Monday, August 1, 2011

Announcing New Slog Feature: "The Most Delicious Thing I Ate This Week"

Among my worst-ever mistakes was trying to keep up a "What I Had For Dinner" diary on Chowhound starting back in 1997. I later repeated the mistake by attempting a "Chow Alert" email newsletter in 2002, which covered pretty much every noteworthy item passing my lips in the previous week (plus enough writerly writing to hopefully entertain readers beyond my geographical area).

I find deliciousness all the time - at a rate that exceeded my weekly restaurant review pace, back when I was doing that. And I love to share my finds, so these attempts to document my ingestion-in-progress seemed to make sense at the time.

The reality, though, is that while I'm experienced both at chowhounding and writing, it's excruciatingly difficult to do both in real time. Fatal resonances built between writer's block and eater's block, plus I was forced to abandon non-gastronomic life interests, making these undertakings hellish slogs. If you try to do what comes naturally "on-command" and under a spotlight (and with relentless deadlines), life can become weirdly unnatural. It's a huge buzz kill, and it took over my life.

When my corporate overlords had the idea of sending me off to do a "Chow Tour" - nine weeks of nonstop solitary ingestion and daily reporting - it nearly killed me. For a visceral impression, view the slideshow linked here, showing every bite I'd eaten on the trip (my boss couldn't fathom why I'd used such morose music).

So...I've been off food reporting for quite some time, aside from occasional items posted here and on Chowhound. And I resist being pulled back in.

But, like an unmilked cow, I feel overburdened with pent-up goodness worth sharing. So I'm going to try an intermediate solution, and start a feature called "The Most Delicious Thing I Ate This Week", starting tomorrow. Hopefully, it will allow me to share primo finds without feeling pressured - or turning this into yet another ditzy food blog.

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