Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why I Blog: Entry for Project Food Blog

Hi everybody!
I hope this Sunday finds you recovered from the weekend and ready for the work-week ahead.  I'm writing today to fulfill the first entry for a contest I entered called Project Food Blog.  The contest asks bloggers to write a post fitting an assignment each week and are judged on how well their post ranks against other bloggers.  Some bloggers pass on to the next challenge, and the eventual winner gets $10k and a year-long feature on Foodbuzz.  I chose to participate in the contest because I hope it will teach me some things about myself and my blog, even if it doesn't culminate in a win.
In particular, I think participating is worth it alone to be an impetus to write the entry post:  Why I Blog. I waited unti the last day to enter because I'm just like that, but also because this post has been rolling around in my brain for the last few days in various forms.

I blog because I see it as one crucial part in my learning process in the kitchen.
I have not always cooked.  In fact, I distinctly remember being a teenager and watching my mother sew and cook while I thought, "well, all that knowledge is going to die with her, because I'm sure not interested."  My uninterest in home crafts wasn't because I was some sort of radical feminist high-schooler; I just simply didn't care for it at the time.
I started living on my own, eating dorm food, and developed an interest in cuisine. When my thenboyfriend,now husband and I moved into our own apartment, we started cooking together and getting interested in food.  More so even then, we enjoyed simple seasonal foods because we lacked the space/equipment/knowhow to create more complex dishes.  Even though it was a 500 sq. foot one bedroom apartment, we gathered around food with our families.

We even experimented with photographing food.

After that, we got married and moved into a rental house which had a gas stove and a kitchen large enough to hold all the wedding gifts we received.  

We gained experience photographing prep work.

and entertained friends.

That fall, in that house, I wrote my first blog post in September of 2007.

The first recipe I gave was for chicken pot pie, which I still use today.  This is the quality of photography I was displaying at the time:

I kept track of meals in a food journal.  This book became the seed for my blog.

Then we bought a house and started to grow food in a garden, and the documentation process took off. We got a DSLR and a laptop and I have worked harder to compose photographs and write up clear and interesting instructions.  We found a passion for local and ethical foods, and enjoyed the pleasures of more sophisticated food every year.

If you have ever seen this illustrated lecture on motivation (well worth 10 minutes!) you'll remember the speaker discussing the three things that make people do work well.  He was discussing this in terms of a business environment, exploring the idea of motivation, the topic for this post.  He said that there are three things which lead to personal satisfaction and better performance at a task: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  (He discusses this around 5:18 after summarizing a study that showed money to be an ineffective motivator for complex tasks.)  

These are three things that blogging gives to me.  I chose what I write and when I publish it.  I have spent time and effort improving my level of cooking, my photography skills, and my writing style on this blog.  And my personal blogging purpose is to share my journey learning to find, prepare, and preserve the best food out there.  

So, this is why I blog.  I appreciate the opportunity to write this post.  If you see it fit, you can vote for me in the contest here


Sarah said...

Yay! What a great post. I can't wait to follow you through all of these contests.

Diana@Spain in Iowa said...

Alicia, I had no idea you started blogging in 2007. I am definitely inspired by your passion for local and sustainable foods. Best wishes my friend!!

jacob's kitchen said...

Great post! I stumbled across your blog through the competition and I am glad that I did. It's really lovely. I look forward to reading more in the future. I voted for you! =)

Good luck!

You can check out my PFB post at :

Crystal's Cozy Kitchen said...

Your post made me remember all the apartment my husband and I have had... some of those kitchens were frightful! I hope you do well with PFB! I voted for you.
If you'd like to check out my post it is here:

Maralyn Jones said...

Nice post..i really liked it...

Lea @ Healthy Coconut said...

Hi Alicia,

I just found your blog. I love reading the stories and personal journey of bloggers. I am in the beginning of my blogging days and it has been fun so far.

Good luck on the Foodbuzz project.

I'm not sure if my name will show up on this comment, it's a bit confusing but I will get used to it.

~ Lea

Lara Alexander said...

I appreciate the thoughts about motivation and I agree, if it were not true, there would not be so many passionate people blogging away without earning a dime! I love the photo of the onions!

Gina MarySol Ruiz said...

Great post. You have my vote. Good luck.

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