Nicheless but with Atmosphere

I want to start by thanking those of you who answered my question about why you read this blog.  What an encouragement!! As I expressed in that post, I have struggled about whether or not to continue writing about real food.  Especially in a niche where I am a bit of a novice and cynic, I often feel like there is little point to me taking pictures of my groceries, posting recipes, and sharing meal plans.

Additionally, it kind of irks me when generosity or faith-based posts receive NO comments, and yet readers send me thousand word diatribes when I tease about organic food. Admittedly, most of my self-conscious woebegone feeling stemmed from one comment related to a food post which included the phrase, “Katrina, I am so disappointed in you.”

Really!? This is what were doing? Ughh. I thought this food thing would be fun.

So, I sit with my fingers on the keyboard wondering if I should write what I WANT to SAY or what YOU want me to SAY. Then I wonder what you want me to say. Then I wonder if I really want to say that. Then I wonder what God wants me to say, but He’s not saying.

(Well hello, Insanity! How nice of you to visit! Yes, do come in. I was just talking to myself.)

Here’s an illustration. My mom talks about restaurants as having “good food” or “good atmosphere.”  My dad gravitates toward the “food” places, and my mom gravitates toward the “atmosphere” places.  I guess it is pretty hard to find a place with both.

I have been trying to be BOTH a great content based food blogger AND a funny, dynamic, inspirational story blogger. No wonder I wore myself out.

Your comments helped me to realize that while I don’t need to abandon writing about food when I want to, most of you aren’t coming back here for the food.  You are coming back for the atmosphere. (Single tear.)  I just need to keep using my gifts, whether that means writing about food or faith or something else entirely.  It sounds silly to some of you, I’m sure, that I so shamelessly need your approval of my writing, but I guess I’ll never totally shake the people pleaser in me, no matter how hard I try.

But wait.  It isn’t just being a people pleaser.  Many bloggers will say that we shouldn’t be obsessed with numbers, and I agree. However, if I didn’t want an audience, I’d journal.  The fact is, I do want an audience, so I write a blog.  I WANT readers. There I said it.

I want readers.

I WANT READERS.

There is this theory that true writers care only about the craft and the creativity, whereas hacks get all caught up in being read by masses.  I get frustrated by these coy, self-effacing writers who pretend that we sit, wearing white, holding fountain pens, in our cozy closets being all demure like Emily Dickinson.

BALONEY. Home-girl died before most of those poems were hauled out of a trunk.  As elegantly scripted as her words are, she didn’t get to know how they resonated with millions of readers. That’s just sad, sad, sad, and sad.

And I’m just tired of pretending that it doesn’t matter to me if I’m read, if you like what I say, or if it helps you. Because it does matter to me.

I am writing to you.

You can click here to read what I wrote about this when I was a baby blogger, so I am revisiting it now for those of you who showed up because of the food . . . .

Maybe all artists have to step back every now and then and look at their work and say, “Do other people see what I see here? Is this piece working?  Am I saying what I mean to be saying with my artwork?”

I guess that is what I needed to do.  And you, gentle readers, were lovely and gracious and made me tear up and feel super thankful to have any readers at all in spite of myself.

In conclusion, I will keep writing about real food. Sometimes. Or not. I will be nicheless, but with atmosphere.

Speaking of opening cans of worms, is there anything that you WISH I would write about?

 

17 Responses to Nicheless but with Atmosphere

  1. Yvonne September 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Don’t change a single thing and please don’t feel the need to apologize to readers. I love your blog because it’s more than just food. There are tons of ‘real food’ blogs and many are great. What I love about this blog (and You!) is that you are so transparent with us about your life- food, faith, kids, everything! By your sharing of yourself, countless readers are identifying with your struggles and successes and feel validated. You are also inspiring others with your faith walk and that is beautiful! Keep up the great work! I’ll be praying for you!

  2. Erin September 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    I love everything you share, write, articulate, and give to your readers in the written word. Everything is fabulous! I appreciate how real you are with us! How you have shown us your life, and your lessons — It makes me smile to read pieces of you!

    Keep it all up! Plus — you have at least one person in Germany who checks your blog everyday!!!!
    miss you!
    love
    erin

  3. laura k September 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    write… write… keep on writing. i will read. there is just so much more to it than the food. and, who says you can’t create your own niche??

  4. Irion September 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Thanks again for sharing! I love reading each one of your posts, no matter what they are about! Keep writing and sharing and I know you will have lots of readers like me who enjoy what you write! :)

  5. Corianne September 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    ehm. Can I just say that you are one of the few blogs that I check often because you are so real, and that I love that about your writing/blog?
    I love reading your struggles for with many I can sort of identify. You have a gift for writing, and challenge me to think through things. Plus, sometimes, you are just hilarious.

    Please keep on writing!!!

    Love from Holland,

  6. Kay Bruner September 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    love it love it love it!
    Kay Bruner recently posted…The elder sisterMy Profile

  7. Joye September 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Please don’t stop! You are the voice of reason when I get too carried away with my “hippie” ways! You help ground me. You are the perfect mix of food and faith writing. It’s funny that you mention the lack of comments. I normally don’t comment because I figure there are plenty of people out there who do and I guess I don’t think mine is that important. (Wow, talk about bringing up some issues!) The internet can become so impersonal and we can forget that there is an actual, real, feeling person on the other side.
    I did show up because of the food- then was ecstatic to see there was a God side too! Thank you, and I pray that you continue.

  8. Amy Dane September 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I feel happy if you choose to write about your chipped red toenail polish because I know you’ll make it interesting and funny. It’s your style that intrigues me and draws me back–not your topic. What better way to gag yourself than to write about something you aren’t feeling. Let’s don’t do that anymore.
    Amy Dane recently posted…Dear Me {a letter to my teen-aged self}My Profile

  9. Lee September 19, 2012 at 1:30 am #

    “You are coming back for the atmosphere.”

    Yes! That’s it exactly!

    Oh, and a P.S. on Emily Dickinson — she invested a lot of time and energy in trying to get published, but after several rejections apparently gave up. There’s a myth that she didn’t care if anyone read her work, but she did.

    I’m glad you’re going to keep on writing, whatever topics may move you.

    • Katrina September 19, 2012 at 7:02 am #

      Yes, I knew she did try to get published, and wanted that, but she never was recognized. Thankfully for us, the rejection didn’t stop her from writing. Unfortunately for her, being way ahead of her time did not include access to blogs. Poor thing. She could have been all the rage on Twitter with her short and concise. 😉

  10. Cyndi September 19, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    I missed the post about why I read your blog. I agree that it is the atmosphere. I love that you are so real and you are absolutely hysterical!! God has blessed you with this writing talent and wants you to use it all for his glory and that is what you are doing here. So keep writing girl, we are reading and loving it!

  11. Anitajoye September 19, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    are you sure the ‘i’m so disappointed person’ wasn’t just being sarcastic? hope it wasn’t me, but if it was, it was definitely sarcasm…
    i like reading your spiritual posts, but honestly, sometimes they are just a bit long ({duck}, don’t hit me!). while i really appreciate your thoughts (and obviously i need the encouragement, per last week)… i don’t have the time to sit and thoughtfully read a loooong blog post, then give a thoughtful response after having processed it in one sitting, well i’m not that talented. so, i guess what i am saying is, if you write a long post, people may need time to marinate on it and thus don’t comment right away (or maybe not at all). but, i have the same phenomenon on my blog. sometimes i throw my heart out there and not a comforting word or a even a hearty nod. but i can throw up a recipe or something funny and get a ‘hey girl’ farely often (although i don’t have nearly the readership that you do). oh well, in the end i don’t like it, but the real reason i write it out is to process it myself. keep processing it all katrina, it’s an encouragement to me at least.

  12. Jane in TX September 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Atmosphere: ***** (pretend these asterisks are stars)
    Food for my spirit: *****
    Service to my soul: *****
    Readability: *****
    Relatability: *****
    Laughability: *****

    Should I go on?

  13. Rebecca September 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    I totally enjoy your blog. I look forward to every post. Your writing is fresh, real, witty, inspired, infomative, challenging, etc, etc. Keep writing about whatever you want. As it was previously said, you can just create your own niche. :) And I will work on being a better, more consistant commenter.

  14. Laura September 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    I think when its a good post, and from your heart and passions, it’s never too long. You’ve had some zinger quickies that were excellent, and some lengthy ones that had multiple amazing points. A dud is a dud whether its short or long. :)

    And i really liked Jane in TX rating card.

  15. MyPeaceOfFood September 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Anything you write about food, faith and/or finance and you’ve got me!
    MyPeaceOfFood recently posted…The Year of NothingMy Profile

  16. Evelyn @ Smallish October 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    What a wonderfully open, honest, … haha, “organic” post. Thanks for that. I definitely come for the atmosphere. Your writing is great, but really I like anything you dish out. Be encouraged! You are so encouraging to many. And me.
    Evelyn @ Smallish recently posted…Ten delicious grill or crock pot mealsMy Profile