Monday, September 25, 2023

Rant: Food/Drink Writers, Challenge Yourself!

"They say the longer a man goes without facing a challenge, the weaker he becomes."
--Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa (originally serialized 1935-1939, first English translation 1981)

Musashi is an excellent (and huge!) novel about samurai in 17th century Japan, and as I recently reread it, I was struck by the above quote. As I pondered it, I saw its applicability to many different areas, including food and drink writing, a topic I want to address now. 

Food/drink writers, are you challenging yourself? Or are you simply doing the same writing that you've been doing for years? Do you have five or ten years of writing experience, or just one year of experience that you have repeated five or ten times?

If your writing has become stagnant, if you haven't challenged yourself in years, then maybe now is the time to change it. None of us are perfect so we should take the opportunity to improve, and we do that by challenging ourselves, to become better. It's a never-ending objective, and fortunately there is so much to learn and experience in the food & drinking arena that we will never lack for challenge.  

When the pandemic raged, it was a more difficult time for food and drink writers. Restaurants closed, wine tasting events were canceled, and were much less food & drink opportunities for writers. Some writers simply wrote very little, failing to up their game, failing to create their own opportunities. They didn't challenge themselves, and their writing suffered.

For myself, I took the time to write more historical articles about food and drink, original pieces often looking into the origins of these items. Even with restaurants closed and tasting events canceled, I still found plenty to write about. I just had to be more inventive, and devote my energies in a slightly different vein. I challenged myself to improve my writing, and to expand the scope of my blog, to continue to make it fresh and relevant.

What did you with your writing when the pandemic raged?

Take a look at your writing and consider whether you have been challenging yourself or not. If not, then step up and start challenging yourself. Don't just keep repeating the same old stale writing you've been doing for years. Up your game! Make yourself a better writer. 

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