Right now I feel overwhelmed, and that’s why this post is not related to food in any way. It’s just me trying to make sense of all the information I consumed in the past days. Thoughts in my head are flying around bouncing of my temples, stumbling upon each other and producing tiny explosions. Sometimes these explosions seem like bursts of revelation to me. But after a few minutes of consideration they are usually thrown out as irrelevant, cliché or plain boring.
What am I rambling about? Oh, it’s just me trying to run a blog. Am I even allowed to say it here? You, as readers of this blog, are not supposed to see the other side, right? Like clients at a restaurant are not supposed to see the kitchen and all the dirty work going on there. I should, probably, call a friend and complaint for half an hour about the hardships of my life (which are completely exaggerated, if not unreal). Nevertheless, I chose to express myself in a blog post hoping it will make more sense in the end. I even preemptively created a category side notes for such non-food-related occasions.
The thing is I discovered The Everywhereist today. It happened around 3 pm and I couldn’t bring myself to get any work done afterwards. I kept reading and reading until my eyes hurt. Until I started feeling a little bit like a stalker.
Before I stumbled upon The Everywhereist I was reading about the importance of finding you own voice. And before that about SEO optimization, travel photography, and social media promotion. By the end of the day, not surprisingly, “Everything was in confusion in the Oblonskys’ house”. That’s how I would lay out the problem in my native Russian, using the words of Tolstoy (yea, that’s what we do in Russia: throw in a quote by Tolstoy here and there).
There are way too many things to juggle around when blogging: post-writing, pic-editing, site-optimizing, link-building, Facebook-updating, sane-staying. Between all of those things the most intimidating for me is finding my voice. Because you can learn SEO and social media strategies. But where the hell do you look for a voice? Why is it hiding anyways?
Inevitably you look at the big names out there and, although it’s the worst idea ever, you compare yourself to them. Every how-to-become-the-next-big-thing blog post will tell you not to compare yourself to others, but you still do.
Geraldine’s travel blog has such a clear distinct and recognizable voice it made me doubt myself. It made me intimidated at the thought that I will never be able to write like that. But it also inspired me and it made me run to the cafe early next morning and start typing away.
And If I actually do the thing all those how-to-become-the-next-big-thing blog posts recommend and compare myself to myself at the start of this road, it’s a beautiful thing to look at – as Mr. Trump would say it. Only Mr. Trump rarely knows what he’s talking about, but I do. My first posts on this blog were so clumsy it hurts to read them. My first pictures were unfocused and shadowy.
The truth is I enjoy doing what I am doing right now. And I have all the time in the world to be persistent in getting where I want to get. A year ago I was watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown thinking how awesome it would be to have a job like that. I am still not employed by CNN, nor do I go to the most controversial corners of the planet in search of intense political or social angle. But I do get to eat a lot of delicious food and talk about it. That’s definitely a step in the right direction.
I still have a lot to learn and find my voice, but I guess the take away from this midnight rambling is to enjoy the journey to the goal you set. And when you come across somebody’s work that almost makes you cry – that good it is – not to be intimidated, but inspired. Remember that this amazing person has also started somewhere and was scared and, most likely, looked up to someone great too.
As a blogger the best advice I can give myself is to write and read more. As Larry King said: “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” It’s not an easy task to find your voice, not like you could ask somebody if they’ve seen it (probably better said: heard it). But just in case, if you do hear it on these pages, please let me know!
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AUTHOR: YULIA DYUKOVA
Yulia is a Russian food and travel blogger who found home first in Sri Lanka for 3 years, then in Brazil for a year and is currently based in Austin, Texas. She is the kind of person who starts a research of the new country by googling “what to eat in…” instead of “what to visit in…” Yulia is a self-proclaimed “food nerd” who will spend hours reading on the origins of pecan pie before trying it and who doesn’t consider waiting in line of 50 people to get a cronut a waste of time. She finds it hard to keep her delicious findings to herself and that is the reason why this blog exists.