After a very long break, I'd like to welcome you to the new Broad Appetite! I was fortunate enough to have the beautiful and talented designer, Carrie Walters, create my new logo and help with web design. Carrie is not only a master of her trade, but she has a passion for food - so much so that she published a cookbook, 804ork. It's a gorgeous collection of recipes from some of Richmond's best restaurants. I've actually been helping her with photography and recipe editing for the second edition of the book.
Speaking of what I've been up to while MIA, here are a few pictures from the past few months.
Although it may seem I was keeping pretty busy, the truth is I was in a blogger rut. For the past few months I was completely unable to bring myself to post.
After reading a slew of self-help books (recommendations below) to get to the root of my paralysis, I’m finally moving forward.
My official line to you guys (and myself) was that I needed time to revamp the website and work on other projects. But when those were done, I still hesitated. Why? To answer that, I had to be really honest with myself.
I found myself feeling anxious and insecure. And the blog started to feel less like fun and more like a chore.
After winning Saveur’s Best New Blog award in 2014, I suddenly felt a new pressure to perform and constantly compared myself to other, better, food bloggers. I was offered promotional products and opportunities, and was obligating myself to things I felt lukewarm about. Also, the more food blogs I followed the more they all started to look the same, and I knew my blog was no different.
I was getting jaded. The blog was going down a certain path at full speed, and I wasn’t sure if it was the direction I wanted. The problem was, I didn’t know which way I wanted it to go.
So I put on the brakes and took a vacation from it all, a much-needed break to relax, think, and course correct. At first, it felt amazing to completely disconnect. It was so nice not to worry about how many page views, likes, or shares I got. I felt liberated from the need to instagram and tweet every morsel I ate. I could just enjoy.
But after a while it started to feel more like I was giving up rather than just taking some time. I felt like I was letting everyone down (including myself), and I’d grimace every time my mom called and asked about my next post.
For the last couple months, I’d wake up determined to start back up. I would have grand plans to test recipes, practice photography, and write – only to end up doing nothing and feeling even worse about myself when I went to bed. I knew I wasn’t lazy, so I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get myself moving.
So I starting reading book after book about personal success and professional effectiveness. I read about procrastination and motivation. I started meditating in the morning, and I really analyzed my feelings. I realized that I got caught up with making the blog a “success.” I worried too much about what everyone else thought. Instead of being motivated by an excitement for food, I was driven by a fear of failure, which is a pretty stupid reason to do something that’s supposed to be fun.
So I decided I had two choices. Either continue working on the blog, knowing there would be ups and downs and a lot of hard work, or quit and feel the pain of regret and unfulfilled potential. I decided on the former, but this time around I would drop the fear. I vowed the blog would be my space on the web where I would share only those things that are a true expression of myself.
I still don’t know exactly what I want from this blog, but that will come in time. What I know for sure is that I’m going to blog for myself first, and if anyone enjoys it - that will be a bonus. I've made a promise to myself that Broad Appetite will always be a creative project that will come from a place of excitement and possibility.
If you're ever in a professional, personal, or even spiritual rut like I was, I highly recommend the following books: