing this. Thanks for stopping by, Sharlene.

Ben March 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Congratulations to your mom! I’ll go check out her site now :)

Darina March 4, 2011 at 8:33 am

Thanks, Ben!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) March 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I hope your passion will get you going!

Darina March 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Thanks, Ellie. I have a passion for so many things. That’s the problem. Lol.

Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes March 8, 2011 at 6:47 am

I know what you’re feeling, because right now I’m overwhelmed with working full-time AND trying to get a job writing AND keeping up with my blog. It’s a lot, and at first it would stress me out, but then I realized that I love writing and I love my blog – why should they produce stress? It’s important to take a step back (like you just did) and remember why you do things, rather than to beat up on yourself when life gets in the way.

Darina March 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Your blog is wonderful, Sarah. Don’t give up on it.

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