A Work in Progress

Drafting is rarely easy for meРtaking the first steps into a sprawling topic while trying to make succinct points is always a challenge, but this re-purposing project has been difficult in a new sort of way that I am unaccustomed to with writing. Mainly, I am running into logistical issues: finding time to cook the food that I am supposed to be blogging about, gathering ingredients and recipes, or taking quality (enough) photography of my cooking steps as I go for instance.

However, if I look at these issues in terms of writing it feels a lot more manageable. Gathering ingredients and recipes is not entirely dissimilar from gathering topics and sources to write about, and the documentation feels a lot like working on my phrasing, trying to pretty up areas that need work with the resources and space that I have. This tactic has helped some.

Putting it all together has been a challenge, too, though. Figuring out what is readable and flows well in terms of format and content order and other media I’m incorporating is pretty tough. Getting some fresh eyes on it would be great. Also, using a consistent tone has been particularly tough. I set out to be funny when I began this project, but it can be pretty hard to make jokes on command about a fairly normal or routine cooking episode. I’ve found some areas to work in humor and my voice, but I’m always looking to push it just a little bit harder or weed out areas that just aren’t working.

At the same time, quite a bit has gone right (sometimes in unexpected ways) during the project. I was somewhat concerned going into the project that I would have nothing to write about in terms of each cooking experience past the fairly verbatim fact-telling of what I did, but I lucked out: it turns out I can be counted on to be consistently bad at cooking. I am not lacking in little bits of failure and misguided decisions throughout my cooking stories, which (for once) is a good thing.

 (Pictured: My cooking, basically.)

The length of the posts also started to come together pretty nicely: at the beginning I was concerned that each post was going to be pages and pages long. This seemed not overly reader-friendly (nor author-friendly. I have other things to do, too), but I ended up not having to worry too much about it. After the first one, the length leveled out as I learned how to narrow my focus in the posts.

That said, there is still a lot of work that I am looking to do in the coming revisions and I would love to hear what others are thinking when they get a chance to read it (even if it’s a reaction like Tim Gunn’s).

this concerns me

One thought to “A Work in Progress”

  1. Sarah,
    I’m even laughing reading this post. I think your voice is so strong throughout your writing, and that’s something you don’t have worry about conveying. Even while cooking, blank stares or facial reactions can definitely add to the humor–and you could add the reactions that you had at the time right into your writing. Sometimes, even laughing at yourself makes others laugh. If you pull something out of the oven and just start hysterically laughing at what a disaster (or a magical creation?) it is, your mood and reaction will definitely rub off on others (which could be key for more humorous content, but also for your on-screen remediation). As for length and format, it’s nice that you found something that works for you. I would suggest keeping it kind of short–but not too short that it can’t convey the entire story, or read humorously. But definitely having each one pages long may turn off some readers, so it’s good that you’ve found an equal balance. Really looking forward to reading/watching!

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