If you attended the event or followed the #IFBC Twitter stream, you already know that for many this was more than a conference. It was, at times, inspiring, exhilarating, overwhelming and exhausting. Meaningful and memorable. Humbling and hilarious.
I went to IFBC in part to meet several lovely women I “knew” online, like Merry-Jennifer and Mardi, and along the way met so many more fabulous people.
Kat Flinn (a former Michigan gal), who reminded me to use all five of my senses when I write. Shauna James Ahern, who "writes from joy" and inspires me to do the same.
Merry-Jennifer and Shauna
James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur, who after his sensational keynote, told ME that my job sounds fascinating. Can you imagine?
And, the mesmerizing Penny De Los Santos, who, when viewing the world through her camera, follows her instincts, waits for the moment, then snaps it with eloquence and generous spirit. Her mantra of making photos remains etched in my mind.
They reminded me yet again that writing a blog is about capturing moments. It’s not just about the food. It’s about telling stories, sharing your self and allowing your voice to emerge.
Because, you know, I also went to Seattle to try to reconcile myself with my blog: why I do it, where to go with it, and how much of my time and heart to invest in it.
This summer, I pulled back. The chaos of life interfered. This blogging thing; it’s complicated and competitive. It’s a commitment. There’s so much I still don’t know. But what I do know, and what was reinforced to me this weekend at IFBC, is right now for me the most rewarding part of blogging is the sharing, the friendships and the community.
I also know that we all need to set our terms – our personal terms, not just SEO or CPMs or price per recipe, as important as they might be – and respect them.
So, I ask myself, where do I fit into the blogosphere? And, should I care? These are questions I’d hoped to answer at IFBC, and while I’m still in the process of setting my terms, I’m gaining clarity.
I started this blog as an outlet for my creativity and anxiety when my city and world seemed to be collapsing around me. The blog became a resting point, a haven of peace.
I went in with no expectations, and gained so much. I’ve met some beautiful, talented people that I hope will be in my life for years to come. Fresh Eats has been a window of friendship and opportunity in so many ways. Where it will take me remains to be seen. And that's ok.
My goal was, and is, to share my love of fresh home cooking, and hopefully inspire others to love it too. Creating stories, making photos, building a collection of memories. Works for me.
Note: A new, redesigned version of Fresh Eats is coming soon!