I was recently invited by Louise from Willunga Wino to participate in a blog hop, whereby I write a blog post explaining ‘why I write’ and then invite three other fellow bloggers to do the same thing. This is the first time I’ve participated in a blog hop of this nature and I think it’s a great idea and way to share my story and blog, and also meet other bloggers and writers along the way. The following is my answer and contribution to the exercise.
Hello everyone and thank you for reading. I would like to thank Louise for inviting me to participate in this blog hop and giving me the opportunity to share my story on what first appeared to be an easy question – why I write.
To start, I would like to introduce Louise and Willunga Wino. Louise is a Sydneysider turned McLaren Vale resident, having moved to the picturesque (and food and wine blessed) region when her partner accepted a role as a winemaker. Her blog Willunga Wino is her creative outlet with news and reviews about food, wine and sustainability in her environment. For those of you who do not yet know, Louise is the winner of the ‘Best New Food Blog’ in the 2014 SA Writers and Food Bloggers Australia writing competition.1 Warunga Wino is a joy to read and it is filled with excellent writing and beautiful photos. Please check it out when you can and also read Louise’s post on why she writes.2
At first, I thought this blog hop was straight-forward and quite easy to answer but the more I thought about it, the more I got confused. I wondered what the topic ‘why I write’ was referring to? Was it referring to writing in general, or was it referring to blogging? To me, the two terms are different yet similar in the sense that both are excellent ways of telling and sharing stories. However, I define writing as being strictly the art of composing words, whereas blogging uses a combination of writing and pictures (which are also important to me as a storyteller).3
Why I write. Back in school and uni (many years ago), I was taught the power of writing but I haven’t always given it as much love, time nor respect as I should. I’ve learnt over the years about the ability of words and how well-crafted writing can tell great stories and paint great imagery. To me, words are the foundation of thoughts and writing is another form of existence for those thoughts. Every letter, word, sentence and composition are visual, printed forms of the spoken word and thoughts. As an artist, I find this fascinating and it encourages and inspires me to write more and better.
Why I blog. As a food enthusiast and home cook, I started Padaek as a method of documenting, recording and sharing my food stories and recipes. As an artist, this blog quickly evolved to also become a medium of expressing and sharing some of my creativity without me even realising it. As a writer, blogging became a great tool to share my stories and thoughts, and to also practice my writing, at the same time connect with other like-minded readers and writers and receive feedback from them. This in turn provides me with ideas and guidance on how to better my skills as a writer. For me, blogging on Padaek has turned out to be a great vehicle to share my love for food, art and writing through the use of both words and visual imagery.4
I’ve enjoyed reading and writing blogs for several years now, and with Padaek, even though it’s only 7 months old, it’s the one I’ve stuck with the longest. My areas of interest include food, art and gardening (broadly speaking and to name a few). I’ve always enjoyed reading magazines in the past and this probably explains why I enjoy reading blogs so much now. I find reading a blog post or magazine article a lot easier and more fun, compared to a 1,000 page book, for example. Basically because it’s shorter and faster to read and has pictures or photos in it. Although, I do wish I have the patience, stamina and speed-reading skills of Kath Day-Knight to read more books, because I sometimes do miss the joy of having completed a well-written novel.
As a blogger and writer, I’ve learnt and discovered many new things and broadened my horizons. With age, I’ve learnt that practice makes perfect and by continually blogging and writing, it’s given me an opportunity to educate myself and also practice and better my skills as a writer and reader. And who knows, maybe one day in the near future, I’ll be able to finish reading more big books and write one as well. Although, it will most likely be a cookbook full of frog and fish pictures, and chicken feet.
As a Lao-Australian artist and cook, I believe that I have a unique voice and story to share. While the food blog scene is already full of great writers and cooks (c’mon, you know who you are!), and while there’s already ample info on Lao food online, I believe that I can help by contributing something new, nice, different and special. My goal with Padaek is to document and share my food stories and knowledge to the www, future generation and interested readers. I hope that this blog finds you well and that the info in it provides you with some source of help, use and inspiration. If not, then I hope it’s at least a light, entertaining and amusing read. Otherwise, please at least enjoy the photos and pictures.
To summarise, this is why I write and blog. As a foodie and cook, I write to share my food stories and recipes. As an artist, I write to share and express some form of creativity, and to share my life, thoughts and happiness. As a writer, I write to connect with other like-minded readers and writers, and to improve my writing skills. I also find writing to be therapeutic. It’s a great way to empty and express hindering, jumbled and muddled up thoughts and then fix them. Thank god for the power to proof-read and edit, otherwise a lot of this would simply be a pile of laughable mumbo-jumbo, gobbledygook, hoo-ha mess.
For me, writing is not an easy task (although, nothing good or worth doing is). It takes a lot of time, hard work, commitment and perseverance, but it can also be very rewarding. I liken writing to painting and sculpting, as an example. You start off with a blank canvas or slab of stone. You begin the process with some sketches and then you add some lines or colours, or start to chip away. Then, slowly (with some love and patience, good music, and power from above), you smooth out and refine the piece to achieve that final form or state that you are happy with. Just be careful to not brush too hard or chip away too much, otherwise you might end up with a hole in the canvas or accidentally chip off that precious nose.
Writing is an art form that is both challenging and rewarding. With every word that we write, we improve our skills and by writing regularly, we practice the art to become good writers. How good? I don’t know, don’t ask me silly questions.5
Now, I need to find three writers and bloggers to continue and participate in this blog hop. Could one of them be you who’s reading this? If so, please email me or leave a comment below and let me know that you want to participate and the first three people to do so are in, otherwise I’ll have to search and randomly select you myself. So, what and who shall it be? No need to be shy now. :)
Update 05/08/14: For a linky of other bloggers/writers’ ‘Why I write’ posts, go to Always Josefa’s site, where you can also read Josefa’s post on the blog hop. Also, I’m still looking for 3 other bloggers to participate in this blog hop, so if you’re interested in this challenge, please feel free to email me. Thank you. :)
- To find out the winners in the other categories in the competition, visit here. [↩]
- This blog hop was a humbling experience and I’m honored to be a part of it. I’m happy to have been invited and included with some great writers and bloggers. I’m glad that I participated in this blog hop because it has reminded me and opened up my mind to the art and power of writing, and I look forward to exploring my journey with food and food writing further. I recently stumbled on Food Verse (a post with a collection of food poetry) on Liz Posmyk’s Good Things and fell in love with the beautiful food poems there and got inspired. It really is a wonderful world isn’t it and everything around us involves words or some form of language to express and tell our stories. I can’t wait to learn and explore more about food writing and be able to share my food stories with you. [↩]
- As the adage goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words‘. [↩]
- By the way, the beautiful illustrations in this post are not my own. They were obtained from ReusableArt.com and are ‘copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown’. The image of the group of fish is from here. It is by the well-known artist Edward Lear (1818-1888). It was included in his 1894 edition of Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets. The image of the meeting of frogs is from here. Source: The Peacock and the Wishing Fairy which was released in 1921; it contained numerous illustrations by Dugald Stewart Walker (1883-1937). The image of the jumping frogs is from here. It is by Harrison Weir (1824-1906). [↩]
- As good as you want to be. [↩]