Monday, December 12, 2011

Food Writers Sweat The Small Stuff

Here's an interesting article about popular food writer, Monica Bhide. The recurring theme in this article is the great lengths she has gone in order to become recognized in a field already bursting at the seams with wanna-be food writers.

When you look at what Bhide has done to make a name for herself you see a pattern of self-promotion, perseverance and consistency. She has written tirelessly, carved out a well-defined niche and provided a plethora of content across multiple promotional streams.

Food writers are definitely not in short supply. It takes a certain panache to make reading about something you can't actually experience (especially food which requires an even higher level of description than say, a lap top computer) so not everyone is well-suited to it. Because there are so many food writers you need to have the skills, yes, but you also need to put in the work required to make your name rise above the rest. You need to have a good grasp of the tools required to self-promote; make certain your name is everywhere it needs to be to generate the maximum level of exposure.

And above all else, you need to have good taste. Literally. If you recommend a certain dish to a certain palate, it better be a good match. That's just another obstacle for aspiring food writers.

Monica Bhide is a living example of the axiom that success is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Which isn’t to belittle Monica’s talent as a food writer: She’s one of the very best out there. But she’s also one of the most persistent, single-minded, positive people I’ve ever met, someone who traded in her highly-paid job as an engineer for the brutal, economically uncertain, and outrageously fun world of writing about food.

Anyone who dreams of being a food writer would do well to emulate Monica. She teaches online food writing courses, has created an app, is a manic tweeter, is the author of the cookbook Modern Spice as well as dozens of newspaper and magazine articles, and now she has published an ebook, In Conversation with Exceptional Women, in which she interviews such luminaries as Ruth Reichl, Susan Orlean, Amanda Hesser, and many other writers. It’s full of wise advice on getting started, staying motivated, and having fun in the process. I turned the tables on Monica, asking her for her best advice on making it as a writer in the food world.

Click here to read more about Monica Bhide.

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