I have now been blogging for over a decade. My blog just turned 11. It is only a few months younger than my oldest boy who is on the cusp of turning 12 and planning high school next year. When I first started blogging, I had no plan or time frame in mind. I wasn’t sure whether I’d like it or even stick with it as I am known to launch into spontaneous sporadic startups and projects without really finishing them (my 6-year-old half-built brick edging out the front of the house is a testament to this fact, as is the half painted front door! It kind of grows on you actually.) But I did like it. And stuck with it. So here we are. 11 years old. Or young. 510 posts and counting. Ready to take the next step from childhood to youth (kind of like high school) and wanting to reconnect and make new friends while cherishing the trusty old ones.
So let me begin. Hi! I am Sneh. I am a food blogger. I love freshly baked bread, farmer's markets, books, gardening and have occasional bouts of hoarding (wait! I sound like my nanna!) but I also love a fluffy cake (the kind Sally bakes!), playing Cooking Dash on my iPad, moving furniture around, butter, Harry Potter, moody days, taking pictures, watching fun movies with my boys, snow holidays, visiting orchards, Sherlock hmm no wait, Benedict Cumberbatch, drinking coffee, watching stand up comedy, floating in the pool, making lists ... you get the gist? I have been blogging for 11 years. I started my blog when I was living in Singapore in 2005 to have an online journal of my most loved recipes and to share my cooking adventures with whoever had an internet connection and was willing to listen. It was also the year we moved to Australia with a baby and began the next chapter of blogging and our lives. A few years later I was still blogging and designing but had taken up food photography and food styling as my day job. Over the years we were blessed with another boy, a major blogging award, several more awards, a magazine column, a newspaper column and a book deal. In between I managed to go to college to study design, learn ceramics, learn to drive, host a wedding in our backyard, move 4 times and build the home of our dreams with (now) 5 chickens, 2 bunnies, more than a dozen fruit trees and two veggie patches, write a cookbook, meet Jamie Oliver, take up running and lose 20 kilos, run a pop-up event of 12 workshops and power through a 12 month major home renovation.
You can say that I did it all. Everything I wanted to do, everything I had imagined and everything I had never dreamed of. I saw the world of food change from discovering the thrill of sharing your Grandma’s secret recipe on your blog and starting a meaningful conversation about kitchen memories and the taste of food to the mindless and excessive sharing of every meal dolled up with the most insane garnishes across all social media every minute of every day. Over the years I felt a loss for the true meaning of food. I believe that food is a privilege. And those who have it are very blessed. I also believe that with the way things are now, many people have forgotten the true meaning of food. It is not to complicate lives. It is not to create envy or depression. It is not to create anxiety or build pressure. It is definitely not to create confusion and resentment. It is not to show off a lifestyle or preach a lack of one. It is not to make one feel like a failure. It is simply – to nourish. And having done that, it is to create excitement for that taste, a memory to remember that taste and a feeling of happiness and comfort from having shared it. Whether it was with birds at the park or loved ones around the table.
With the loss of the meaning of food, came the dreaded loss of taste. Maybe it was my nature of work. But I didn’t hunger for a certain food like I used to. If my body didn’t need sustenance, I could quite happily forgo food. I didn’t get excited about a new flavour of ice cream (because it was not dairy free? because it had too much sugar? because it had some additives? I don’t know!!). I ate without gusto, hardly ever going for seconds (because I loved the dish). I felt a complete lack of joy now whereas food gave me joy in the past. Creating it, cooking it, sharing it, tasting it, anticipating it – gave me joy. I blamed the world for being a joy-killer of food. And I blamed myself. But because the world wasn’t going to change in its quest for dictating what the next best superfood should be or how much of what you should be eating and how your food should be laden with so many garnishes that it ceases to have meaning (yes, smoothie bowls – I am looking at you!); I decided to change me.
I was raised on a vegetarian diet I took up eating meat occasionally when I moved overseas from India in 2001. I was a vegetarian for the first two decades of my life. My body was used to it. We didn’t have labels like vegan, raw, refined sugar-free, gluten free when I was growing up. It was just how we ate and a way of life. Fresh veggies cooked daily with spices, raw tossed salads, unleavened bread, fruits galore, and occasional homemade sweets and cakes. Simple joys! Memories of childhood! Over a needed two-month break, I perused and threw out over 300 cooking magazines, donated a quarter of my massive prop collection, put away another quarter to sell (it is now reduced by half!), and donated over 50 cookbooks that I will never cook from, cleansed my pantry, installed the Paprika App on my desktop and started meal planning.
One of the other things I did was write down what made me happy – food-wise. Eating simply made me happy. Eating vegetarian with the occasional fish and chicken, made me happy. Recognizing that eating meat was debilitating to the body and to the planet and doing something about it made me happy. Growing organic herbs and salad veggies in my garden made me happy. Tackling food waste, teaching our boys about sustainability, wise food choices and respecting and appreciating food and its importance in our culture, made me happy. Eating sensibly but without the stigma of labels, without the pressure of what I would post on the blog or what alternative dietary suggestions I could provide – that made me happy. Eating with abandon once in a while made me happy. Eating simply by a window without distractions or at a table with my family, made me happy. Reading blogs and books makes me happy. And blogging made me happy. Writing blog posts like this one made me happy. My blog is my constant and whenever I step back to assess my life, my dreams, my goals and my happiness. It always brings me back here – to my blog.
Believe it or not, blogging is very much like parenting. It brings you immense joy but it also does a number on you. It makes you self-critical. You always second-guess yourself and wonder whether you are doing the right thing. It does to me. I know it does to you too. It doesn't matter whether you are a month-old blogger or a 11-year blogging veteran. The key is to remember why you started blogging and stick to it. In moments of doubt, go back to some of your early posts. Remember them and improve on them but don't give up on them just because people only want a certain something. They can find that elsewhere. What they won't find anywhere else is your blogging soul. If you had a child that you loved dearly but wasn't very outgoing, popular or the life of a party, would you go swap him for someone who was?
When you start doing well at work and the more you achieve, the more you get; you run the risk of sacrificing happiness and simplicity and time with your loved ones. It takes a lot of courage to walk away from bigger opportunities and all the stars you can grab in the sky to address your happiness. But sometimes, it is so simple that it really isn’t hard at all. Again last year I decided to not do any more workshops after a sell-out season and politely declined a couple of cookbook shoots to focus on what makes my soul sing – blogging. So after doing it all, I have now returned to where it all began - right here on Cook Republic. I am happy, excited and looking forward to reconnecting with you, your lives and your blogs. I am happy that you are here. Please don’t be shy. Introduce yourselves and your blogs. I would love to go have a peek and get to know you all a bit more. And I would love to hear your thoughts on your everyday food and creative struggles and how you find your happy place. Here is to reconnecting and rediscovering the lost art of food!
Beautiful article. I love all your blogs and dishes. Beautiful images. Excellent.
very soulful article, I could not think that you have come such a long way to become a blogger. But I'm glad you found inspiration and continue to delight us with great recipes 🙂
thank you for your lovely reply Sam!
Such an incredible post, well done on finishing 11 years of blogging , love your photography and composing . Continue going. God favor .
Hello! I just found your blog and am truly in love. This post was especially inspiring as I have been blogging for just as long and have been riding the roller coaster ride of what to do with it and how it should evolve. I am from a time when you wrote on your blog to enjoy it, now it's all about monetization. You tweaked the design because it was fun. Now I am tired of the overcommercialization of each new blog I find. Thank you for your simplicity and not trying to sell me something or sign me up for anything. I may have found a renewed breath in blogging. Big Miigz (many thanks) to you!
Hi Sneh, As I go through a rough patch in my own life with 2 boys, moving countries (just moved from singapore to US), and trying to find meaning in my own life, I stumbled upon this particular blog post written by you over a year ago. I used to blog until 3-4 years ago. I used to be excited about food but somewhere along the way, I got overwhelmed with the pressure of doing it right in the blogosphere.. making the dish unique .. making others like it, and feeling very Low when it didn't get appreciated. I thought I was alone in this and everyone around seems so confident and sure of themselves! It's just so reassuring to read your post .. It got me very emotional... I am going to bookmark this post and read it and reread it again every time I doubt myself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for such honest words and for the inspiration. Wishing you the best. :))
Hello Sneh! I'm Ana, from México. I'm a 6 years old blogger :). And I follow your blog some time ago. I'm your big fan. Love your photos. This post is a great one. I've been feeling the same way lately, but trying to resist to the gluten free wave. As you I use to cook with a lot of vegetables, but not because trying to get vegetarian, just because they are so good, and make everything taste better. I don't want to label my kitchen as vegetarian, vegan or gluten free, but feeling as if I don't I'll be lost in the social media, 'cause I'm not in. Well, too much comment, will write an entire post here (stop it, haha). It's inspiring reading you. Thanks for your blog. Have a nice day. (Hope everything is well written. English is not my language 🙂 ).
Hi! I think your Instagram feed is awesome and I just stopped by your blog and read this post.... so wonderfully written, so real. Just lovely. I grew up in India too and had similar food experiences as you then and now. 🙂
I've only been writing my blog for a year and I have found it so important to me and can relate to so much of what you are saying in your post. It is a challenge that I have set myself to try to communicate a beauty that I can see in the world of food, in sharing food and in the intimate connections that can be shared over a meal. There have been one or two moments when I've wondered why I am actually contributing to an area which is so saturated but I guess the answer is that I feel I have something personal to say about food and hopefully the right people can enjoy what it is I have to share. It helps not to have a massive audience which might sway my decisions or criticise them but I hope to follow your advise and always stay true to my initial motivations. Your dedication and epic portfolio of work are so inspiring and I am so glad you haven't lost the joy in food because I so love everything you share.
This post really spoke to me, Sneh. Thank you for it, and thank you for putting a voice to what we bloggers often feel.
Congrats on 11 yrs! It is so interesting to read your perspective after having done it for so long, as I just started blogging a couple of months ago. I honestly did not want to start a blog because I have a full-time job, 2 kids, a marriage, hobbies (competitive cooking specifically), and lots of other things I need and want to do that take an immense amount of time. I knew that my blog would be like my 3rd child. But I felt I had to start it to get opportunities and legitimacy as a food writer etc... NOT having a blog was holding me back. Then a funny thing happened - I found that I LOVE the blogging itself Here's to doing it for love and yay you for recognizing and embracing that!
After having cancer last year (it was caught on time), and losing three close member of my family, I had to think of what I wanted my future to be. I've been blogging for 10 years now and I was taking too many contracts to develop recipes and more. I had to cut down and go back to where I started 10 years ago. Now I want to focus on doing things that I love and blogging, once in a while, with no pressure is still something I love to do.
Hi Sneh! Absolutely inspiring post. Wow, 11 years... what a journey... loved your parenting analogy, in fact it made me laugh/smile... I went through breast cancer last year and it really made me re-evaluate. I shared a lot of my process and feelings on my blog (a cake blog!) but in the end I felt more connected with my readers, more open and even excited, proud of my blog again. Thank you for the inspiring words (and losing 20 kg from running! Fantastic!) All the best to you and your family! xo
I've only been recipe blogging for 6 1/2 years ( http://www.withinthekitchen.blogspot.com ) and I lately feel like I have lost some of my passion for it. I'm taking the time to really think about why I started, where I want to go with it and a way to get that passion back.
Loved reading about your experience. Wishing you all the best and reconnecting and rediscovering.
I loved reading this so, so much. It brought me joy and tears. It's very easy to get caught up in the mad dash to always do bigger and better, to lose yourself and your goals in the social media cycle, to be down on yourself if you just don't measure up... But at the end of the day, there is that big love in you that keeps you going. Thank you for reminding us of that love.
Hi Sneh! I really enjoyed reading this post. I have had my blog, CaliGirlCooking.com, for going on six years now, but have only just begun to take it "seriously" in the last year or so. I've realized that I, too, keep coming back to it, and if I like it that much then I should try my darndest to make it my full-time job. Right now my biggest struggle is balancing the creative work with the administrative work that it takes to have a successful blog. Your post was so inspiring and it's encouraged me to keep pushing on so I can do what I love.
Thank you and keep up the good work!
Absolutely! My blog is almost eight years old (Gherkins & Tomatoes at gherkinstomatoes.com). My main topic is food history, but I write abut a lot of things related to food as well. While I have had nowhere near the success that you have had, I am quite content to write on the blog, though I am currently working on a history of American food. Thank you for writing!
Great post and congratulations on 11 years blogging! I just had my 10 year blogging anniversary recently. I write about life, food and current events. I agree with you about remembering why you first started blogging and to stick with it. I thought about quitting a few times over the years. But then I remember and always come back.
I am not a food blogger, but I love to read the blogs and make the recipes. Food trends and what is or is not healthy becomes a real pain in the neck. Eggs and butter were terrible for you and then they were not! What is next? Maybe it should be everything in moderation? I do not like Kale!
The recipes on the blogs are there for everyone to use OR NOT! I do not understand why people would say too much butter, or sugar is bad. Just don't make the recipe! The options are endless.
I want to thank all the food bloggers for broadening my horizons. I was intimidated by YEAST and now I make my own breads. This is all because of you guys. You have given me the confidence to get in there and try it. I wasn't successful right away, but your inspiration kept me on track. I see that even you, with much experience, screw up once in a while. When you post those pictures I laugh and think, WOW they are just like me.
I am older (67) and have cooked my whole life. I usually made the same things over and over, but now I see how many new things are out there to try, and I do!
Thanks for being available, to urge me on to new things. I think many of your readers love and appreciate you.
Thank you for your honesty and such an open post. Funnily I started blogging about 5 years ago but never got into it. In 2014 I rebranded and started a blog that I felt could really be me and resonate with what I believe in. Everyday I am learning, because in 2016 I am finally learning to trust my own voice and to not just do something because other bloggers say it is the right thing to do, but to do it for myself. It really brought me joy to read your post and to remind myself again that I need to trust myself, my own part, and believe in my happiness when it comes to my blog!
Hello, I am a newish blogger and a new fan simply because you wrote this very honest and thoughtful post about the heart and soul of a blogger. It's such a fine line between writing for yourself as a form of self-expression vs. writing for your audience. Congratulations on blogging for 11 years and may you find the next 11 years even more fulfilling.
I've been sitting here, after reading this multiple times, trying to decipher how I can express what your post means to me.
I've been blogging for just a year less than you, and although I haven't had the same amazing success as you, I'm pleased with the fact that I took a mere concept and turned it into a thriving career. But things have changed over the past decade, so much that I'm not sure how much longer I can do this blogging thing the way I'm doing it. The fixation on food is not doing my body, my health or my life any good.
I've been volunteering at a restaurant style food kitchen once a week lately, and I know I can't in good faith come home and write and share in such a way that makes food seem like anything other than what it is, like you said, a privilege. I can no longer in good faith blog for pageviews and pinterest hits... it has to be for connection, nutrition, and well, my general overall well being.
Needless to say, I'm struggling. Eat to live not live to eat is my new motto... now how can my blog start reflecting that? It may be time to step away from the food side of blogging until I can figure that out.
The timing of your post was so perfect... I was honestly in tears this morning before reading this, sitting down trying to decipher my future. I love my blog. I love the space I've created on the internet and never want to leave it, however I do believe a change of some kind, whatever that may be, is in order. Anyway, long story short... thank you!
Hi Sneh, Thank you for sharing your story. You articulated what I've been feeling about blogging for a while and it was like a breath of fresh air reading your post and knowing that I'm not alone in my feelings. I discovered your post on Facebook, where my food blogging friend, Giulia Scarpaleggia (Juls' Kitchen) shared your post. I started my blog, Flavia's Flavors, in 2008. Initially, I planned on sharing only Italian recipes--the ones I grew up eating in my family and ones I was teaching myself. But I got wrapped up in trying to be "everything to everyone" and ended up blogging about a random variety of recipes, but was never truly happy about my blog because I felt like I had sold out. I also fell into the comparison trap: I spent so much time feeling not good enough in my writing, photography and cooking. Everyone seemed to be getting more social media followers, a cookbook deal, TV show appearances, invitations to retreats, press junkets, etc. I felt inferior, left out, and (I'm embarrassed to say) jealous. Gradually, I realized how ridiculous I was being and how I was making myself miserable. At the beginning of 2015 I decided to scrap the "old" Flavia's Flavors and start it completely from scratch--and this time, with a laser-focus on Italian food, cooking and culture--like I had initially wanted back in 2008. A good friend of mine from high school is a graphic designer and she and I worked together for a totally new "look" for my blog, complete with logo, tagline, new colors and new layout. During the re-design, I took time off from blogging to research recipes and "get back to basics" with both myself and the approach I wanted to bring to my blog: that is to say, to bring 100% of myself to the blog in how I write, cook and photograph. It's such a fantastic feeling to know that I'm writing genuinely and from the heart about the food and culture I love so much. And I no longer worry about pleasing everyone (because you just can't!). Now when I look at my blog, I'm proud of my little space on the Internet that reflects who I am and what I love. Grazie!
Hello Sneh, I just found your post as Dianne Jacobs shared it on Twitter. I've been following you for years now, but as it happens recently, I lose track of the blogs I like.
I was complaining about this a few days ago: I used to read blogs, I used to find inspiration in blogs, to learn, then all of a sudden I just didn't have time to do this anymore. And now I miss it.
So your blogpost really resonates with me, as I started looking black at the first years of my blog, too.
I opened my blog, Juls' Kitchen, 7 years ago: my blog is still attending primary school! 😀
I am a Tuscan food blogger, I blog about Tuscan food, recipes, producers and traditions.
Just as you said, "my blog is my constant and whenever I step back to assess my life, my dreams, my goals and my happiness. It always brings me back here – to my blog." I feel the same.
Reading this blog post was like breathing fresh air, connecting back to what I like in blogging. Thank you for reminding it to me once again. I'll be a more loyal follower from now on, as this makes me just as happy as blogging and sharing real food with real people.
Where to start- you said a lot in this post, Sneh that resonated with me. I've always suggested the idea that a blog should be the "happy place" for the blogger. I think it's really good and important that you sat down and made a list of what makes you happy and then realigned how to follow your bliss. Losing the love of food or the flavor is one I know well and as you talked about what food is and isn't supposed to do, I was silently cheering you on. Food and the creators of it online inspire me-- it is a way to glimpse how they see the world by what they put on the plate. I've been a longtime reader of yours and will continue to be one. Keep on keeping on! Warmly, Annelies
I popped over to your blog as I hadn't been for a while and got lost catching up with your beautiful work. Congratulations on 11 years, that is quite an achievement. I'm 6 years in and feeling so in need of a reboot of it all. Your words around your relationship with food hit a few chords with me too. Thanks for sharing. Love Sam
thanks Sam! I appreciate that. So good to see you here again. Hope you have been well.
I loved your workshop at the Nuts for Life presentation and I love your blog too. Thanks again for imparting so much knowledge!
Thanks for your lovely comment Gabrielle. I am glad you had fun on the day x
Wonderful honest article, which really resonates with me. Thanks for sharing, and I'm really glad you found your way again and reconnected with what you love 🙂
Happy 11 years blog-birthday!
I have been reading your blog for a while now and loved this post so-so much that I had to leave you a comment which I'm always shy to do this..... Thanks for your true honesty and authenticity, its such an inspiration for me and gives me energy to start working on my blog again after months of silence.
All the very best for this year ; )
Big love x xxx
Thank you for this post. 'Seek and you shall find' has always held a special meaning to me. I have been completely disenchanted with blogging and *gasp* food for a while. Food has always been my first love but I feel like I'm constantly pressurized to do what the rest of the blogosphere is doing these days. The joy in cooking, eating and sharing a great meal has been taken over by keeping up with the Joneses. And the funny bit is, I have a full time job as a Marketing Manager and I only took up blogging to archive my best recipes and have some fun!
Like I said... thanks for sharing, this post puts the whole turmoil in my head into a sunny space. Maybe no one will ever read my blog if I don't make a gluten-free, vegan, organic cookie in 2016. But maybe no one needs to, if the process of creation gave me the same joy. All the best for your beautiful journey forward.
Food to nourish - body, heart and soul.
Congratulations on your achievements Sneh, but also your ability to connect with people & touch people's hearts and minds with truth, understanding & without abandon. To be honest and fragile with eachother is a very difficult thing to do. To leave yourself open to criticism in this often 'damning 'online world can be quite scary. It's been soothing to read this post & I truely appreciate it & am greatful for you sharing what so many of us feel so often. One beautiful thing about this blogging world is the unique & kindred & kind & inspiring spirits you meet along the way. Thank you for being one of those to so many. God bless you & your journey. Xxx
So much heart and joy felt here Sneh. Thank you for sharing and reconnecting! And a happy 11 years! xx
Thanks for stopping by Anna xx
Bravo for your self-reflection and your renewed focus on personal happiness! And for sharing it...! I started blogging when i was hit by a burn out. During that time I realised I loved art and 'making' but it did not feature in my life. Meanwhile I recovered and my art blog is still giving me happiness.
Fantastic post. I've also experienced the same loss of joy for food and have recently regained it and started my own food blog. Thank you for sharing this!
HI Sneh...I'm Carolyn and I blog at http://www.peacemeal-xo.com..... I loved reading this post! and your blog is wonderful and so beautifully written!
Sneh! This post really brought me so much JOY!
I really loved reading all about where you came from and how you go here.
I am so happy you plan on blogging more. Your blog is a constant inspiration to me and was the first Aussie food blog I ever followed.
Things just wouldn't be the same without your beautiful words and pictures xxx
Thanks for your love Erin. You are always so lovely. I am so glad to have connected with you through this world of blogging, your little space brings me immense joy too x
Dear Sneh, wow 11 years and I have just recently discovered your blog! Thank you for sharing this story and your thoughts and feelings with us! As somebody who started blogging only 10 months ago, but have fallen in love and started practising food photography 3 years ago, I appreciate what you wrotte and actually your words give me encouragement I needed to continue my blogging the way how I do it, the way I want to do it and the way it's important to me. My way... Thank you for that!
Cheers Lili! Hope blogging brings you many many countless years of joy x
Looking forward to more time enjoying a leisurely hour at a coffee shop with you this year 🙂
yesss! so looking forward to our market catch ups x
Dearest Sneh, I have read your words with such a big knot of joy in my heart. I am so happy for you. It is very easy over time to move away from the things that we love most, so when we do rediscover them (or feel their lack and can't quite understand why), and to come back home to them again, is very profound. I so enjoy what you do; your insights; and your honesty. It's refreshing and wise and wonderful. Thank you. xx
Thank you Belinda. Your words mean so very much to me. I am always in awe of how you find the time to write to everyone with your lovely words of encouragement and wisdom. It also always blows my mind that the author I have fan-girled over most of my adult life writes to me so very often. Thank you from the bottom of my heart xx
Your words are so true. I work at a company that is made up of alot of college age people. They are constantly obsessing about dairy, wheat, sugar, gluten, low fat, no fat, kale, etc. I am older and I am a baker/cook. I sometimes cook for our board meetings. Everything is from scratch and it makes the building smell really good. These same people, stand around and watch me and ask when there will be leftovers and say they would love to learn how to cook like that. Our society has gone way overboard, in my opinion, in worry about every little thing that may or may not ever be an issue.
Totally agree with you Julie. You nailed it when you said that everyone worries about things that may not even be an issue.x
Beautiful post and thanks for the candor. Working with food is not easy, especially, if somehow that is the source of income. At some point, I think we all simply get frustrated and disgusted about the "trendiness" of food. There are times when I read articles on "xyz is the new kale" I feel like taking a giant hammer and beating some sense into people that food is food and too sacred and scarce to be a fashion statement. And, I cool down the say they can all be damned, I'll just be my conscious self and hopefully I can convince a few others to be with me in growing circles.
For that I am glad blogging exists. Because, it allows different perspectives....
Sneh you amazing lady. Your words always have such a poetic story telling rhythm about them, written with such authenticity.
I'm so happy you have rekindled your joy with food.
Thank you Cheryl! Your blog has some really amazing, innovative recipes 🙂 x
I completely agree with you. We are now in a place where we almost have to justify what we are eating if it contains one of the no-no's of the moment ( gluten (unless you are truly allergic!), sugar, dairy). And if we indulge in one of those we are subject to judgment by others. It seems like the pleasure of cooking/eating has become a thing of the past.
I just adore you, Sneh. You are a crazy-talented cook, photographer and stylist, but it has always been your words - your heart - that keeps me coming back. It is such a pleasure to know you. x
Thanks Bron! I always love seeing you here. You are so kind with your words and your love! x
beautifully expressed - I very much enjoy reading your blog, not just for the recipes, but also for your stories 🙂
Thank you Vickie! Your blog is sweet and the jewellery you make is incredibly beautiful xx
I really enjoyed this post, and so much of it resonates with me too. I admit I lost a lot of my joy for food and blogging after taking up freelance food writing and finding that deadlines and the pressures of what various companies asked of me started to destroy my love of food (particularly having to spend ages faffing around photographing some elaborate dish that is getting cold when you just want to sit down after a long day and eat some eggs and toast). I've finished a few of those jobs now, so am hoping that I start to reconnect with food and that blogging can start to become a hobby and a joy again, rather than a chore. Also, don't even get me started on the tyranny of the clean eating and 'free from' movements...
Oh darling I hear you! So glad you've found your stride again. Can't wait to see what emerges next, hope to see you soon. xx
Such an honest write up Sneh! Very inspiring as always. Congrats on 11 years of sharing your love for food and cheers to many more.
This is a beautiful reminder and gorgeously simple sentiment, and one that we will treasure wholeheartedly as inspiration and a reminder to stay true to the simplicity and joy of food, unfettered: "It is not to complicate lives. It is not to create envy or depression. It is not to create anxiety or build pressure. It is definitely not to create confusion and resentment. It is not to show off a lifestyle or preach lack of one. It is not to make one feel like a failure. It is simply – to nourish. And having done that, it is to create an excitement for that taste, a memory to remember that taste and a feeling of happiness and comfort from having shared it. Whether it was with birds at the park or loved ones around the table."
Good on you for having the courage to open-up to your followers.
Like yourself I hail from Indian roots - half Parsi and half Goan. As you can appreciate food was a huge part of our life growing up. I do appreciate your feelings about losing your passion for food. Especially when we are judged by whether we follow the new ''trends'' in food.
I think the quote on the wall at the famous Iranian cafe in Mumbai, Brittania & Co. sums it up perfectly - ‘There is no love greater than the love of eating’
I have been following you for many years. I love your blog. I love your book. Do what you love and don't change a thing!
What a honest and heartfelt post. This blogging world can certainly be rather superficial and follow the latest trend. I find when I stay true to my love of real food and share what I want to share I enjoy it so much more too. A great place to blog from I say! Its real and authentic. I look forward to reading along on the next chapter or Cook Republic.
Congratulations and Happy Birthday!! 😉 beautiful post...
I have followed your blog for quite a long time and I'm so glad that you do what you do. Congratulations on 11 years! So big! When I started blogging I really had no idea what I was doing or what kind of pressures that could go along with it. Without intending to, I ended up taking a break when life became very busy this past summer and I think it was good for me to develop some perspective. I want this to be something that I do because I enjoy it, and not because of any "shoulds" or "have tos". For me, it's a hobby that has brought some lovely people and fun opportunities my way, and I'm still figuring out what that really looks like in terms of post frequency and taking on additional projects. Anyways, I really appreciate your take on this whole world of blogging so thank you 🙂 xo
Dear Sneh, I loved to read about your experience. Whatever work we do, or relationships we have, there is a similar pattern of falling in and out of attraction. I also constantly reform my course and ask why I'm doing something, anything. It's nice to hear that you have found your constant in blogging.
"If you had a child that you loved dearly but wasn’t very outgoing, popular or the life of a party, would you go swap him for someone who was?"
Wow! Exactly what I needed today. Thank you for these words. Not every blogger would tell you these things but boy, did you just shine a light into the dark hole that I was in.
Please keep blogging. Some people (such as myself) need the inspiration.
Lovely post, Sneh. I'm just coming up on my third blogiversary and I can identify with so much of what you're saying. I love food and I love taking photos, but I find taking photos of food tiring and awkward. I just want to eat it! I also get tired of some of the recipe nit-picking. I do still love writing, though, and will keep at it even if it means broadening my horizons a little. Thanks for sharing, and welcome back!
It's my very first time reading your blog and I'm glad I did..I am a newbie blogger and I once had lost my joy to blog because people would only be critical and it got to me..then I decided to blog again..do what I love without letting other people's judgements get in the way...sharing what I love eating and cooking...improving on my photography and at least inspire one person to want to become a better cook...Thank you for writing this..
My blog is flavorhaven.WordPress.com...please have a look you've greatly inspired me...and if I could get any pointers it would make my year!!
Such a great post, congrats on completing 11 years of blogging , love your photography and writing . Keep on going. God bless .
You wrote exactly what I lately have in my mind: I'm no more enthusiastic as I was at the beginning of my adventure of blogging, but as you suggest I have to look back and remember where, why and how I began. Congratulation for your 11 blog-birthday, I recently discovered your blog but it was love at first sight 🙂
Thank you for this post,
I can relate to your words, actions and reflections. I feel like I've undergone something of a revolation similar to what you have described. Like your experience with food, I found no taste nor joy in my creations. I felt like I had lost my path and the reason I'd started my business, but I was too tired to go and find it again. So I made some big decisions. I closed my business premise, culled and sold off all the equipment, and donated heaps of items and recipe books. It was very cathartic, and I feel that it has been the ending if a chapter and the start of new one - a chapter in which I focus on those aspects of the business that I enjoy the most - creating new recipes, learning about new ingredients, finishing my nutritional medicine studies, concentrating on my blog, running workshops, getting fit again, and learning how to use my new camera!
So congratulations on your brave movements. Here's to finding the 'me' in our activities again, and that simple joy with food that was our beginning spark. I wish you all the very best with your new adventures. Jx
Sneh, so eloquently expressed. I am but a baby blogger (2 years) and your parenting analogy really resonates with me. How easy it is to be self critical and compare yourself to what others are doing. I really do try and remember why I started. Having always written, because I must, my blog is the perfect creative outlet to not only write, but to share my love of food and eating. I have so enjoyed meeting other similar minded people in the blogosphere and that perhaps, was the biggest lovely surprise. Lately, I was feeling a tad jaded, not so much about what I was eating but about the 'blogging process' of it. I felt like I had also lost a bit of joy. I had been photographing the ingredients and it was slowing down my regular fun and meditative cooking process. Then I realised, hey! It's my blog and I don't have to do that anymore. Funny what we do to ourselves. Your blog has inspired me for years and especially your big heart in encouraging others to stay true to their own voice. Blog On! (Imagine that rock n roll finger sign that people hold up at rock concerts....)
This post is totally awesome. I am almost 5 years into food blogging and I have found a voice in promoting African culture through food. I blog sporadically, am not monetised at all and haven't got the energy to do all that. I blog in my spare time, after my day job, after seeing to the welfare (and bedtime... ah relax) of my 3 kids. I blogged when I was doing my masters in construction economics and management. It really was a happy place and escape for me. These days when the house is quiet, I JUST DO NOTHING. I haven't cooked a great meal in a while, life is so hectic, and washing dishes near midnight is not exactly the life part of the work-life balance. It alwasy seems to my surprise that my blog gets picked up by various media outlets as "awesome"... I don't even have a schedule and have not posted a new blog in 5 months. It got me the chance to dip my toes into freelance writing. Heck, I cannot even deliver half of what so many potential "customers" want me to write. I have no time and I used to beat myself up about not being able to jump and grab all those opportunities and make extra $$$$. But I have read your post, and it make me feel it is OK to just chill. I have a ot on my plate that isn't food. And this tie f looking after the wee ones will pass. Let's eat and enjoy, and cook and discover. And post the occasional #plateonfleek
Sneh I loved reading every word of this. Every word. It has really got me thinking about my own stuff too - my neglected, much younger blog, and what I want to be doing with my time. Thank you for your words and the thoughts they have provoked. Lots of love, annie
Beautiful post Sneh - over the past year I keep coming back to what I love also - you feel more alive when you do what you love (although hubby would prefer that what I loved brought more of an income not just created expenditure!). Look forward to seeing more wonderful blog posts. Leanne x
Good for you and rather bold. Hope your blogging Renaissance is everything you wish it to be. Curious to know what you will be doing differently so will follow with interest. It does feel increasingly hard to stand out so sitting down is a good idea. x
Thank you for the honest and raw truth. I think it's easy to loose yourself with trends and fashion to be 'liked' or followed. Reading your story has made me think about the whys a bit more. I love reading your blog and your cookbook features heavily in my kitchen x
Happy 11 years Sneh! How perfectly timed this post is?! The loss of the true meaning and joy of food is something I've reflected on in the last two months. I found myself needing to take a step back from Instagram/social media over the summer. I found I was putting myself under insane pressure to pump out and pre-schedule content simply to 'keep up with the Jones' sort of speak during my small uni/Christmas break, when really I needed to spend my holidays (before a big last year of a Masters degree!) looking after myself and spending time with friends. I realised a little too late... but what I am now endeavouring to achieve in 2016, is a better a balance, blogging for the right reasons (and when the timing is right), because that's when the magic is truly mad and the food truly enjoyed. I'm looking forward to losing myself in the wonder of your blog this year (as a much needed distraction from study)! Best wishes, Camilla xx
Thank you for this blog post. I can relate after less than 2 years of blogging!
I am taking a tiny breather from sm but just had to read and comment because it struck a nerve.
Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Lovely written :). Food and cooking and blogging make me happy too
Happy Bloganniversary and to many more! This year I'll also celebrate my 11th year of blogging...
I totally agree with you on the meaning of food and I'll add that food is medicine too.
Powerful Sneh. After experiencing something similar (on a much less scale, sans Jamie Oliver and epic awards - congratulations) I have recently realised to take it down a notch - and focus on what bought me once so much joy. My blog 🙂 Welcome back, and what a journey xxx Bec
It was so lovely to read this ... I don't blog as such, but I share recipes through my website and can wholly feel what you are talking about ... thank you for being so eloquent in expressing what I and so many feel ... and glad that you have decided to stick with it and be an inspiration to so many ... thank you xo
This is so beautiful and true, Sneh. The way you describe food and what it means to us ... We need to hear and remember this more often. It's so easy to lose yourself in the world, in social media, in what other people are doing, in what we think is a giant, once in a lifetime opportunity, but it usually doesn't help us. I've always been stubborn enough to follow my own route, but when I started blogging last year, I suddenly felt the (self-imposed, imagined) pressure of an entire blogging world on my shoulders. I didn't know what to do with it. I've been thinking about my blog a lot, though, and I'm happy to say that I'm back on track. Starting simply from within. From what I want to make and want to share. It feels liberating. (Sorry to spam your comments box like this)
This was lovely to read. I absolutely adore your pictures. They are amazing. Hope you blog grows bigger with the passing days and yet hope you have forever the small community of people conversing with whom you find absolute joy. Cheers to food and all things good.
I started following you recently and have bumped into you around a few forums I think. I love your photography - its so inspiring as is this post. I'm glad you are reconnecting with your happy 🙂
I'm a very new blogger at Little Kitchen Blue - my first post in July 2015 - and wow I had no idea what I was getting myself involved in! I find it exhilarating exciting and intimidating all at once. My main goal for my blog, apart from sharing delicious recipes of food I love to cook - is to create a visual narrative of what we eat....its a work in progress. But I would love it if you would stop by and have a look one day.....
I am actually crying as I read this. I have been following you for a while now and have been so amazed and inspired and in awe of your work, your photos and styling that I have actually been too shy to even say Hi!
I am a fellow food lover, a home cook, a novice photographer and a busy mum of 3 boys. I live not far from you actually and only started a food blog 1 year ago as my fellow busy mum friends wanted inspiration for quick healthy mid week meals for their families and I was tired of emailing everyone my meal plans and recipe ideas!
I jumped in, feeling 100% inadequate, and overwhelmed by the world of food I loved to follow, and how I, a foodie with a nutrition degree, couldn't even keep up. I wanted to get back to celebrating life around the table, with family and friends and helping those who aren't passionate, but who just need to eat, have a little more direction and inspiration.
I am a blogging baby but am so far loving sharing my simple home cooking and hearing from people I do and don't know that they have a fussy eater trying a new vegetable or have expanded the meals they know how to make. It makes me happy and fills me with joy.
And then I take a look around and think maybe I need to take it to the next level.....whatever that is...and then I think, I might just keep doing the same thing. Simple nutritious food for the everyday person. It doesn't really have the WOW factor of the Instagram foodie world, but I am starting not to care.
Thank you so much for what you shared today.
Although we have never met, you are a beautiful person with a wonderful food philosophy. Your creativity blows me away and your love for your family shines through all your posts.
Many blessings to you, Emma
sneh, don't change, don't be intimidated, kepp being your best you, that's why we love you and your presence in this little online sphere.
I enjoy reading every post of yours, Sneh and this is the second time your words have had such an impact on me. You had once written about blogging itself and how it should be done for the sheer joy of it-not for how many FB or IG likes etc. And this post struck a chord again. Thank you for being so open and for being such an inspiration.
Congratulations for this 11year journey. I know there are many more to come. I think the secret of happiness is to do what we love to do. I love your work, you are an inspiration. Love.
Congratulations on 11 years of blogging, and thanks for your great recipes. It saddens me that people feel they have to point out what you're not providing, rather than appreciating the effort you've made to share something with them. I won't make every one of your recipes, but the ones I have made have all been worth making more than once - my friends certainly appreciate it when I share! It's up to the reader to pick and choose what suits them, not for the blogger to have to placate everyone.
Thanks again, I'm happy to keep on reading as long as you're happy to keep on creating.
TOTALLY feeling you on this. I have also majorly pressed the refresh button on my relationship with food, and blogging and basically everything this year? It's exciting and refreshing to hear that I'm not the only one. You know, it would be killer to work with you on something. I don't know what, I'm just throwing it out there. We should take our fresh perspective and do something crazy.
So happy to hear you'll be in this space more too!
So glad you are doing it too! Its like spring cleaning the blogging space :-). Yes, totally. It would be lovely to meet you and collaborate on something if the opportunity arrives. Keep rocking Sarah! x
Here, here. Great post. I read every word (which I don't always do) and agree wholeheartedly with so many things you mention. Thanks for sharing.
Oh, Sneh, what a beautiful, personal post. I totally hear you about losing the joy of it. I have only been blogging for 2 years, but I just took the last 3 months off because I was so burned out (I started the blog, launched a cooking app and wrote a cookbook for Ten Speed in that span). I can't imagine 11 years!! (though I am thankful for it because your blog is such a joy to follow!) It is so true what you say, that when things are going well, and you are doing something that you love, it's so easy to sacrifice happiness and time with loved ones. Yes! Even though it had only been 2 years, I felt like I had lost sight of all that matters the most to me - my simple life, cooking without a deadline and just for the joy of it, and my loved ones. So I stopped for a while, and am now coming back to what really brings me joy, but on my own terms and with more balance. Thank you for sharing your story and your vulnerability and keeping it real. We need more of that in the world. Love to you! XOXO
Nathalie, thank you for stopping by and for your honest comment. Congratulations on the book! Hope you continue finding joy in your food and your cooking adventures 🙂 x
Oh darling, Sneh, you have shared what so many of us are feeling. I've found that gelato tastes beautiful when you're visiting Rome for the first time and it is a sweltering 40C, so sharing a few scoops with the love of my life is a moment I want to cherish - guessing which and how much sugar went in the ice cream is not what I am after. While I have been mindful of some of my close family and friends' allergies, intolerances, coeliac disease and our own sugar intake when creating recipes for the blog, I am also honest about enjoying a quiet indulgence no questions asked.
Here is to reconnecting with the joy of food and the joy of life! Let's catch up and I'll bring Polish donuts to celebrate your 11 years. Fried, with rich plum jam and a traditional glaze. Just perfect.
Fantastic blog post Sneh! Your food nourishes our bodies and words our souls. It's great to have you back! Good luck with everything.
Congrats on 11 years Sneh! I love & respect your honesty in this post. I've only been blogging for close to 3 years and go through similar waves of thought. Amongst all the external pressures and what's en vogue, it's sometimes hard to stay true to what makes us happy. Glad to see you've re-ignited your passion and look forward to reading future stories. Kate x
Just beautiful Sneh. I don't follow cooking blogs, I'm an inept cook but love your blog. Your passion for food and it's simple beauty comes through. Congrats on 11 years, please keep sharing.
I love this post Sneh! Even after only two years I can relate so much to what you are saying. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
Wow... I'm glad you have had a break and time to re-assess and prioritise. I want you to know that what you have said here is a real encouragement to me. I blog, but no-one really sees my recipes besides my friends and family. And although I have considered going more 'professional', I know that would only take away the joy from the creative process... and that is what I enjoy the most. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I look forward to visiting this space more! xo
What an amazing article Sneh! I meet you for the first time at the Blogging event that you won. I was in awe of you and have followed your success and enjoyed cooking your amazing recipes. I resonate with a lot of what you say about blogging (I have been blogging for 6 years) and I too find moments when it's all too much.
I love that went on a journey to discover what made you happy again. I love cooking food for my family from what we have grown. We raise our own cows now, so cooking our meat is such a joy. And I too am loving teaching my children about less waste and food cooked with passion and love. We are planning our passata day in few weeks, the kids are excited and it's days like this I love - family & food. Enjoy your return to blogging.
Brenda, thank you for your sweet words. Ha ha in awe of me? you are funny! You know, I love following you on Instagram. I loved the Frocktober pictures (gosh you are pretty!) and all the snippets of farm life you share. It must be an amazing feeling to raise your own livestock. Hope your recent getaway to Sydney was great! xx
Its a beautiful write-up Sneh. I am only 3 years into blogging but have already begun to experience many of the frustrations that you have written about. I too made a conscious decision this year to cut down, re-wind and connect back with my kind of food. It pains me when many of my friends think I wont approve of their simple, home cooked food because it might not look pretty like the ones on my blog or does not have exotic ingredients in it. One thing I have consciously avoided is labelling food and always tell it to all who care to listen; eat fresh and in moderation, try and be your best self, find happiness in simplicity......my way of being healthy and staying sane in this fast paced world.
Its good that you step back and assess things. Very important to do that, actually very important to remind ourselves to do that. I find myself getting sucked into this food obsessed whirlpool very often and have to tell myself to step away for a bit. 🙂
You gorgeous, gorgeous woman!
Thank you so much for sharing your plight and vulnerability - I loved every word.
Here's to food as a privilege and social media as simply story telling and connection.
Much love to you x
Thanks for your lovely words. I so loved your article on Huff Post, it resonated with me. More people need to think like that. xx
I'm so happy that you have found a way to balance doing meaningful work without sacrificing what you cherish Sneh. You inspire me every day.
Bernie! You are awesome. I am so in awe of you and your gorgeous books. Thank you for your constant support and words of love! xx
It is very nice to meet you! I've followed your blog for some time, and it's nice to get to know you a little better. Wishing you many more years of doing what make your heart sing 🙂
Oh Sneh, this exactly what I've been feeling for such a long time. My love of food has been waning away when people criticise how much sugar is in a recipe or the fact I used white flour. I loved it when we could simply enjoy food without labelling it or criticising others food choices. I think social media is partly to blame as it has become so easy to judge and criticise. We are very lucky to have such an abundance of food, not to mention the fact we are also lucky enough to have a choice. Here's to bringing back the joy in food!
So glad to know I am not alone in feeling this way Jen. I blame social media too! For the record, white flour makes the best cakes I think 🙂 Here's to bringing back the joy in food! xx