My sweet friend Debi tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Tour.
What’s the Writing Process Blog Tour, you ask? Well, it’s me sharing with you what I’m writing, why my writing process differs from others, why I write what I do and how my writing process works. It’s also kind of a sneak peek into my office (kitchen) and a project I’m working on that I’ve not yet shared with all of you. So here goes!
What are you currently writing?
I am always writing recipes, writing recommendations for restaurants where I’ve dined and sharing travel tips for the areas where I’ve been dining. Added in to the mix is a weekly Soften Saturday post with tips from me on living life with a Softer touch.
But here’s what I’m most excited to share with you: I’m currently working on a cookbook. My cooking class students ask me so often for a cookbook that I am finally investing the time in making it happen. And from a selfish perspective, I would like to have my favorite and oft-used recipes in a book that I can use in my own kitchen. While the completion of this project is still far off, I am committed to making it happen. I’m diligently working on a proposal to submit to a publisher who I would really enjoy working with, but am also not afraid of self-publishing if it will get my original recipes into the hands of those who need delicious recipes that also fit into their dietary needs and desires.
That’s the broad scope of where I’m headed. To narrow down what I’m writing this week, it’s all about hummus. I’m writing my super simple tips for making homemade hummus and sharing a few hummus recipes that will knock your socks off. It’s great fun for me (and rewarding) to share simple and healthy cooking tips with y’all!
What makes your work different?
I work hard to make my writing and recipes enjoyable by a wide audience, not just those who eat gluten-free or those who eat a plant-based diet. Yes, the cupcakes are gluten-free. No, you can’t tell. Yes, the pasta salad is vegan, but you’ll never notice. It’s that tidbit that makes my work different. I don’t want to just reach those who need to eat gluten-free, I want to reach those who enjoy eating good tasting food and having fun in the kitchen but have the need to cook for someone who is gluten-free or vegetarian or dairy-free or whatever it may be.
While this doesn’t make me absolutely unique, I am committed to developing original recipes to share with my readers and test them in my own kitchen prior to publishing them. I want to make certain that my readers have a recipe that works and tastes great. I want to help them travel and eat well while doing so, which is the foundation of my I Ate Here series.
Why do you write what you do?
Whoa. This is a deep question, one that I could invest much time in answering. I write what I do because I really, really, really want to help folks like me eat food that is ding-dang-diggity delicious and enjoyable by all, regardless of their dietary restrictions or whims. I write what I do because I don’t ever again want to hear someone say, “Now that I can’t eat gluten, I’ll never be able to go on a vacation again. It’s too hard.” Because I don’t want to hear someone say, “I can’t enjoy Thanksgiving with my family because I don’t know how to cook the classics in a way that fits my dietary needs.” Because I never, ever, ever want to have another mama of a sweet little cry on my shoulder because birthday cupcakes seem impossible after a Celiac diagnosis. That’s why I write what I do, to help folks like me eat healthy food AND make it so delicious that the entire family can enjoy it.
Oh, and also, I write what I do because I enjoy food and travel. Next to breathing, eating is the common thread we all share. We are all connected by food. I enjoy connecting with all of you through food.
How does your writing process work?
I’ll divide this into two categories: recipe development and restaurant/travel recommendations.
For recipe development, I start here in my kitchen.
My recipes are handwritten in this book, purchased at my favorite boutique.
Prior to this book, I wrote recipes in smaller notebooks. I have a stack of them from the past five years. I fear I may be the only one who can decipher my scribbles, notes and revisions, which makes my cookbook project even more important to me. This year I invested in a larger hardcover book in hopes that it would last a couple of years. What’s written inside may not be “The Next Big Thing,” but it makes me smile when I see it. I write the recipe on one page, along with the date I created it. Then I write my thoughts on the original version of the recipe, along with revisions I deem necessary. Beneath the recipe, I write changes from further testing along with the date I tested it. Once I’m satisfied with the recipe, I write the date I have published it. I also have a page of recipes ideas smack dab in the middle of the book. I keep a fancy post-it note on that page so I can find it easily when I have an idea to add.
For restaurant and travel recommendations, I start with this book. It lives in my purse. When I research an area where we will be traveling, I start a page for that area with restaurants we might want to visit, whether discovered online or recommended by friends. Then I write a page dedicated to that restaurant when we dine there, including what I ate, what I liked, thoughts on the atmosphere. I’ve discovered it’s important to write notes immediately after dining or I forget important details. I often find myself sitting outside a restaurant after a meal jotting down quick notes.
Getting all of this information about recipes and dining/travel transferred to my blog is the biggest challenge for me. I simply do not have enough hours in the day to write and blog as much as I would like. I currently have a backlog of twenty-plus recipes and probably as many restaurants to share with you. Perhaps this is a challenge many writers face: having time to write versus needing to pay the bills. For now, blogging is my expensive hobby but I hope to grow in that area so I can invest more time here and on my cookbook project!
So there you have it, my work in progress and a peek into how and why I write. Thanks to Debi for tagging me.
But wait…there’s more! I’m tagging one of my friends in the Writing Process Tour. My friend Robert writes Eatz n Thingz. I know Robert through the car community (we both enjoy fiesty little European automobiles) but we share an affinity for all things food. I really enjoy his restaurant reviews and recipes. I think you will, too!