on getting back in the swing of it

March 12, 2012

Hello.

I don’t know if you reading this right now are someone who visits this space often or hardly at all. Perhaps it’s your first time. Someone out there reading probably recognises that things have been a little different of late. January came and with it a slump. First, there was sadness that meant I didn’t feel like blogging and then there was a busy schedule coupled with a funk. I couldn’t think of what to share with you. I had nothing to say. Sure I posted a couple of things but considering I’ve kept a tight three-posts-a-week ship running for the last couple of years, it seemed to me at least that this space was becoming a little empty.

Amongst all of that, I read a blog post from the fabulously talented and inspiring Brian Ferry. I’ve followed Brian for a while since he seemed to be living my opposite as an American expat in London. I love seeing his beautiful pictures of my homeland coupled with words about the strangeness of it all. Wildly familiar.

Brian wrote in this post about honesty, authenticity, and getting real, in terms of food photography. It struck an enormous chord for me. I struggle mightily with being fascinated and inspired by many wonderful food photographers, stylists, and bloggers. As we all know deep down, comparison is the killer of joy and I have longed to be better at what I do, more perfect, and to create photos more like those of the people I admire, sometimes to my detriment.

And what about reality? I have a full-time job that I love. This here, this little blog? This is a hobby. I have to write that down to remind myself that I’m not supposed to be awesome at this, I’m just meant to enjoy it and have fun. Perfectionism is a serious bitch.

I started this blog because in reading other blogs I thought, I have something to contribute to this conversation. I may only just be learning how to cook and bake but I want to sit at the table and be part of it, not just a spectator.

In the spirit of that and because I finally feel like I have my groove back I just want to say hi…I’m here now, and I hope to be here more often, with pictures, stories and recipes that are both a celebration of real moments, as well as of those things I find to be beautiful in food.

Cheers.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @ Jen and Company March 12, 2012 at 6:34 am

I’m glad you’re here now. I like it when you’re here. :)
Hope the funk is working its way out.
Looking forward to reading more!

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Amy P. March 12, 2012 at 7:03 am

I hear you, I’ve been in a total cooking slump lately myself; this point of the year is the least exciting time to cook and talk about it.

I agree too that blogging can be challenging mentally when you have a vision in your head of how fabulous your blog can be and then you don’t have the time to achieve the full vision. But I think you do a lovely job, Angharad, and I always look forward to checking out your photos and what you have to say.

So, welcome back! I’m glad you’re back too.

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Claire March 12, 2012 at 7:32 am

So glad you’re feeling better. I love checking out the great recipes you post and you’ve inspired so many delicious meals in my house. As a fellow expat Brit I enjoy reading how you bring your two culinary worlds together. Can’t wait to see what’s next :)

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Lily March 12, 2012 at 7:55 am

When I was “stranded” (in what I tell Americans was the ‘Arkansas of France’), working in France–boy, howdy. A blog of any kind–especially a food blog–would’ve been a massive consolation. I wasn’t welcomed. They thought I was English (Welsh, to be exact, due to my accent). I’m American…couldn’t convince them. Hated me. Can be shortly surmised by saying within days of moving to my tenament, they’d sprayed the French equivalent of “Get out English Bitch” on my building. I hadn’t even met the neighbors yet! Anyway…

The FOOD, though? That was amazing. I learned a lot and experimented a lot and FED a lot of Germans (one roommate was German and would bring home German tourists to be fed by moi). Lots of fabulous things went on but I was isolated. The internet (I’m talking twenty or so years ago, when normal people didn’t have access) is a boon!

I’m happy you’re enjoying your blog (I am!). I’ve recently felt rather badly about the “quality” of photos on mine and the fact that the best photos couldn’t make up for the way my food looks (my aim has always been FLAVOR, not presentation; I make ugly, fantastic-tasting food).

Your blog today made me feel better. Your photos are amazing but I shouldn’t compare mine to yours or anybody elses. I enjoy cooking and sharing. That’s why I do it. Remembering that is a good thing. Thank you!

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Danielle March 12, 2012 at 8:03 am

Hi :)

Welcome back. I’m so happy you are.

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Kathryn March 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

Oh yes, I can relate to all of this. The slump, life getting on top of you, the endless comparisons. So glad to see that you’re back xo

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Kara (karascuisine.com) March 12, 2012 at 8:29 am

You’re certainly not alone in your slump. I’m in a bit of a blogging funk myself. I’ve decided the only pressure is from myself and it’s ok to take breaks. Real life comes first. I’m glad you’re back into the swing of it. I really enjoy reading your posts, seeing your lovely pictures, and trying your recipes.

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Emily @LivingLongfellow March 12, 2012 at 8:29 am

glad you’re back :) mark and I long for Korea where we used to live. sometimes we just wabt to sell our house and return. it wasnt even our home country and we miss it so much. maybe or maybe not thats how you feel- I can only imagine how hard it is. England is gorgeous. another blog you may read is like that one you read. ediblepsychology- a wisconsin girl living and eating in england.

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Hayley @ Oat Couture March 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

Ahh I can completely relate but I have to say I find your writing, recipes and photography fantastic and all three are at a standard that I can only dream about reaching so please don’t be too hard on yourself! :) Either way though I’m really glad your getting back into the swing of things!

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holly March 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm

this was a lovely post, and one i can totally relate to. sometimes, time away to decompress and think is exactly what we need. i think your writing, photos and posts are already so lovely – so i can’t even imagine the things you have in store!

hugs my friend,
holly

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Marisa March 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Glad you are getting back in the swing of things :) And I know exactly what you mean about comparison – being the killer of joy. One of my favorite quotes and something I have to remind myself of daily – because it seriously is a HUGE joykiller. And it is so easy to indulge in comparison instead of taking heart in your own abilities and talents.

But please know, and this is completely genuine, your blog is absolutely lovely. Your photographs are gorgeous and lush and your writing style is evocative and makes me want to keep coming back for more. I read quite a few blogs and truly – yours is at the top of my list. Not that my opinion is all that important.

Love you and your blog. And you know what else – your warmth really shines through which I find is often lacking on many other blogs. I so appreciate the friendliness and open arms you exhibit here. It is a rarity out there in the blogosphere :) Hope you will keep keepin’ on!

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Natalie March 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Welcome back! I’ve loved your blog for a long while, now, so I look forward to seeing more of what you have to share.

Also, I friggin’ love those tomatoes! Where did you find them in Minneapolis?!

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snowrose March 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Hi! Glad to see you back and posting. Even though I was a little slow in getting around to reading last week, you were still missed.

BTW, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to comparing yourself to others who blog. Your posts are very enjoyable and I love your photos!

Be assured, you are an excellent YOU! :D

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Amanda March 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

slumps suck, and it sounds as though it’s going around. your photographs are lovely. being a photographer, i fully understand what you mean… its like we are chasing the photographic dream.. or something to that sort. your blog is wonderful, and be sure to just enjoy it, we all love it!

cheers!

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sofia March 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm

the fact that writing a blog isn’t your only passion (and thus you don’t have nearly as much time to devote to it) is a GOOD THING. being multi-faceted and living in the (real?) world is also a very good thing. embrace the breaks, be easy on yourself, and keep up the enjoyable blog posts :)

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Kate March 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm

This is spot on how I’ve been feeling, how I’ve felt this time each year as I swing between what’s left of winter and the long, slow climb to spring. Nothing inspires me. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one. I hope you don’t mind a shout out to you in the post I’m planning for this week, as you’ve really hit it straight on how I’ve been feeling. That and the post you referenced, which was like an arrow to the truth that I didn’t even know was there. Thank you for opening my eyes to what I couldn’t see.

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Stephanie March 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Thank you so much for your post. I just read Brian’s post, too, and you both make me feel so relieved.

I love taking photos of food for my blog and I’m often very happy with my real little photos . . . until I see another blog with food gorgeously and perfectly styled like it should be in a magazine. I enjoy looking at those perfect photos, but they make me wonder if I measure up. But the fact is, I will never measure up, because I want to eat my food — while it’s hot! — not take the time to make the perfect place setting with twine and antique silverware.

I am starting to learn that I can enjoy taking whatever photos I want because they are true to my kitchen and my cooking — thank you for the reassurance.

I look forward to seeing more of you again soon . . . although honestly, honey, three times a week with a full-time job is very ambitious! Do what you can do and we your readers will be thrilled to see you whenever you can make it. (:

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts March 13, 2012 at 4:04 am

Welcome back! I’m sorry to hear the start of the year was a little down…and glad to hear you’re back into the swing of things again. I find your posts beautifully presented and honest in the sense that they aren’t a cookie cutter equivalent of anything else out there. I hope you find a balance of blogging that works just right for you :)

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Karla March 13, 2012 at 9:55 am

I’m glad your back! I’ve missed your posts, humor and insight. I’ve loved your blog and your recipes (the NY bagels . . . one of my all time favorites for Sunday mornings now!). Perfection is overrated. . . I like exactly what you have been doing!

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Emily March 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

Glad to see you are back! Your beautiful photography and deliciously creative recipes inspire me. Keep your head up – you are appreciated!

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Laurie Jesch-Kulseth @ Relishing It March 13, 2012 at 11:20 am

You already know how I feel…I’m glad you’re back. But, if you should need another break again, don’t be so hard on yourself. Life happens…and living it is fun! Everyone gets into blogging slumps…it’s normal. That being said, I love your blog and ALL that you bring to the table. :)

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Mary Kay DeSola March 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm

What a great post, as I can see from all of the above posts it hits a cord with so many. Being new to this blogging world I’ve been working hard to try and be worthy of writing a blog and its good to remember that as much as I want to be a “successful blog” I started it because it was fun and I like food! Thanks for the reminder :)

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Kelly March 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I’m so glad you’re back! Even while you were in your “slump”, you still brought me smiles. Thank you for being so generous – making us smile, even when you didn’t feel like it.

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kat March 14, 2012 at 1:05 am

Ahh the bitch that is comparison. We all know it’s stupid, but we all continue to do it. And it’s truly awful. I can relate to this on so many levels. I’m not a blogger, just a reader. And I can tell you – there are times when I read these blogs and I feel bad because they seem to have these happy, fun-filled lives full of amazing friends and whatnot and it can make you feel…..crappy? Stupid to feel like that about people you don’t know….sigh.

Still, i love your blog. I adore food photography and as a fellow Brit connected to a Minnesotan (and making the move there this Autumn, ahhhh) I have always enjoyed your posts – they have almost made this move a lot easier for me! Knowing there is someone else out there who is living in the cities, and thriving!

Also, your blog is simply one of the most genuine blogs out there…..I don’t do sugar-coated la-la-la everything-is -awesome.

chin up :)

Kat
xox

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KatNeely March 15, 2012 at 7:20 am

I understand what you mean. I have just started contributing food posts to a blog and want to badly to already be posting perfect posts. The important thing is to make this feel like something you want to do not something that is one more thing on a long to-do list.

I really enjoy your posts too and will be glad to see more of them when you are ready.

Kat

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Imen McDonnell March 16, 2012 at 7:57 am

First of all, happy that you are ‘back into the swing of it’ Angharad…when I clicked on your post this morning (the new one) in my mind I was thinking that, gosh, there are just a couple handfuls of blogs that I feel really inspired by reading and that also have achievable recipes that are still very aspirational attached to them and yours is sooo one of them! I also enjoyed meeting you over the summer and you have such a warm, friendly energy in person that comes through in your writing as well. I am sorry to hear you’ve been in a slump…seems to be going around at the moment, seeing a good few bloggers taking a hiatus to regroup. Is blogging 3 times/week necessary? Well, I’ll read em if it is, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Your writing is fab, photographs are stunning and your recipes work, you have the holy trinity sorted, ha! Ok, I am carrying on a bit much now, but wanted to say something here because I love what you are doing! Now, I must go and find your recipe for bagels…. Imen xx

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Cooking on a Dime March 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Hi and welcome back!

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