A big part of being a blogger is a need to be heard. You know that you’ve got something to share and blogging is your venue of choice for communicating that information. The soul of a chef revolves around the desire to feed people. You want to create amazing, delicious food and nurture your diners in whatever style works for you. For some chefs that means creating old fashioned comfort foods, for other that means pushing the envelope and challenging the senses with modern creations. The beauty of our profession is that it makes room for chefs of all different varieties to find their audience. The blogosphere does the same thing for its bloggers. It creates a medium through which people can reach out and find their audience.
Of course every action produces a reaction. They may be positive or negative or somewhere in between, there are always reactions to the things we do. Over on Eggbeater Shuna is talking about whether blogging openly about work can be a positive thing. In her case there were serious ripples and repercussions stirred up by her writing. That happens. Lots of people are driven to shut down their blogs or write anonymously to protect their peace and privacy or that of the people close to them. The creation of parameters is a personal decision, one that is more fluid than most because bloggers can always reconsider and shift directions according to their comfort level.
Creating a blog is insidious. Once you begin it eases itself into other aspects of your life. You begin to look at experiences as blog posts, debating whether something is interesting enough or perhaps too interesting to write about on the site. You discover that the line that you have drawn in sand about what is material for the blog and what is personal begins to blur. You feel as though your readers accept you completely, forgetting that they are only exposed to the small fragment that gets published each day. You are complimented and vilified by turns and you wonder how people find the vitriol to fling at someone they don’t know. Somehow we rarely question the compliments, a quirk of human nature and our own egos. You remember that you have donned the target of your own accord and remind yourself that when you speak publicly you invite any and all responses. Still, at least in our case, you keep on blogging.
Some days it’s tough to say what you believe. There are moments when omission feels like the greater part of valor. There are always people who will agree unequivocally with what you have to say and those who will disagree completely. You will be alternatively an inspiration and a scapegoat. You’re going to make big mistakes and accidentally step on lots of toes. You’re going to meet very interesting people and make connections that would never have been possible before you started blogging. You’re going to learn where those lines underneath the shifting sands are actually etched in the stone beneath. Your website will be a tool for self-discovery if you’re open to the process. As we say in the kitchen, it’s all about execution. If you’re going to blog, do it wholeheartedly and make it your own. Authenticity is more important than polish.