Confessions of a Blogger

My grubby, overloaded cookbook shelf.  I deliberately kept the resolution high, so that the titles can be viewed by  clicking on the photo to open it in a new tab.

A list of daily suggested blog topics for National Health Blog Posting Month or #NHBPM (November if you're feeling old-fashioned) from WEGO Health is weighing heavily on my inbox.  The reason for the list is to help health bloggers overcome burnout and write a daily post.  I'm not sure if I'm a health blogger, but I am definitely in a drought.

The list of topics is mostly self referential, a way to describe and engender bloggers' own patient advocacy or self empowerment, treating blogging as a process.  Writing about writing, though, feels strangely self-indulgent to me.  I like to serve up a finished product when I post, whether it be the perfect muffin or a full on food allergy mama rant about an injustice our vulnerable children face.

I love my blog.  I love this little spot on the internet that I've staked out and made my own, where I share recipes I've created that accommodate my son's food allergies and write about how this very special need has shaped our lives.  I keep my focus as tight as I can, so that if you are willing to take the time to read my blog, you will find something useful here.

Still, I cannot disregard the list or simply decide to continue posting at my own pace, because the very first topic is simply too tempting for me to ignore.

The first blog post prompt is to describe the book I would write, to pick a title and jot down a synopsis for the book jacket.  So it's time for a confession of sorts.  My not-so-secret goal is to write a cookbook.

One of the reasons I've held off on pursuing this is that I discovered the thrill of the recipe contest.  I've even avoided advertising on my blog, so as not to inadvertently become a (badly) paid food writer and lose my amateur status.

This year, though, I've become less interested in creating the perfect recipe to showcase someone else's product, and started to work a little more earnestly toward chasing my own dream:  I want to write the food allergy cookbook I wish I had been given when my son was diagnosed.  When a parent gets the terrible news that food is no longer safe, and kitchen habits and family traditions must be upended, I want to have an answer to hand to them, to say, it's OK.  You really can do this, meals don't have to be hard, and they can taste really, really good.

I've thought a great deal about format and what types of recipes to include, not to mention whether (and how) to bridge the great gluten-free divide, between most food allergies and celiac disease.  I finally concluded I want to write a cookbook that has both standard (i.e. wheat based) and gluten free versions of the recipes.

I haven't written a proposal or approached a publisher, but I've started writing and testing recipes.  So I've been withholding the best ones from the blog.  I feel horribly guilty about it, too.

So I'm treating this month as a chance to catch up on the posting that's been backlogged by real life and recipe stinginess.  There's a couple of product and book reviews, plus half finished posts clogging my Blogger account.  I'll do my very best to make all of it worth your time.

Despite my slacker tendencies, I'm happy to announce that I've been nominated for the Circle of Moms list of Top 25 Food Allergy Mom Blogs.  If you are so inclined, you may vote for me once daily through November (or #NHBPM) 16th by simply clicking here.  Even if you're not, please check out the full list of food allergy blogs.  Some of my old favorites are there, as well as some great new blogs to discover.  It's definitely time to update my blogroll!

Finally, I will be at the Tampa FAAN Walk for Food Allergy on November 12 as the honorary chair again this year.  I'd be thrilled if you'd like to join my teamstart your own or make a donation.  Hope to see you there!

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days.


Alisa said...

Libby, congratulations! I can't wait to see your first (of many) cookbook. It will be so fabulous. Nothing to feel guilty about, but so glad you are moving past the recipe contests!

Paula said...

I think your book will be wonderful resource and I wish you the best of luck.
Congratulations on the nomination too!

Jen said...

Love your blog! Hope you publish the cookbook! I'd buy it. I recently started a very amateur blog on dairy free living and listed you in the blogroll. Hope that's OK. It's here: http://dairyfreediner.wordpress.com