For the past two months and change, I have been staging (read: chef apprenticing without pay) at a French restaurant a few days a week. Countless friends have suggested that I blog about my experiences, and my answer is always, “Yeah, I should do that.”
Yet, here I am 24 working days and 178 hours into my professional kitchen experiment, and I haven’t written one word on my blog.
In fact, I haven’t touched this blog in ages. I have come up with a number of reasons (read: excuses) for why this is: I am too busy. I would rather spend my time on paid writing projects. I am too burned out to write for myself after writing for hire.
But the answer I keep coming back to is, Why would anyone care what I have to say?
We reached the social media oversaturation point a long time ago. Now everyone is “positioning themselves” with a social media strategy to launch their brand, their product, their book to the public so they can make it big, or at least make some money. Don’t I want to write the next Julie & Julia or at least release a cookbook?
When it comes to food blogs in particular, we have an abundance of supply and a fair amount of demand. Not only does every food magazine release its list of top food blogs I need to be following, but top food blogs make their own top food blog lists.
Oh, I think to myself, I better bookmark all of these so I can never look at them again. I have enough on my schedule every day without homework assigned by the editors of Bon Appétit.
Should I contribute to this food blog fetish? I am not sure. Is my apprenticeship boring? Not in the least. Am I learning things that might be interesting to other cooks out there? Most definitely. Perhaps most of all, am I having fun? Hell yes.
And … so what?
What do I have to add to the existing discourse of the foodiesphere when I would say there is already plenty being said? Who wants to read what I have to say?
Then I realized I am asking the wrong question. What I need to ask myself is, Do I have something I need to say? Not do I have anything to say because we all probably say far more than we need to in a given day. More like, what is that something that keeps pushing to the surface of my thoughts despite my repeated efforts to dismiss it? What do I need to say?
If I say what must be said, then that is enough. And if I am lucky, a few readers will think it was worth saying.