I’m not sure what exactly the deciding factor was–the numerous false “return-to-blogging” starts, the fact that I’m simply not spending much time in the kitchen these days, or just the difficulty in returning to a neglected hobby–but the decision has been made. I’ll be ending the No-Recipe Life blog.
It’s been several years since I last did any sort of regular blogging, so perhaps I’ll catch up a bit on what’s been happening. I don’t want to go on and on about why I’ve decided not to continue this particular blog or the things that have happened in my life, so I’ve tried to keep it more general, but include enough detail to relate to. You can let me know if I achieved that or not…
As I said, I haven’t really been cooking that much, which was the main reason I started this blog: to share my personal method of cooking enjoyable meals without having to follow strict rules, through a combination of simple cooking techniques and a dose of experimentation with spice and ingredient combinations. Over the past few years my food habits have grown pretty bad. Way too much takeout (but very little eating out at restaurants, which I miss quite a bit), definitely more frozen food, chips, and purchased pastries than are good for me, and almost no actual cooking to speak of. I still tend to drink a lot of coffee, and not as much water as I should. A lot of the fruits and vegetables I buy go bad. I’ve gained back way too much of the weight I once lost, and now that I’m 31 as opposed to 24, it’s going to be way harder to drop pounds, especially if I can’t find a good enough motivation. Vanity doesn’t seem to be quite the push I need, but I really want to fit back into a few of the dresses it’s hard to part with.
I have become a little overwhelmed with the stuff I have and stopped shopping too much, but have developed a greater desire to go out and do things, especially to travel (to foreign countries if possible, although at the moment I don’t have a valid passport). I’ve watched about a million videos on minimalism and decluttering. I think they’re fairly satisfying to watch, but I have not made any progress lately in my own decluttering process. I can’t seem to work out which things I should let go and which I need to keep … before you ask, I did read Marie Kondo’s book and I am planning to reread it soon to try to get some momentum on this project, which feels rather like a life makeover.
I stopped copyediting, and it was partially due to the particular arrangement I had ending, but in large part it was my (subconscious) desire to stop doing it. I’m happy to edit to a certain extent, in particular to avoid embarrassing mistakes and the odd glaring typo in works I want to put out into the world, but spending most of my time nitpicking over small grammar details that don’t actually matter became less and less valuable to me at the same time as it slowly killed my creative impulses. I just felt drained most of the time and never had enough left to work on my own projects. My waning interest in that type of work caused me to start procrastinating more and more, and the quality of my editing slipped. I didn’t WANT to keep up with it anymore, and yet when it ended so abruptly I was quite unhappy about it. Since I was not (and still am not, sadly) writing my own work, this seemed to me to be the only thing of value I had to offer, and then I found out that the value I offered was not good enough. *Cue personal struggles and unfortunate events that made everything worse …*
Since then I’ve mainly been working retail, and while it’s not my ultimate career goal at least it has been more steady than editing. It also lucked me into semi-regular dog-sitting for a sweet little beagle who is super into cuddling on the couch. I’ve thought about trying to start editing again, but I know that I don’t really want to, and my history in the last year or so of doing that kind of work might make it hard to find gigs anyway…
Besides, my interest in writing, if not my practice, has really rekindled lately, and I believe that would be a much better use of my time. It’s possible that it will be harder to find work as a writer, but I think it will be more worthwhile for me. Grammar rules, which vary based on dialect, level of formality, and the evolution of language, are not something I can actually get excited about (although I’ll never be able to get past the incorrect use of “its” and “it’s”–it’s not that hard, people! And commas are almost always a mess). As far as I’m concerned, if you can form a complete sentence, that’s the main thing. Using clauses properly is a good skill, effective language is even better, and an ear for great phrasing is a wonderful bonus, but people who insist that you never split infinitives are clinging to a “rule” that I just don’t think was EVER necessary.
Yes, this essentially sums up the last few years for me. It’s not too exciting, and I left out the most significant specific events because I could write entire posts about those things, if I decide to share them here at all. In the end, if you didn’t get this sense from what is above, things have just changed for me. Some of my interests have shifted, things in my life are different, and the blogging world has changed–these days, you can’t get anywhere writing about food if you can’t take great food pictures, and although my new phone’s camera is pretty good, the lighting in this apartment is as crappy as ever.
Unfortunately the domain had that whole auto-renew thing and I’ve already paid for another year, so in the meantime, as I plan a new blog that better fits with my life and writing interests now as opposed to seven or more (or slightly less, I don’t really remember) years ago, I might post here from time to time. Get my money’s worth. Clear out some lingering thoughts. Get back into the habit of writing. Basically, let it have its rattling, dying breaths before it transmutates into something new, shiny, and useful.
If you read this whole thing, thanks for that! It’s nice to think that there are a few people out there who care to read my raw and possibly too honest rantings about life. If you didn’t, then you are just here for the food so I should just end here by telling you that the cupboards here are empty. I’m going to be eating leftover rice for dinner. Thank you, and good night.
Fiction Prompt (from Poets & Writers)
|You know that weird notion that sometimes surfaces when you meet new people–that feeling that you already know them, but can’t remember why or how? Write a scene for a story about two people who both experience the same déjà vu upon meeting, with a plot driven by their need to figure out how they know each other. Use this opportunity to add an element of magical realism to your story. Perhaps they were married in a past life, or maybe they met in a dream. Once they solve the puzzle, how does this impact their lives going forward? Do they even believe the answer, or do they agree it’s too far-fetched?|
This reminds me of a story I wanted to write. A story about love and dreams and reality. I was going to have the main couple meet in a dream–except, instead of A dream, they would keep meeting in dreams, and the dreams would vary a lot as dreams do. I was going to have them be birds one time.
Fairly recently I read a summary of a new book that had a much too similar premise to this. Of course what I thought was, I waited to long and now it’s too late. Someone else did it, so I shouldn’t even bother.
Now, I haven’t read this book so I don’t know the details of the plot. And it’s safe to say that this book is not exactly the same as the book I would write. It does seem close enough, though, that it makes me wonder. Because, see, I would much prefer to put writing out there that is unique. I dread the idea of someone reading a book I wrote and thinking, “I could have written that.” I don’t see the point in writing if I’m only doing what has already been done.
Maybe it’s not possible to do something as different as that without becoming China Mieville. The details of his worlds are quite fascinating… but the next person to write like him is just going to be seen as “copying.” Because when you’re THAT different, no one else can just happen to go there.
(Please don’t ask me what the gif has to do with the post… because the answer is nothing.)
August is disappearing fast, and I do not know how I feel about this. There’s good and bad aspects I guess.
I have a tendency to start thinking too far ahead sometimes, and right now what’s on my mind but the fact that there is only one week left of Blaugust. Now, I don’t have a strong emotional attachment or anything, but I can’t help wondering what is going to happen when it’s over.
Will I keep blogging regularly? Will I write something every day? Will I make “Blogtember”? (Don’t worry, if I blog ever day in September I’ll do it without a silly name.)
Will I fall off the wagon, as it were, and stop writing again? Will I feel too discouraged knowing that most of the posts I’ve done this month are actually pretty bad?
Will I wait until I have something to say AND a better notion of how to say it?
What am I going to do? Should I just remove myself from blogging life entirely, stop doing it because it’s clear that I’ll NEVER make money this way? (Not that I think it’s only worth it if I end up making money, I just don’t understand why I haven’t qualified for adsense yet. So I have a smaller following than most blogs that make money–that just means it will take longer to reach a payout. Doesn’t that make it BETTER for them? Because they’re paying me less? …Yeah so clearly I don’t get how that works.)
I’m also wondering how the remaining week will go. I thought that by now I would have cleared out some of my overcrowded thoughts and reached at least one gem that other people could relate to, but I’ve been so stressed that more of the pointless thoughts, the ones that if I were actually editing I would just cut out, keep piling on. My brain is STILL so overwhelmed that it goes blank in the middle of writing. I have momentum, but I stop to think for a second, and whatever path the post might have taken took a sharp turn and then just starts looping on itself.
That is what has happened just now, so I guess I’ll end things here without a proper conclusion. Tell me what you think I’m going to do at the end of this month-long experiment.
I successfully completed one week straight of blaugust posts. That bodes well because most of them were done even though I didn’t feel like I had anything I particularly WANTED to blog about. Of course, I’m not saying one should force oneself to blog, but since I haven’t been writing at all for so long, it will take a little time and effort to get back into the habit.
The trouble I have is when I don’t have a topic in mind, I can’t really pull from my everyday life because my life in general is either really boring, or involves things I don’t want to write about for a number of reasons. (Or something that is better suited to a planned post as opposed to one that I write in the moment.) Yesterday, trying to figure out what to say, I went and looked at a bunch of writing prompts until an idea sparked. It sounds lame, probably, but sometimes it takes a little something extra to connect to your creative bone. Did you know creativity comes from a specific bone?
No it doesn’t. I’m lying.
The point is, there seems to be a good chance that the rest of my blaugust posts will mostly be quite boring. Half of them may end up being about blogging and the process of trying to return to regular writing (even extremely mediocre writing), which basically turns this into a meta-blog and who would even care to read that?
There’s a reason I actually began to write about food in the first place. It’s twofold: 1. I love food, 2. everybody eats. Food (along with other basic human needs) is probably the only thing that connects everyone on the planet. And I find that interesting.
I’m only writing this right now to avoid the utter failure of missing the first day of a self-imposed blogging challenge.
The last writing challenge I did was the 365k365day challenge (which I detailed to some degree on my writing blog). I think it was in 2014. I was very excited about it to begin with, but lost steam all too quickly and beyond April of that year, barely wrote 1,000 words. My failure in that challenge coincided with my overall writing hiatus. Perhaps it even caused it. I don’t know–I don’t think I’ll ever know.
I was going to do editing work when I got home from the retail work, but after my short dinner break and a bit of poking things on the internet, I took a little time to watch an episode or two on Netflix. Now it’s 10:30 and I still intend to do the work… Read the rest of this entry
Am I ready for Blaugust?
What the hell is Blaugust?
Blaugust is a word I made up, that someone else probably made up before I did (I’m not doing research on this today), that indicates an intention to blog every day in the month of August! The idea is pulled mainly from youtube vlog challenges I’ve seen (Vlogtober and Vlogmas). And the idea is to get myself back into old writing habits that just dropped away.
If you follow me you may have already realized that I haven’t blogged much in a long time. I don’t want this post to get too long, so I’m not going to to into the reasons at the moment. Maybe that will be the topic of one of next month’s posts… Read the rest of this entry
Every single thing I tried to do in 2015 failed. It just fell waysideways. I didn’t write, I didn’t blog, I mostly stopped cooking, I barely read anything.
I DID watch lots and lots of Netflix, but that does not count as an accomplishment.
I did think a lot about what I wanted to be doing, and how far away I am from anything I really want. I did have many small mental breakdowns and almost-anxiety attacks (like just the beginning of it, where it has the potential to turn into an anxiety attack, but it doesn’t get that far).
Going into the new year I have a lot of goals and aims. In short, I just can’t keep sitting around and wasting time. I have wasted so much time, I could have lived a whole extra life by now. Starting to blog again is a small step toward improving my life, and at least it will be an outlet for some of my ideas. (Side note: a part of this goal is to stop making any posts talking about how I’m going to start blogging more. They’re pretty much pointless and the last few times I’ve written them, that claim has proven false.)
Beginning next week, I am bringing back Monday Madness and Five Things Friday posts! I think, actually, I did the latter on my OTHER blog in the past, but this time I’m going to do both here. I don’t think I’ll have any food posts for a while, and I may actually leave that alone for a while. No one wants to read your food posts if you can’t take good pictures, right? But look out for some random ramblings. Hopefully, they’ll entertain a few people.
If you have a moment and feel like it, go ahead and read the post on my writing blog by the same name.
Well then, two weeks later, I still have not done any of that blog-fixin’ I was talking about! The perfectionist in me is shying away from the task. She doesn’t want to put in all this work and then have the world respond with “So what?” So I guess I’ve been biding my time until I have a good chunk of time to deal with rearranging the blog. I can tell it’s going to take quite a lot of work to get things the way I want, and I’m so behind on other life things that I can’t give it the attention it deserves right now.
My chicken tikka masala post continues to get views constantly. I honestly don’t know how this has happened. I liked the post just fine, but it’s hardly a masterpiece. Is adding a can of coconut milk to a jar of tikka masala sauce really so interesting to people that it’s almost the only post that is ever viewed? It’s kind of disheartening to me otherwise… While I’m glad people have enjoyed this post, it sort of makes me think that any seeming success I’ll ever have in my life will be a fluke.
I have a jar of the same sauce and a plan to try the “recipe” with shrimp. Will that one get anywhere near the same amount of views? My guess is no.
My hope is that I’ll be able to have the new format of the blog figured out by the end of October. I want to say September, but I worry that it will take me much longer than that to get my other stuff in order. Or something resembling it. Until then I am sure I’ll just fret about the many imperfections in this and other aspects of my life.