Friday, July 15, 2011

Appetite.



I injured my neck in December. Consequently, I lost my ability to move about freely, go anywhere, do much of anything. And I lost my appetite. Ultimate death to a food writer.

The pain has killed what little ambition I have (I’m admittedly the laziest person on God’s green earth), and my enjoyment of food. Now that’s overly dramatic I know, and certainly there are fates much more awful. I’m damn grateful it wasn’t worse. But what’s a girl to do when even the thought of hot crispy bacon or a nice juicy peach give her the willies?

I’ve completely lost my passion, my fervor, my mojo, my zest, my hard-on for food and writing. It doesn’t excite me anymore. Poof! It left like smoke. I go to review a restaurant and think, how many ways can you say the word “delicious” anyway? How many times can you describe a restaurant as stunning, or gorgeous, or yummy, or succulent, or atrocious? It sounds so TIRED.

Yeah, all this whining is a total copout. I annoy the hell outta myself. I’m great at rationalization and excuses when it comes time to do the work. It’s just that when I hurt my neck, I stopped writing. Then, when I went back to it, everything I did seemed stale. I’d re-read a draft, and it seemed like something I’d written already. Rehash. I was repeating. Just using the same phrases and inserting the name of a different restaurant in the blank. Unoriginal. Uninspired. That’s the worst. When your writing isn’t inspired. When it isn’t truth. When the crazy lady begins repeating herself it’s time to leave the party gracefully and compose herself somehow.

It’s funny the things you do when you lose your appetite. You think a lot. Daydream. Brainstorm. The cogs are going so fast in my head these days, thoughts of, “How can I make this work? How can I make this original, interesting, fun again? How can I fit my neck into this picture? Where the HELL is my appetite and what if it never comes back?”

I still love food. Or rather, I still WANT to love food. The desire is there. But the appetite is completely gone. Now I stare at food longingly, wanting to eat it, but having absolutely no desire to do so. You should see me on Pinterest. All that lovely food porn. Where before I would sigh and drool like some freak of the week, now it’s just a picture. And if that ain’t the saddest thing on earth I don’t know what is.

So my blog just lays there. Lays there dead. Dead ground in the heat of summer, wondering why the planting never happened. Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, says a blog “unwatered” at least three times a week starts to die. I stare at mine, wondering what to plant next. ‘Cause right now, mine has weeds. Lots and lots of weeds. And nothing but red clay soil.

This is where my head is at right now, take it or leave it. I never wanted or intended this blog to be an everyday record of everything I ate. Or cooked. Or baked. Or a recount of every restaurant I went to. Nuh-uh. That ain’t me. Kudos to those who do it because it’s a shit lotta work documenting your every bite.

So what did I want? What DO I want? For people to connect through my work. For them to say, “Yeah, I’ve been there.” To agree, disagree, yell, to have an emotion. Blogging for charity was fun, will definitely do that again. That felt like something. But I’m not a “food blurb” writer. Or a foodie cheerleader. And I’m not a reviewer. I’ve got strong opinions of course, but so does everyone. I just want to share food experiences I’ve had, and want to have. Start a deeper conversation beyond trends, victory gardens, chickens, and sustainability, because frankly, preaching to the choir gets old too. I want people to connect, to get excited and inspired because of something I wrote. But what if I’m not excited? What then? Watch this space…

(Why Chaplin? Because it’s the PERFECT metaphor…)

6 comments:

Kath said...

We miss you!

JThaddeus said...

Well that sucks. And this is restaurant week! (FWIW, Carmello's lobster & crab ravioli was excellent.)

Here's hoping your appetite comes back.

Hugs.

Lisa said...

Sounds like you are going through a change of voice. I've been there and it can be very painful (in more ways than one) but I think you'll look back and realize it was something that you needed. Just follow your heart and you'll find your inspiration again. And when you do, I'll be excited to read your words.
peace,
~L

Penny said...

I hope you find something that inspires you to write, whether its food or not - I enjoy your writing; I connect to it; I'm inspired by it. Slow your car down...

CVilleFieldNotes said...

Great post. Bold and honest. One thing is clear - even if you're not writing about food, you're still a WRITER. Do what brings you joy. I'll be watching this space.

Libby said...

Thank you SO much for these kind words even though it's taken me weeks to acknowledge them. I am so grateful. Indeed, I find myself on a journey- to find my new voice, my new way of expressing myself, and what exactly keeps driving me to write. It's both frightening and exciting and I'm filled with gratitude to be on this path. Without readers like you, I doubt I'd keep on keepin' on. Thank you so much xoxoxo