At the beginning of February, I received an invitation from Soft Peaks, an ice cream shop in Vancouver’s Gastown, cordially offering complimentary ice cream for me and a friend. If you’re from Vancouver and you’re at all active on social media, you must be aware of Soft Peaks. My Instagram and Facebook feeds have been clogged with photos of Soft Peaks’s organic milk creations, topped with luxurious toppings, and it’s been impossible to avoid when skimming food blogs (of which there are literally hundreds in Vancouver), which is how I torture myself when I have a hankering for a midnight snack.
So why did I receive this invitation? Was Soft Peaks being generous to random Vancouverites, spreading goodwill in the form of cups of refreshing treats? Actually, no. I used to write one of the hundreds of food blogs that I just mentioned, although I haven’t been active for more than a year.
I used to love food blogging. It gave me a creative outlet when my day job mostly consisted of writing fairly formulaic web articles. It also was a nice way for me to look back on meals I’d had, and, in the case of my travel posts, relive my travels a little.
But for some reason, I stopped enjoying it. There were a few reasons for this.
For one thing, I found I was in a rut. I focused on writing interesting preambles and conclusions, but my actual descriptions of the food I consumed seemed stale. I resorted to using the same analogies over and over again, and for the life of me, I couldn’t come up with so many ways to describe a negitoro roll.
There are many food blogs in Vancouver, many with excellent photos that show the food up close, making their readers’ mouths water with envy by exhibiting that perfect medium rare steak, that sweetly rounded scoop of salted caramel of Earnest Ice Cream, those perfectly seared pieces of aburi nigiri. I had a decent DSLR and I was capable of taking decent photos of my food, but I wanted my blog to be more about pictures. I wanted it to be about words.
Food blogging stopped being creative for me. I found I was going to restaurants simply based on what was trendy, and I wasn’t being adventurous in trying out new places based on my own volition. Vancouver, with its huge community of food bloggers, made me less confident that I could offer up something unique for potential readers.
With this blog, I hoped to be more creative, by writing about a topic I’ve always been enthusiastic about–books–while occasionally writing other posts as they occurred to me. Recently I’ve realized that reviewing books can have the same caveats as reviewing restaurants, and that I need to be more creative and motivated about producing content, which is my goal for future posts.
Oh, and going back to the ice cream at Soft Peaks–it’s delicious. I had the rocky mountain with caramel syrup, and my snacking companion had the Mudslide. It reminded me of soft serve I had in Myungdong on my latest trip back to Seoul. Perfect for a hot summer day, or even a chilly February afternoon. Sometimes there’s a reason that places become trendy, other than the pure aesthetics (ie. Instagrammability) of their food.