As usual, I’m excited about the conference. The majority of Brighton’s geek community appears to be attending this year, which will be fun, and we’ll also have a rare opportunity to see our Australian friends. There are some interesting-sounding panels, an overwhelming number of parties, and the promise of tasty, tasty BBQ and steaks as big as your head, all washed down with a frosty Shiner Bock.
And yet, I can’t shake the memory of last year’s somewhat difficult SxSW, when I was sick in bed for the first half of the conference, too wiped out for the second half to enjoy things with abandon, underwhelmed by a lot of the panels, and completely fed up with being jostled and deafened at all the social events. I’m counting on not getting “SouthByScurvy” this year, but even robust health probably won’t make all the overcrowded parties any more tolerable. I’m just hoping for more of what made last year pleasurable (when it was pleasurable): quiet lunches and dinners with friends. I’m also hoping that the one panel I really don’t want to miss lives up to expectations: Nom Nom Nom: The Secrets of Successful Foodblogging.
Which leads me to this: As you may have noticed, things have been painfully quiet here on Wordridden lately. I’ve come up with some possible reasons for this. The first is that, like many long-time bloggers, I’m finding that, for better or worse, sites like Twitter and Flickr are fulfilling my desire for online self-expression. It’s certainly a different kind of expression than what’s possible here on WordRidden; a 140-character Twitter blurb can’t compare to a 1,400 word essay. But even a good two years ago, I wrote that “being online is as much about keeping in (ambient) contact with people as it is about having an outlet for my thoughts […] so maintaining an online presence seems to have taken precedence over personal expression for me.” I can’t say a lot has changed since then.
But there is a caveat: While I feel less of an urge to write long, detailed blog posts about every blessed thing I’m doing or thinking, I have developed more of an urge to write long, detailed blog posts about something else—namely, food. The most inspired I’ve been about WordRidden lately was back in July of 2008 when I signed up for NaBloPoMo again because the theme was food. Principia Gastronomica also came out of hibernation at the end of last year, and though I’m only managing about one post a month so far, I’ve got lots more ideas lined up, and I’m getting a lot of satisfaction out of exploring this culinary passion of mine and finding out that I can inspire others with it as well.
I’m not sure where it will all lead, but I’ve definitely been feeling a “disturbance in the Force” lately, like something is changing, like maybe it’s time to take these two long-standing passions of mine—food and writing—and turn them into more than just a casual hobby. I don’t quite know how to go about it, but I’ve got a stack of Principia Gastronomica business cards and an urge to poke my nose into that cubby hole labeled “Food Writer” and see what’s going on in there. I’m certainly not giving up the day job—or the personal blog—just yet, but for the time being, you may be more likely to find me over on Principia Gastronomica writing about the minutiae of mustard than here writing about the minutiae of my non-foodie life. We shall see.