As legend has it, anyone who leaves their lei behind in Kauai is destined to return to that beautiful paradise. My fingers are crossed! I have serious “Kauai withdrawal” this week and was glad to be distracted by a blogging assignment already two weeks overdue. No more daydreaming about warm seas, the giant green turtles swimming with us, the intoxicating scent of the tropical flowers in our lanai or the perfect Mai Tais at Roy’s in Poipu.
It was fortuitous when Suzanne contacted me about a month ago, just before our trip to Kauai. I had hit a dead end in my blogging and was seriously questioning whether or not to continue writing.
I laughed out loud when she invited me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour. Of course, I wanted to join in and knew I had at least one more post in me before the official start of summer.
Suzanne and I go back several years when we met on the food52 site. She now has a charming blog, “A Pug In The Kitchen”, filled with mouth-watering, creative recipes, as well as musings about life in general and the travails of raising two senior pugs.
So, before I introduce you to three food bloggers I admire, I need to answer the same four questions posed to Suzanne.
WHAT AM I WORKING ON: An excellent question! I am in transition from writing mostly a “recipe blog” to a more generalized blog with a focus on food, cooking, entertaining and related family memories. I have become somewhat bored posting recipe after recipe, and imagine my readers might feel the same. Maybe I’ll be writing about “The Death of the Dinner Party”. In any case, I’m taking much of the summer off from blogging while I brainstorm about my blog’s future.
HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS: I think my most unique posts that have triggered the most response from my readers were those reflecting aspects of my family or personal events such as my husband’s heart attack. My “voice” seems more clear in these posts.
WHY I WRITE AS I DO: My blog is a tribute to both my mother and her mother, my grandmother, two women who loved me unconditionally and fed and nurtured me in their respective kitchens. I feel their presence in my kitchen, where I cook and write my blog. I believe that how I write about food, holidays entertaining and/or recipes has been shaped by their influence in my past.
HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK: I do a lot of thinking about a post before I sit down and actually start typing. Often, the piece feels like I have memorized it and is written more quickly than I had anticipated. My best writing always comes from the passion that has inspired it. I edit but not obsessively.
Here are three bloggers I admire, all from our small, informal writing group, each with a special talent:
Lisa of Whisk & Cleaver, for her excellent writing skills. She makes each post feel as if she is having a conversation with her readers. Lisa writes clearly and simply, and when she isn’t motivated to post something she pauses until inspired to do so. I admire that and thank her for encouraging me to break out of my “recipe blog”.
Laura of Family Spice, an amazing photographer and generous coach, not to mention the mother of three active children. Her shots are stunning and inspire me to work harder when I pick up my camera. Drool over her work. Laura redesigned the layout of my blog and I am grateful to her.
Mimi of Mimi Avocado, a renaissance woman who runs a family avocado ranch and business, is a music teacher, choral director and an active food blogger. She describes herself as a “perpetual student”, always on the lookout to sharpen her skills. I so admire Mimi’s inquiring mind and find her enthusiasm contagious.
Let’s follow their blogs and learn who inspires them…
Liz, thank you for writing this post, and for mentioning Lisa, Laura, and me! What an honor …and inspiration from you.
My pleasure, Mimi!
I’ve been tagged on this fun series too. I need to get started on mine. I enjoyed reading about your process, and will miss hearing you through your blog as I dial it back a bit this summer.
Maybe I’ll be posting, Susan – just giving myself permission not to, if that makes any sense.
Great post Liz, very thought provoking! I can assure you that I’ve never been bored with your recipes! I do share that feeling, though, about my own blog and have been posting less and less. I look forward to your blog transition.
Thanks, Jayne – I owe you an email…
Thank you Liz for including me and my blog in your post! I have always enjoyed your writing and your stories about your family, and especially your updates of your family recipes. I think you’re a great writer who really brings heart into your voice.
Nice, Lisa – thanks for your support, as always –
Oh Liz I loved this post. Have to say I love the idea of posting for example the Death of the dinner party. I think that would be so interesting. You know I enjoy your blog, always have and I love the memories that you keep alive through the delicious recipes of your Mom and Grandmother, two amazing women. We also have in common caring for our senior pets. Thank you for participating, hoping the lei thing works and you get back to Hawaii soon and look forward to more and more from you.
Great feedback, Suzanne – I so appreciate it.
Liz, I am looking forward to reading your revamped blog! I read because I want to know more about the person writing and that’s why I LOVE your more personal posts:) It gives me some validation, as most of my posts are pretty personal:) Btw, great choice of blogs who inspire you! XOXO
Your encouragement is so appreciated – as you know, Lana, I love your personal, emotive writing style. Onward and upward –
Ah, Liz! So sweet! You are always so kind and supportive and I so value our friendship. I love your wit and humor in your writing, and I always look forward to your insights and observations!
I know you and kids are in Houston – thanks for your reply, come home safely – XX00
Oh Liz! So interesting to read your interview 🙂 Don’t stop!!! I love your recipes and would miss your voice terribly. I also love the idea of writing more about your life, etc. and the Death of a Dinner Party sounds like a great start. XO
Maybe I will post this summer, just less often, Wendy – how about YOU posting 😉
I got to know you through your blog and your recipes before I got to know you in person. The truth you put in the written word shows through in person. You were as lovely in person as you are in print. Just shows what a good writer you are. Blogs are a process and I think they all evolve, I love that you keep moving forward. You have inspired me to try to start a writers group in Chicago. What a great way to motivate and learn from each other. Sometimes I am too much in my head and need to shake it up a bit. Plus, I love the idea of the community. As always, Liz, I am learning so much from you. Bravo.
You made my day, Elizabeth – so glad you will start a writing group. Mine has been such a supportive and inspiring group.
Great post, Liz, and a blogging break really helped me refocus and find my voice again.
I’m hoping the break will be productive – thanks, Stephanie.
If you’re bored or uninspired, taking a break is the best thing to do! Personal family-related posts are from the heart which is why it strikes a chord with many people. I hope Kauai was an inspiration to you and I look forward to reading as you find your new direction! I love the three ladies you admire, too 🙂
Thanks, Priscilla, I’m already missing blogging and may post again soon. Trying to read pieces that inspire me –
Nice post! Make yourself happy and your readers will be, too:) Have a great summer, Liz!