Writing Process Blog Tour

This post is dedicated to my daughter, Miss L. Today (June 9th) is her birthday. And everything I do is for her.

So I had a pretty great surprise last week when Indu from Indu’s International Kitchen asked me to join the Writing Process Blog Tour and a chance to share a bit about what I write, how I write, and why. Indu shares mouth-watering photos of incredible meals, many are traditional Kerala Indian recipes. She initially started out wanting to document these recipes and maintain a close connection to her mom through keeping those recipes and memories alive. She also experiments beyond those recipes as well and is passionate about using fresh, natural ingredients.

For the tour, she asked that I answer some questions. These are the same questions that I will ask of my nominees as well.

1. What am I working on?
Well, to be honest this endeavor has played out a bit differently from how usually tackle things with my type A perfectionist personality. Instead of planning and perfecting and editing and reworking, I just do this blog on the fly. It truly is a simple little snapshot of my life. Made dinner and thought it is one to post up? Let me snap a few pics right before it gets served up and write a few words. That avocado mousse was a winner, let’s share it so others can enjoy it. And I’m a writer and editor by trade so to quickly post up unedited, quickly written work (usually from my WP iPhone app) is the antithesis of the kind of work product I usually deliver. I think that’s why I love this. It’s just simple and real.

And to that point, my food is not fancy, nor do I have the eye (or the patience) to make it look magical with that amazing aesthetic touch some of my blogging colleagues have (wish I did though!). I just make food that tastes good, that hits nutritional notes, and follows my refined-sugar free, non-processed, dairy-fee, once gluten-free and now grain-free guidelines. It’s as simple as that. I think more than that and this would feel like work and then I wouldn’t want to do it anymore.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t know if it does or doesn’t. And frankly it doesn’t matter. Again, in the professional world of writing and editing and branding and marketing, that all matters and I need to stay on top of that. I don’t here. I’m not trying court clients, build a brand, or win notoriety. I’m just being me. I’m passionate about what I’ve learned this last year and a) now live my life this way and b) want to share it. That’s all there is to it.

And given that, and perhaps especially because of that, I am amazed that I have folks actually following my blog! To date I have nearly 150 followers. It still blows my mind. I’m not running analytics or doing market research. I’m not carefully scripting my posts. And try as I might, my plates are just not stunning. I do wish I had that eye because I know that I love looking at gorgeous dishes but again in the spirit of being authentically me – I just cook good food that’s good for you and I really love being able to share that.

3. Why do I write what I do?
If your new to my blog and read the first 2 questions and thought, well what exactly is “it”, I guess this is the place I can talk about that. In the last year, I got rid of most-to-all processed foods, refined sugars, gluten, grains, dairy and more. I watched my health improve immensely (you can read my About page for a little more on that), lost over 30 pounds of baby weight that still wasn’t coming off 4 years later (can you really even call it baby weight at that point??!!), and regained energy, strength, health and my old self. It’s been a truly life altering experience. But further, even as my healthier pre-baby gym-addicted self, I have realized now that I wasn’t healthy. And the way interacted with food wasn’t healthy. In truth, I really always had issues with food and weight and it took a lot of effort to be fit. I now know that it was because I continued to eat food that caused inflammatory responses in my body like aches, allergies, sinus infections and the weight fight, and never made the connection because we are not taught that in western medicine. I have now made the connection and while you think it might mean eating lettuce all day, it’s not. Damn, who can live like that? I can’t. I love food. It’s family and friends and memories and I show my love through the meals that I Iove to prepare. Cooking is also a creative outlet and I could never give that up. So I’ve made alterations but still eat yummy, hearty meals and decadent, rich sweets. And that’s what this blog is all about. I’m still learning as I go. When I learn something or stumble on something or experiment with ingredients, I tell you about it here.

4. How does my writing process work?
Honestly, as I said above, my writing process on this blog has differed from my usual time-consuming, detail-oriented, combed over writing style in other areas of my professional and academic life. Here, I’m just being me. I become inspired, I cook, and I write about it. Sometimes I may share a personal story or memory if it strikes me. I’m usually standing in my kitchen, phone in hand, writing my post over the kitchen counter. This blog is probably the most honest and real I’ve ever been. And they say that’s the key in writing. I was never good at that though – always needed that polish and that sell which is why marketing-oriented writing found me. Don’t get me wrong, I honestly engage my target demographic, and authenticity is the cornerstone of my professional writing philosophy, but there is market research to begin with and spit polish to conclude with. Here,there’s no beginning, middle or end. It’s just the journey. In real time.

And now to nominate a few of my favorite bloggers to carry the the blog tour torch!

FoodRadical – Cathy is passionate about whole foods and cooking fabulous recipes that accommodate food allergies and other dietary needs. She cooks incredible food and writes amazing, often very touching personal stories around her food. She is actually going off on a food tour this summer that she will blog about. That alone, makes her worth following!

Cocina de Cella – Though not in my Paleo, AIP, grain-free vein, Cella cooks delicious meals, puts together beautiful plates, and shares bit of her family and life. One of my faves!

Lori from Creating Beauty in the Kitchen is a blog I’ve just recently found. She cooks amazing, gorgeous recipes that are right up my nutritional alley! And I now think of her as an ally! For example, I have been wanting to play around with a non-refined sugar jam and just didn’t get to it. Lori did it and so now I have the recipe!

Mirror of Health shares organic, natural, skin care recipes – something I have now started to dabble in. It occurred to me, if I’m taking such care as to what I put in my body, why put chemicals on my skin, the largest organ of my body?!

I hope my nominees will accept the baton and continue the tour with blog posts on June 16th.