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I’ve talked to several people about my blogging experience over the past couple of years, mostly just to get used to the idea of really being a writer. It’s not all that glamorous as TV writers make it out to be. Oh, if only I had Castle’s den! And it doesn’t pay me anything except sanity points. For me, to create is to live and when I can not create something there is only chaos. Chaos leads to the insanity that prevents one from living their life.

Blogging is also a lot of hard work for not a lot of pay. Actually, in this case for no pay. I would love for that to change someday. But right now, I really do love the work for the work. How hard is it to sit on your butt and plink at some keys? Seriously? It isn’t hard at all. The hard part is coming up with ideas then finding the right words. As this is a food blog, primarily, it is important to be clear and concise with the instructions. It isn’t just listing ingredients and calling it good. You have to make sure that you have done the recipe enough to be able to find potential problems for less experienced cooks. You have to be able to anticipate suggestions for substitutions. Most importantly, you have to chose the words that will encourage someone to try your recipe and not run screaming for the nearest take away joint.

That takes time. It takes focus and concentration. Sometimes it means having to accommodate a cat on the keyboard. And then there is the hardest part of blog posts… the photography. Imagine how much it would cost for a professional set shoot. Staggering! And most bloggers don’t make money from the blogging they do. So then a blogger has to learn how to do this stuff on their own.

Many hours go into the process of learning to photograph food well enough to make people want to eat what you are writing about. And then there are the hours that it takes to set up a shot. When you know what recipe you want to post, you have to be thinking of the presentation while you gather the goods, while you prep the ingredients. You have to time the lighting right so as to keep all the fresh vibrant goodness of your dish fresh and vibrant. That all happens before you light the stove or chop your first onion.

When it comes to taking the pictures for this blog there is a lot of planning. But there is not a lot of time to get a series of shots. Thanks to the digital age I can take a hundred shots of the same dish and be very selective of which will make the cut for publication. It is frustrating work. And it is work.

It is very rewarding work. I enjoy every minute of it! Cooking brings me peace. The recipes might bring me new friends. And in turn I find new recipes and new connections to parts of the world that I might not otherwise have access to. This whole process gives me peace. And a refuge from all the crap happening in the world. But it is work.

Just so you know… it is all my work. Other than the photo of Harry Ullrich I used to sing his praises, the photos in this blog are all mine. I set them, take them, critique them & edit them.  These are my work. These are my joy. This is how I am developing as a photographer.

I’d like a job doing this for restaurants around Northern Michigan. And this blog is part of my writing portfolio. I just thought I should throw that out there just in case someone is tempted to lift these photos for themselves… I believe in guilt. But also I thought that you all should know just in case you know someone who might be able to use these skills for a fair wage.