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Why do I do this?

When I first started blogging, my dad (a former journalist and currently a PR consultant) asked me why? I had a few reasons:

1. I love taking photos (evidence of this first appeared when I was 17 and my dad bought me a camera for my birthday and I would take said camera to school every day and shoot a roll – yep a whole roll – of film of me and my friends goofing around. I found these photos this summer when I was home clearing out a bunch of stuff that mum and dad have been holding onto for about 15 years and they brought many a smile to my face!)

2. I love to cook.

3. I love to eat.

4. I actually really enjoy writing. The past couple of years when I was working on my MA, not so much. All the writing I did was restricted by word counts and academic lingo. I learned to write precisely and edit my work ruthlessly. And found it harder to “be me” when I was writing things like emails. I always had that stupid word count in the back of my head. So this has sort of become my creative refuge from academia and slowly, I am finding my voice again…

5. I can knock out a blog post with more ease than, say some work/ PhD class/ writing class tasks which can sometimes seem insurmountable. I guess it’s called procrastination (or is that “regrouping”, Joy?).

So those are five pretty good reasons, in my book.

An added bonus, which I have found along the way is that my blog has inspired people! Now that sounds all lofty and self-important and I certainly don’t mean it in that way but in the past month, I have had a few people tell me they have copied recipes they read on my blog and a couple more (hi Penny!!!) inspired to perhaps cure their own bacon and pancetta, like we Neil did.

A couple of weeks ago, my mum sent me pictures she had taken in the supermarket “just like you, Mardi” which I found bemusing for a couple of reasons:

1. Mum has only just got a digital camera quite recently;

2. Mum got her first computer (a MacBook – good choice, dad!) this June. She has never owned a computer in her life, never used one and never really wanted to. Now my blog is her home page and I know she reads it every day and she’s even learned to comment. She’s on email! Next thing I know, she’s getting told off in posh food stores for taking photos (boo to the snobby Mosman store that told her that!) and she’s off in Woolworths taking some shots for me:



Mum took this because Neil doesn’t believe that we call melons “rockmelons” in Australia.








(those would be childhood – errr and adult – favourites!!!)

I think mum’s got a pretty good eye, don’t you?

Yesterday I received this email from my good friend Martha (ironically as I was procrastinating about some assignments…):

I made a snowman ( very small) in the morning and homemade wonton soup in the afternoon. I used ground turkey instead of pork, but the wontons still tasted yummy! Mardi’s blog inspired me to make something from scratch.

After I got over the shock that there was SNOW just a couple of hours out of Toronto, I checked out her photo:


Now Martha is, in her own words, “SO not a writer” but she’s a pretty good cook. Two little boys keep her on her toes and don’t always allow her the luxury of cooking from scratch so I was thrilled that my blog “inspired” her. And I think that’s pretty cool.

And just this morning I woke up to a post in my Google reader by Conor@HoldtheBeef who was inspired by my walk down memory lane yesterday to produce her own post detailing why she, too, was clearly destined to be a food blogger! We must have been separated at birth, Conor!

Obviously comments from you, dear readers, and interaction with other foodie people on their blogs and on Foodbuzz keeps me motivated and reminds me daily why I do this. Thanks for reading. Continue to enjoy!

Bon appétit! Bonne lecture!

(Did you know??? ELTW is a finalist in the “Best New Blog” category at the Foodbuzz Food Blogger Awards. After just shy of five months’ blogging and at just under 200 posts, I think it’s an impressive achievement if I do say so myself!!! Click here to vote for me!)

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44 Responses to Why do I do this?

  1. Simply Life October 17, 2009 at 11:23 #

    Wow, I can't believe you've only been blogging for 5 months – very impressive! I agree with you on the reasonings for blogging and really have enjoyed the process so far!

    Ha, my mom learned to find my blog and eventually comment and i know it's become a part of her routine that she puts a lot of thought into ;)

  2. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 17, 2009 at 11:52 #

    Simply life – thanks! And awww – isn't it great getting the mums on board?

  3. April Cavin October 17, 2009 at 13:42 #

    Great post– I think you touched on a lot common reasons people like to write food blogs. Blogging about food is so completely different from what I do in my 'real' life that it really is just a great escape for me. Plus I love the community– I blogged for several months before joining FB and wished I had joined sooner. It's been a way to discover great blogs that I might not have.

  4. Vegetable Matter October 17, 2009 at 13:53 #

    Blogging definitely inspires. Our 6-year-old just started his own blog. To him, this seems like a perfectly natural thing to do. Blogging frames what we do now, makes us think more. Thanks!

  5. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 17, 2009 at 13:57 #

    April – thanks for your comments. It took me a while to figure Foodbuzz out, I have to be honest but since I am not on Facebook (I refuse) and non (yet) on Twitter, I needed some sort of networking place. I love Foodbuzz – faults and all and have met some really great people through it. And you're right about it being so completely different from my "real" life – it's a great diversion.

    Vegetable Matter – That's so great! The students at our school have blogs for English class and it's so wonderful to be teaching them those skills, for surely they will need them later in life. I am actually going to address the "Writer's Craft" class (Grade 12) next week about my adventures in blogging!!!

  6. traveleatlove October 17, 2009 at 14:19 #

    Great post and photos! I don't quite get why people in markets get angry about photos of the food? It's not like they are making top secret missiles or something. I would be flattered!
    I love your reasons for writing. My blog has been a fun refuge from the day to day writing I do at work, which can be not-so-inspirational, plus I have "met" some great people and discovered great writers, restaurants, and recipes!

  7. Miriam October 17, 2009 at 18:38 #

    I agree with most of your reasons for blogging, especially no. 5… And I also have another reason: having kids, blogging compels me to keep myself updated on a lot of things, like xml, the social use of the net, and many more. Things that can help me to get in touch with what my kids might be doing in a short time… and I think it's healthy for them to see their mother is a complete ignorant on Internet, like many of my friends.

  8. Miriam October 17, 2009 at 18:39 #

    Ooops, in my last sentence I meant "that their mother IS NOT a complete ignorant"… LOL

  9. s. stockwell October 17, 2009 at 18:44 #

    You have "blogger" in the blood! You just can not help it. Let it all out…we love it Best from Jefferson's Table

  10. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 17, 2009 at 18:49 #

    traveleatlove – I KNOW – it's so dumb. Maybe they think we are spies from the competition or something…

    Miriam – that's excellent that you are "keeping up with things" through you blog. I think it's a great role model for your kids!

    S Stockwell – thanks. and thanks!

  11. The Chickenless Chick October 17, 2009 at 19:14 #

    People are naturally drawn to what they excel at. The writing on your blog is engaging, and your pictures are beautiful, so it's no wonder you feel at home in the blogosphere!

    This is going to sound weird, but before I started The Chickenless Kitchen, I considered it rude to ask bloggers why they blogged. I thought, "Obviously they have their reasons, and if they haven't overtly stated those, it isn't my place to ask." Not very chickenless of me, huh? Now that I have my own blog, I realize I wouldn't mind one bit if someone asked me why. Whether we ask ourselves or one another, It's important to remain aware of our actions and our reasoning.

    Btw, wanting to inspire others is a great reason. Not at ALL lofty or self-important… says the girl who shares that goal ;)

  12. doggybloggy October 17, 2009 at 19:16 #

    very impressive since I have been blogging for almost 5 years now – I have a hard time mustering up the energy to keep on sometimes!

  13. Diana Bauman October 17, 2009 at 20:01 #

    What a great post! I too started blogging for many similar reasons. I have always enjoyed writing, cooking and eating! lol!! You have a great blog and congrats on the nomination! I too have been nominated :) I see you are going to be at the festival. I have applied for a scholarship and if I get to go, I would love to meet you!

  14. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 17, 2009 at 20:22 #

    Chickenless -thanks so much for your thoughtful comments.

    doggybloggy – 5 years – wow – I wonder if I will have the stamina to blog for 5 years…

    Diana – I hope I get to see you there too! I applied for the Bertolli scholarship (the NP one not available to non-domestic bloggers) and am crossing my fingers and toes. I saw your NP entry and think it was amazing – good luck!! (and congrats on your nomination too!)

  15. Tasty Trix October 17, 2009 at 20:52 #

    Your mom definitely has a good eye! Funny – my husband and I just got in trouble for taking pictures in Wegmans. As a professional freelance writer, I started blogging 4 months ago partly to stay sharp when I don't have a lot of assignments, and also because I forget sometimes that I actually LIKE to write – I can get bogged down by all the things I HAVE to write about. Also, I love to cook, and in the short time I've been blogging I've explored new, challenging ways of cooking and thinking about food. It's really fun and a great creative outlet.

  16. Carolyn Jung October 17, 2009 at 22:42 #

    Congrats to you for doing something you enjoy so much. I think we bloggers also do it for another reason — the creativity and the ability to be our own boss. There's no boss or editor looking over your shoulder to tell you what to write or photograph. It's entirely up to you. And there's a lot of satisfaction from that.

  17. Brie: Le Grand Fromage October 18, 2009 at 00:43 #

    Congrats on such a successful start to food blogging! I definitely have enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to many more. We share several similarities in starting our food blogs, and I have a feeling many of our fellow food bloggers do, too, which is why we're drawn to do this. I think part of food blogging IS inspiring others, so be proud! ;)

  18. Divina Pe October 18, 2009 at 00:49 #

    Thank you so much for sharing why you blog and keep on doing this. You have a gift in what you do and you share it to the world and I appreciate what you share to us. The best part is you inspire people and you continue to blog because somehow it changed their life even in a small way. And you also enjoy what you're doing. And I enjoyed reading yours too.

  19. high low October 18, 2009 at 02:56 #

    Wonderful post! Your writing is so thoughtful and your posts are always interesting. It's not surprising how inspirational you are given how genuine and endearing your stories have been. Our blog was a nice way for us to share and record our food adventures – We had just gotten married, and we wanted to share our stories with friends and family.

    We've gotten so much more than we'd expected with our blog – including "meeting" fellow bloggers like yourself!

  20. Geoff October 18, 2009 at 03:28 #

    well, ELTW – your blog (as I read it) is not just a record of what you eat, see and do – it's a little more than that. In a way, it's a reflection of different people's lives and how they live them. Your Laos posts being an example.
    And, as the former journalist to whom you refer in this latest post, the other appealing aspect to a curmudgeon like me is that a blog can be expansive – you're not restricted to a few words or character if you don't want to be. I despair at the diminution of language forced in a sense by technology such as cell phones (LOL indeed!. In fact, in a speech about 7 years ago, I mused whether PR consultants like me would be forced to consider drafting a media release in 140 characters…. and, of course, some of us now do.
    Thus, to get to a long-winded point, your blog (and others like it) enables continuity of a standard…not an enforced paucity of language.
    Keep it up, it's a great read.

  21. penny aka jeroxie October 18, 2009 at 03:45 #

    Great post :) For some reason, blogging has changed my world. For the good. I met a few fellow blogger and became friends. It is a release and I feel at peace when I am doing my food and writing. I am not a good writer but I know that with time I will improve. I am not a photographer but hopefully with time it will improve. I have so much to learn and new people to meet. I love it and my blog is my validation.A documentary of what is important to me.

  22. Mum M October 18, 2009 at 03:55 #

    Glad to see the rockmelons got an airing.

  23. Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 18, 2009 at 05:08 #

    Great post, and thanks so much for the reciprocal shout out! Separated at birth indeed… it's a good thing we weren't into this food bloggy business back then for the sake of our mothers' decency ;)

    I'm so glad you got me off my figurative arse, and actually onto my literal arse, and going through my old photos. I'm actually in the middle of a follow up post now as I kinda forgot about my time living in Europe.

    As a fellow PhD-er I have to agree wholeheartedly with point 5. Much more enjoyable to bust out a good blog post than get onto those paper edits or mark those undergrad reports that have been burning a hole in my desk.

    Also..I recently went through a pack of the Freddo Party Mix and was quite disappointed by the number of Crunchie and Strawberry ones in there. Far too many plain and milky tops if you ask me!

  24. lululu October 18, 2009 at 06:04 #

    very inspiring post!
    honestly no one has asked me why i blog. i think most ppl just assume there must be some reasons. the more ppl read your blog, the more they figure out why u blog. and that's the thing i love blogging – like u r getting to know ppl out there who are perfect strangers.

  25. Karine October 18, 2009 at 13:18 #

    I do believe writing for academic reasons is painful. I include it in the many reasons why I will never, never do a Ph.D (MA is enough for me).

    I love your reasons why you are blogging. I would add one for myself: try to fill in my free times :) (I realize I had way too much free time times after my MA lol).

  26. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 18, 2009 at 14:16 #

    Tasty Trix – so true about things you HAVE to write vs. things you WANT to write. The latter is so much easier!

    Carolyn – yes the idea of being your own boss definitely appeals to me.

    Brie – thanks so much!

    Divina – thanks – your love for what you do comes across in your blog

    High/Low – that's a great reason for starting a blog! And I can't wait to meet you next month!

    Dad (Geoff) – LOL indeed! I am glad you enjoy it – you're my toughest critic!

    Penny – it's cool to see the progression in our blogs, isn't it?

    Mum – gotta love the rockmelons!

    Conor – BOO to the lack of Strawberry Freddos – they're my faves! And you're welcome re: getting off your arse – I might need the same push myself one of these days!

    lululu – Yes the networking and community aspect is something I hadn't expected but it's been quite exciting!

    Karine – I actually DO enjoy academic writing but not when it means I can't write creatively anymore…. As for the free time, well I don't really HAVE the time to blog but I am finding myself making time since it's so enjoyable!

  27. Chow and Chatter October 18, 2009 at 16:39 #

    what a cute post love how your mum send you pics my mum does the same have voted for ya

  28. whineaux October 18, 2009 at 19:33 #

    Mardi – I can't say why you blog, but I'm glad you do. I blog to procrastinate as well — and I read other's blogs for inspiration, realaxation and the sense of community. I'm not the only one that runs straight to the grocery when traveling — I now know you do too! It's nice to be among friends!

  29. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 18, 2009 at 21:05 #

    Chow – I know (and thanks)!

    whineaux – Indeed – it's nice to know I am not alone in my grocery store obsession!!

  30. Katja October 18, 2009 at 23:49 #

    I found my post!
    Hi Mardi! Here you go writing (yet) another post that leads me to self reflect. I think this is a really good one. For me, my work and play have always ended up somehow relating to food.

    I began blogging as an outlet, but mostly as PR for the store (search engines) and to stretch my wings a bit. I sell foods from all over the world -mainly because I have never had the opportunity to travel outside of North America.

    But I did grow up eating foods from everywhere for a variety of reasons;neighborhoods, schools etc..

    I wanted to describe what I sell but I also wanted to see those same things created in their hometowns.

    I was shy to accept the ask to join Foodbuzz. But now I can't imagine not being in this community, everyone I have 'met' is on the same path with me. I feel lucky and happy to be a part of FB. Hey, I'm doing the "she sounds so korny dance", can you hear the violins?

    SO yes, I am interested in knowing why people here started blogging. I love that the world in food is small!
    You know Mardi the perfect example is when you told me the other day about the ficocoa people offering you a sample because they read the comment you made on my post! Seriously that is a Small World moment!

    Your Mom does have a good eye!

    traveleatlove having my own store, I can tell you that there are spies everywhere. What would you think if someone came to where you worked and started taking pictures?

    Mom should just say (ask)that she is snapping a quick picture for her daughters food blog. Better yet-Mardi do you have a foodbuzz press pass you could send her? lol- sign her up as your roving reporter :-).
    Ok I am out of wind!

  31. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 19, 2009 at 01:21 #

    Katja – thanks for your thoughtful comments and insight. Love the small world-ness of the food community and like you, I love Foodbuzz. Wish I had found it earlier… Thanks for reading!

  32. Mary-Laure October 19, 2009 at 02:54 #

    Yay for your mum's MacBook!

  33. The Best Family October 19, 2009 at 03:31 #

    mardi, i'm so glad you are blogging! for while i have my own two little ones to keep me on my toes, i love to see your photos and love to read about your adventures, be they in the kitchen, the grocery store, or some far-flung corner of our world. i have so enjoyed seeing how your blog has developed and am thrilled that you are having so much fun with it. another great reason to blog (at least for me!) is to simply remember things. i have a terrible memory, and blogging helps me to remember moments in time that i might otherwise forget. and one day i may be very glad to have those digital memories. thanks for sharing your thoughts here – and sharing your gorgeous photos and lovely words with us every day!

  34. Paula - bell'alimento October 19, 2009 at 04:57 #

    Mardi! What a beautiful post, I find I blog for many of the same reasons as you! I Love that your Mum reads you daily & contributes her fotos (great job Mardi's Mum!). Thanks so much for sharing your stories with us! You're def inspiring on many levels ;)

  35. 5 Star Foodie October 19, 2009 at 15:02 #

    I blog for similar reasons as well. It's a perfect outlet to share my culinary talents without being a professional chef with a busy schedule. Your mom's pictures are great!

  36. The Duo Dishes October 19, 2009 at 18:55 #

    Guess a good blogger can be born and bred. :) You've done a great job sharing and cooking. Best of luck in Nov!

  37. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 19, 2009 at 19:00 #

    Best family – thanks so much for your kind comments and for always reading since the beginning!!

    Paula – thanks for you lovely comments!

    5 Star – I will pass that on to my mum! And yes, you definitely have lots of culinary talent to share!

    Duo – why thank you! And thanks – I am up against some stiff competition!

  38. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 19, 2009 at 19:01 #

    Mary Laure – My dad does have good taste, it's true (plus, I would not have let another PC in the house!!!)

  39. MenuManiac October 20, 2009 at 13:14 #

    Mardi –

    I blog for almost the exact reasons…except I'm just learning how to take photos! Photography is certainly tougher than I thought.

    Keep blogging!
    Jordana

  40. Sandra Austoni October 20, 2009 at 16:05 #

    Thank you Mardi for sharing your thoughts! You are doing an amazing job and we can tell how muck you like it -))
    Keep on the good work!

    Sandra

  41. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 21, 2009 at 01:16 #

    Jordana – you're not wrong – the photos are the hardest part!!

    Sandra – thanks for stopping by. Yep, I am having fun!

  42. My Man's Belly October 21, 2009 at 02:50 #

    Mardi, I love reading your posts and recipes. I feel your pain when it comes to having to write for work or school. The only writing Iever did before blogging was for work or my Master's. Not exactly light reading.

    No one thought that I could write…including myself, but I think I found my voice through my food blog.

    Like you, I get the biggest rush when people tell me that they've made one of my recipes and they really like it. You should look at positive inspiration as your positive energy being put out into the world.

    Keep on inspiring.

  43. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 21, 2009 at 19:00 #

    My Man's Belly – thanks for your kind comments :-)

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