“Where does the time go?”
Isn’t that what people always ask when a milestone creeps up on them before they realize it’s coming?
I’m a couple days late with this post in one sense, and several days early with it in another. It depends on your personal preference for calendar holidays mentioned in passing.
See, the month of May, aside from collecting notable dates like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, (as well as more easily-overlooked national observances of Moscato and Chardonnay wines), strikes a personal chord with this writer for good reason:
It was five years ago this month that Flavorful World made its debut.
Grown out of the truly inauspicious origin of my writing the occasional food-themed article for the now-defunct Associated Content (which became the now-defunct Yahoo Contributor Network) it was a daunting prospect from the outset. That didn’t stop me from throwing myself at it, against all common sense. I wish I could chalk that up to courage, but stupidity is equally as likely.
Back then, I could hardly have picked a less opportune moment to launch a new creative venture that would demand as much of my energy as my time. With my first baby roughly two months away, and with whatever free time I could claim certain to be diminished by new fatherhood, complicating matters was that one could have filled a thimble with everything I knew about blogging or what direction I wanted to take with the site. I had only a handful of my own recipes to share, and although cooking/kitchen experimentation is among my favorite pastimes, I tended (and still do) to cook and season my food by instinct rather than precise measurements doled by “oz.” and “tsps” and “Tbsps”.
Back then too, the entire wealth of my wine knowledge could be summed up with “Mmm…crushed grapes!” as this was the only note I could have offered back then with absolute certainty of being correct.
What in the hell I would find to write about hadn’t yet been decided. All that had was that it would somehow involve food. I had no idea where I would find the time to post regular updates or how to build online relationships that would earn me a place at the proverbial table amidst a community of like-minded eater-writer-bloggers. How did they score the free products they reviewed and offered up for giveaways? How come so many of them all seemed to know each other? Were they friends offline as well as on? How did they manage to visit what seemed like three new restaurants a week and have the reviews and photos online before the check was paid? Did they write and post them between courses? Damn if I knew. Most bothersome of all, I had next to no idea how I would answer the inevitable question of “Who the hell are you, and why the hell should we care what you have to say about eating and drinking?”
For all that I lacked though, I did have a few things working to my advantage: a love for cooking and dining out and meal presentation instilled in me from birth. An ever-expanding appreciation for food and drink from every corner of the world. A sense of humor dry as Sancerre, but as pleasantly appreciable when properly matched with well-suited companions and situations. A voice as deserving as any other of being heard.
I’m happy to have learned a thing or three since then, not just about wine and blogging, but about myself relative to time management (particularly after baby number two arrived) and networking and the benefit/necessity of burning some midnight oil every now and then. The blog has undergone changes small and large since its first post went live on May 1st, 2010, and I’m grateful to have had some editorial decisions prove to be wise ones. Items like our weekly Friday Fourplay column and monthly interview series have earned a modicum of encouraging attention and praise. Review requests for wines, spirits, and kitchen products continue to pour in almost daily. I’ve been privileged to meet and established pleasant, mutually-beneficial working relationships with some truly talented individuals and reliable brands. And even now, I learn something new every day.
At this rate, another five years seems less like the pipe dream that starting a food blog in the first place once did. Still, I know that we could not have done it without someone very special to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.
(If this post were an interactive children’s book, this would be the part of the story where you turn to the final page and see that it is mirrored, reflecting your own image back at you…)
Yes, it’s you. Wonderful, succulent you.
We thank you today for all that you have helped us become, and we hope to do so in another five years. We’ll see how it goes, and I hope you’ll be there for it. Whether you’re just discovering Flavorful World, or have been with us since the beginning, you have our thanks and our promise to continue doing our best to keep things interesting and colorful around here, to make you smile when we can, and to give you something good to eat (and drink.)
And also to occasionally give away some cool stuff to eat, read, or cook with.