[one_half][I] suppose you’re wondering what I’ve been doing since December 2011, when I made you those delicious Chilean Sea Pancakes. Perhaps I had died, or mistakenly thought I resided in some alternate universe where food blogs publish roughly 100 times less frequently than they do here. For better or worse, neither of those things is the case. Normally, I would have simply ignored my hiatus/sabbatical and launched into some poignant narrative about a potsticker I ate when I was 7. But I believe there are about a dozen of you who have been faithfully holding the mirror up my blog’s nose every once in a while to check for fog. And I feel like I owe you an explanation.
This website was born out of curiosity. Is it sustainable? Can I turn it into something? Can I do better? At the beginning of this blog, and through most of my life, actually, my favorite and best writing just happened. Words came out of me. I felt as if I were sitting across the room from myself, watching this gangly, bald man write. I found, though, that the more people started to notice what I was doing here, the more slowly the words would flow. I naively thought that I was close to turning my time-consuming hobby into a difficult career, and that in order to take the next step, I’d have to turn my blog into something else. But what? I wanted desperately to get things exactly right, and as a result, did nothing at all.
The first couple months of not posting were the hardest. I was terrified of losing relevance, equity, everything that I had worked hard to build. But it went by, and predictably, the world didn’t end. Another month went by, and then another. It got to the point where it’s now awkward to explain the concept of my blog to people who ask about it. I immediately have to point out that, no I haven’t actually been blogging lately and I feel vaguely guilty about it but I have Big Plans.
But you know? It’s also been kinda nice. It’s nice not going through the motions. It’s nice not to measure myself against standards I don’t necessarily agree with. And it’s really nice to cook. Ironically, I do that a lot more now. Not to develop recipes, or evoke some childhood memory. Just to cook. To feed my family. To enjoy making something. To relax.
In the meantime, I left science and started working in digital media. In doing so, I learned an awful lot about what makes publishers successful, some of which I may share with you here. The most important thing I learned is that it makes no difference whether you’re a conventionalist or a rebel if only a few thousand people are reading your blog. By saying that, I don’t mean it shouldn’t make a difference to you. I mean in the sense of trying to take the next step, earn some money, attract partners–you can’t start a business conversation with a blog of this size. It’s more important to go do awesome things and continue developing an audience. That’s the kind of cold-hearted, yet liberating reality that most people will not share with you.
I’m writing this because I miss you guys, and I miss thinking of my blog as a place to play. I want this to be fun again. I’m not trying to write a cookbook, land a column, be on TV, or otherwise go pro. I want to make things that I think are awesome, and I want to share them with you. I hope you’ll want to read them, even if they are not all about food.
P.S. If you’ve been checking in, you’ve probably noticed that we’re changing the way the site looks. I wanted to build something cleaner and more beautiful, emphasizing words above all else. I think Amy Kim has done just that. There is some tweaking left to do, but what you’re seeing is most of the way there. I’d love to hear what you think.[/one_half]