Looking back on my first post, I definitely didn’t think at the time that I would be running a food blog. I really thought I was in it for another entertainment-centered blog. I was afraid to stray from a topic I knew how to write about so well and to try my hand at one so unfamiliar. Nonetheless, I came out of this experience not only alive, but developed as a writer in a previously unexplored area. I am also now more confident in my written humor despite having to explain more jokes than I would have liked – the “Super(b) bowl of bean dip” pun was not received as positively as I had hoped.
I learned that food, as a topic, is not that easy to write about. I quickly ran out of adjectives to describe cheese, reasons to (or not to) eat acai bowls, and different ways to describe my love for ice cream. It gets repetitive when my knowledge of food extends only as far as what I eat on a regular basis. It would sometimes take days to even think of something to write about. Since before this class, all I really had ever blogged about were topics that revolved around a set schedule – TV, college, etc. – it was an adjustment to have to create posts organically without something like a schedule of new foods coming out each week.
I learned that a blog takes on whatever form you choose. Through everything we’ve discussed in class, it’s evident there’s no single clear-cut definition as to what a blog is or how one is supposed to blog. The ambiguity made it easier to be creative, in that you can consider most of what you read online a blog, and therefore can model content around so many different formats. It also, however, sometimes made writing difficult, in that I couldn’t quite figure out how formally or informally I was meant to write.
I’ve always written so casually, about casual topics, so as to not create anything that could be interpreted incorrectly or be analyzed too much. Although I may not have entirely gotten past this pattern of writing, I definitely made baby steps. I tried to pair some of my sillier blog posts with more legitimate subjects. For example, I juxtaposed my detestation for the thought of ingesting kale cookies with research on the best stress relieving foods. I considered the reality of having a dietary restriction according to your religion and also acted as a commentator in the cookie debate fought ’round the world. I did my best to find the balance between serious and silly, which I found that most of the blogs I read do as well. Even within posts, I would go from using academic-sounding vocabulary to including hashtags or writing with improper sentence structure. But again, since there is no formula to blogging, this wasn’t really a problem.
Finding the balance between opinionated and neutral in matters like, mentioned before, an unnecessary debate over the most delicious grocery store cookies to ever exist, was a struggle. But I totally still stand by my claim, regardless of the controversy it may spur.
The fake news about the cookies apparent flavorless taste infiltrating social networks is too much for me in this post-election world. If the dichotomy of opinion afflicting all of us in this debate means I have to defend my case to the death, so be it. THESE COOKIES ARE FABULOUS.
Also, when I didn’t really have a stark opinion, it was sometimes hard to express in writing.
I can’t fully get behind the movement because I relate to every con as much as I do pro. Until acai bowls go out of style, I will continue eating them in moderation for reasons of enjoyment somewhat unknown.
I am a very emotive person, and much of the emotion is expressed in my tone of voice. This made personal expression through writing sometimes challenging, but I believe I conquered the issue as well as anyone could. I developed a voice through writing that closely mirrors my real voice.
While I am really happy with how the blog progressed over the past few months, there are some things I wish I had done with it:
I wish I had gone out for more meals this semester. First, so I could all of the delicious food Miami offers, and secondly, of course, so I could blog about my experiences. Alas, my wallet would not be happy if I were to do so. In another life, I definitely would have focused more on writing restaurant and food reviews, chronicling my fancy dinners and picturesque dishes. I always feel most compelled to try a restaurant after I read a rave review, so I would have loved to be the source of the review as well. When I live in New York City this summer, a goal of mine is to try as many new restaurants as possible (thank goodness for over-minimum wage internships) and if I keep up with this blog, it could make for some great content.
I wish I used more media components on my blog. Having a food blog inherently lends itself to including an abundance of photos in accompaniment to the content. With some posts, I went all out with the photos, to the point where the actual written content was secondary. With others, I didn’t include enough, and it was at times boring for me to read paragraphs on end about food without any or enough visual aide, which means that there’s no way it could have been fun for the reader to read. The inclusion of photos were among the edits I made to some posts recently.
Lastly, I wish I had gotten more creative within each individual post. I mostly stuck to a script – introduce a topic, write a bit about it with not much depth, include some photos, and conclude it. I could have spiced it up (haha food puns) by changing up the format every once in a while; I could have created a video (or even included a video), made a photo gallery, or write without a strict schema in mind. However, I am happy with how I tried to make my blog interactive. While having people to actually interact with my blog would have helped, I used Twitter and Instagram to my advantage, and usually signed off with a call to action. This interactive component was a way to jumpstart my creativity, but by no means a be-all end-all. There was definitely room for improvement.
Overall, I believe blogging improved my writing significantly, not limited to my ability to write about food. Constantly creating new content helped me to think quicker on my feet, edit without dwelling, and feel satisfied with a submitted product even if it may not be entirely polished. The idea that “the CMS is your first editor” didn’t really sink in until now. Upon completing this class, I realized that blogging doesn’t require perfectionism, and the blogger is the one calling all the shots. Running a blog is a great way to reject your own ideas or explore new ones without set guidelines, and it has been quite the experience.