Time flies very fast and it has already been a year since Pepper Delight went live. As I celebrate my blog’s first anniversary, I am so excited to share my experiences as a food blogger and the wonderful journey I have been through. So, Hello and Welcome to the first episode of my anniversary feature, A Year with Pepper Delight!
Two years back if someone had asked me what a food blog is, all I could say were the names of a few blogs out of which I seldom visited any. Never did I even think in my dreams that one day I would have a food related website of my own. Life changed so much during this one year and I must say I couldn’t be happier. As days went by I kept on falling in love with my blog and an even more desire to work towards it. It’s all you dear readers and my followers who have made me feel so special throughout this journey, and I thank you everyone for the huge support you have given me.
When I started this blog, people often asked me the reason behind doing a food blog, my recipe sources, ideas, and many more. So, I thought to sit down and pen my first year experiences and the journey as a food blogger. Shortly I will be uploading my second part of this feature too, a “Behind the Scenes” episode! So stay tuned!!
I don’t believe in luck coz it never favored me, and it was the unexpected which gave me positive results. There were a lot of ups and downs in my life and the one lesson I learnt is that the realities of life are always the same, but if you push yourself you can surely achieve your dreams… and Sky is the limit!!
After I met my husband, I took my first year to enjoy life and be a good housewife. As months went by, I started getting bored and slowly the urge to do something more in life began to haunt me. And I think it gets even worse if you had been working or had a job in the past. Quickly things changed as we moved to the US for my husband’s work assignment, and once again I got engaged and busy with the new phase of life. But as you get further away from family n friends, and being unable to work on a dependent visa, boredom really kicks in. I started looking out for new hobbies, ideas, volunteering, and even thought about higher studies and getting an MS (like any other dependent Indian wife). But I wasn’t really interested in spending time again in a classroom, writing exams, or back to college life. In fact I wanted to do something which makes me happy, carefree, have a balanced work life, and gives me plenty of time to enjoy and be with family. And that’s how Pepper Delight started!!!
I love cooking and experimenting with food but until recently, I used to confine myself to Indian recipes, in fact South Indian to be specific. Like as I had mentioned in the Inspiration page of my blog, it was after meeting a few friends did I get the courage to explore and cook international recipes beyond my comfort zone. And after moving to the US; the exposure to various global cuisines, the easy accessibility and availability of all ingredients in your nearby grocery stores, having a full sized conventional oven at your apartment/home (it opened the world of baking to me); all of these instilled my desire to start a food blog. Once I had that figured out, then came even bigger confusions; like I need a good website, need to learn photography n food styling, will I be able to write well, can I find time to blog and carry on my household chores, and so on. A millions questions kept on popping daily during my initial blog days, as if I opened a can of worms. So I started spending time to research, did a lot of reading about the experiences of other food bloggers, realized the importance of food styling and photography as the first big step to a good food blog, and as I started to cook, photograph, practice; the real fun began! In fact, if you compare the photos of my initial recipes vs the recent ones, you would get a picture of my learning phase and the journey so far.
My favorite question I get asked is, where do I get my recipe inspiration and how do I understand food styling? Inspiration is everywhere; it’s all about your priorities and looking out for it. For e.g., I used to tell my husband that only after I sat in the driver’s seat and started driving did I start noticing the sign boards and signals, although they have been there all the time. Same is the case with me after I started blogging; the food blogger’s community out there is my biggest inspiration! Instagram & Pinterest helped me in getting to know an amazing pack of friends who support you and share the same desires in this journey.
Just like the inspiration, an equally important fact is the criticism. Though it’s been only a year of blogging, I consider myself lucky to not have had that much of a negative feedback. But there is this perception of this profession which some carry and I get asked when I tell people that I am a blogger; “Is that seriously a job?”, and I hate that!! Are white collar jobs that only matter?
People don’t understand the hard work we put before publishing a post. Sometimes it takes days to complete the whole work behind a post. Somedays you lack inspiration for a good recipe, or your dish doesn’t turn out well, otherwise your photos don’t, or being a cloudy day you do not have enough sunlight for photography, at times you struggle to get the right words to pen down your inspiration behind your recipe; there is a lot of effort and work which goes behind the scenes for each and every recipe post.
It was a bit stressful initially to hear such criticism, but now it’s my motivation to write even better. All I have to say is; do something in life which you enjoy and makes you happy! Money cannot buy happiness, but the satisfaction in doing something you love and being successful is priceless…
Food blogging is a competitive career, and now it is my full time job. One year down the lane with 92 recipes …that’s a big baby step in my journey. Each recipe takes hours and hours of preparations before posting online. Starting with the recipe planning to the grocery shopping, food styling, photography, writing, and posting online, everything involves a lot of work & focus. And finally the least exiting part of it; cleaning up!!! After every post goes live (which usually happens at midnight), I look forward excitedly to wake up in the morning to view the likes, comments, & shares, and make my day bright and happy!
The beautiful part of my journey is the learning phase in photography. And of course, the happiest moment for any food blogger is when someone tries your recipe and shares their wonderful feedback…
Into my second year of blogging, I look forward to embrace “staying healthy” as my mantra. I will be focusing on clean eating, and introduce a lot of healthy recipes & detox recipes like smoothies, salads, soups, and so on.
Being a travel lover, I also wish to write travel posts (hope I get to travel a lot) focusing on the local and international cuisines/produce available at the places I visit. Collaborating with bloggers, inviting guest posts on my blog is another to-do item on my wish list. And of course, I would love to explore my photography skills and shoot for local restaurants and farms who wouldn’t mind amateurs like me.
So, Thank you all once again for all the love n support; Stay tuned for the second part of this feature, “Behind the Scenes”!!