A basic Dosirakbento and thoughts on blogging

Basic dosirak bento

A basic dosirakbento

A few days ago I was talking with a friend about my blog and she remarked that my recent blog posts have received a lot more likes than before. We tried to pinpoint the blog post where my “followers” and “likes” count suddenly started to go up, but couldn’t really decide when it happened. After that conversation, I actually went to have a look at my stats and saw that in July the numbers trebled from 522 (June) to 1465 views (July)!

But my stats are not the reason why I wanted to bring up the subject “thoughts on blogging”. Because during that same conversation I said something along the lines of “well, yes, I’m very happy that I have new followers and likes, but I do sometimes feel obliged to make sure I create nice and interesting looking lunches / blog posts”.  Her response was to ask ” But why do you blog? And for whom? Yourself or your readers?”

Since then, I have been thinking a lot about this question, because I actually wasn’t sure how to answer it.

I started my blog  in February of this year with this Bunny Bento post  and this About Dosirakbento post. The last post explained the difference between  dosirak / bento and also my reason for blogging (to keep a photo diary of my lunches). The Bunny Bento post was my first, actual lunch photo blog post.

This might be familiar to other new bloggers, and other bento makers, but the first few weeks, well maybe months, of blogging I got sort of “taken over” by my new hobby. I couldn’t stop talking about blogging, connecting with other bloggers, showing off my blog to friends, family and colleagues and in general being a nuisance about it. I also spent a fortune on bento and dosirak accessories.

Now, about 5 months later, it has slowed down. Not  stopped though. I still buy the occasional bento box but don’t order any longer for lots of ££’s at my favourite shops. And I continue to love blogging and reading other blogs (especially about food, Korea and Japan but not limited to those subjects only). But I stopped talking non stop about my blog.

However, having a blog did “take me over” in another way.

The more likes I received, and the more followers I gained, the more I felt I had to offer creative, well written, blog posts showing different lunches, new recipes, kawaii (cute) character lunches, food art, explanations on what I make, and why, and how, and so on. I have been pondering about getting a proper camera so I could make better food pictures.  I have been feeling guilty about not taking the time to properly thank for (and accept) the nominations I received from some lovely other bloggers  (HotDish, MsWuKitchen and lefthandedchopsticks, please accept my apologies. I truly appreciate your nomination, really).

Basically I have been lured into the thought of not wanting to disappoint my readers.

The questions “Why do I blog? And for whom?” from my friend, made me realise I need to go back to the beginning. And that is  going back to why I started blogging: keeping a diary of the lunches I make. Enjoy playing with food in a box. Learning about Japanese and Korean food.  And to enjoy blogging.

That doesn’t mean that I will stop making occasionally kawaii bento or trying out new dishes.  I will still do so, but only because I want to, not because I feel I “have to”.

And I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t like having new followers and receiving likes :-).  I will  always try to visit back the blogs of my followers, like back (when I truly like it) and respond to your comments.

I also love finding new blogs and reading the stories shared by other bloggers or being inspired by recipes and ideas.

But I won’t accept Awards. I do appreciate being nominated, but just don’t have the time to truly accept and reciprocate the appreciation in the spirit these Awards are being meant, given and passed on.

I will stop worrying about the quality of my photo’s and whether my punctuation is right or my writing style interesting, constructive or good enough.

Finally, and most important, I will stop feeling guilty for posting a picture of a “boring” daily dosirakbento such as the one above.
Because this is how most of my daily lunches look like. Nothing fancy, nothing creative, just rice, veggies, protein. OK, and a cute food pick. Those ££’s spent on Bento accessories shouldn’t be wasted after all… 😉

I’m not sure if the above makes sense to anybody other than myself, but I’m sort of glad to at least have said it (written down).


53 thoughts on “A basic Dosirakbento and thoughts on blogging

  1. I would like to respond to your post by saying the reason I follow your blog is because I enjoy seeing what you eat for lunch every day. The unusual and “boring” are equally interesting to me – so I think you’re absolutely right not to worry about photos, punctuation etc. 🙂

  2. Hey Dosirakbento, I felt the same way the first time I was nominated, and declined. It takes time to accept and it wasn’t really why I was blogging in the first place. I started my blog for personal reference and wasn’t even aware there was a blogging community. That is to say, no pressure from my corner – just giving a shout-out to some of the blogs I like. Yours is great!

    • Thanks HotDish!
      It is very flattering to be nominated but as you write, that’s not why I started blogging. I also think it would only be right to accept an Award if I have the time to properly thank for it, answer it and nominate others in a meaningful way.

  3. If it helps support your thinking in anyway, I think your photos are perfectly fine for the nature of your blog and I enjoy the ‘boring’ lunches just as much as the cute ones! I like seeing the combinations of food used, and variations you may have on recipes I use!

    Although I feel bad that I was going to ask if you would write a guest post on Dosirak/bento for my blog. Instead, would you be terribly offended if I write a post linking to your existing posts for my blog?

    • Thank you for your lovely comment and of course I’m not offended!

      I am actually very flattered that you and other bloggers like my blog, the creative AND the boring bits 🙂

      I think that I just needed to realise again for myself that I started blogging about my lunches mainly because I enjoy playing with food in a box.

      And only secondly because it’s fun to share the result with like-minded bloggers.

      So yes, gosh, happy for you to link. Please don’t feel bad about asking. The last thing I wanted when writing this post is that readers would feel I don’t appreciate them, because I truly do. 🙂

    • Thanks! I actually only now realised that I forgot to describe what was in it(aside from generic rice, veggies, protein)!
      There was rice with shiso perilla furikake, korean omelet, hoisin chicken, carrot, cauliflower and edamame. It was very nice 😛

  4. I agree that keeping any sort of ongoing log of something highlights something. Blogging about your meals has made you become more aware of what they look like.
    For the last couple of years I’ve been drawing my food; whenever we dine out (Sometimes drawing on the spot and at other times completing my drawings at home) This has certainly made me aware of how often I choose the same dishes when we go out. I too have found myself making deliberate decisions to alter those choices. Maybe it’s a kind of wake up call – to notice the ordinary and the mundane. Which isn’t such a bad thing, after all.

    • Thanks for your comment!

      Keeping a diary of my lunches did make me aware of how often I was eating the same things and I made an effort to be more creative.
      But I now also realise that there is nothing wrong with the same things as long as I enjoy them 🙂

  5. I can relate to your feelings of needing to take interesting photos or writing about interesting things to entice readers. There was a period last year when I was so overwhelmed by blogging that I just stopped for a month. I have long since decided I will write about what I want, when I want to, and post whatever photos I have taken, even if they are not masterpieces. I think answering the question of why you blog and for whom you blog is very important and in answering those questions, you will be able to let go of those overwhelming feelings. I enjoy seeing your bentos; even the “not so interesting” ones are interesting to me as I try to pack better lunches for myself and get good ideas from your photos. 🙂

  6. Very honest post my dear, hats off to you! If you are anything like me, you think that your own blog never gets up to the same standard as other people’s (well you might not haha) but I do unfortunately. I see so many talented people who blog and then look at mine! 😛 Your blog is so interesting and exciting and one persons rubbish is another mans treasure as they say so never knock something you think is actually really good. You must think something of it to take the time to take the picture and write about it 🙂
    Yes I agree it can take over your life but dont change anything you are doing, just do it slightly less if you want to. But dont pack it in because you are absolutely fab 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment!!!

      I am definitely not stopping with my blog, I enjoy it way too much 🙂

      But I am stopping with worrying whether it’s interesting enough for my readers…..It’s their choice to follow or not to follow me.

      Having said that, of course I am still chuffed to bits to hear you (and others) like my blog 😉

      • Absolutely, agree with you there about whether or not people follow you or not. Blogs are a way of expressing yourself and you do it for you not for anyone else, its just a real bonus when people like it so much 😀 Keep up the good work!

  7. Haha this is the perfect post. I completely agree with everything. I started out blogging so that I could keep track of my own recipes and maybe share some with a few close friends…then I found myself stressing about the regularity of my posts, and about keeping my photos up to a certain standard. So silly. Now I’m just trying to post whatever and whenever I want:P
    Good for you for keeping your blog on the right track!

        • I agree! Isn’t it gorgeous? I love shiso, too. It’s got such an interesting flavor. Is yours mixed with a little sea salt? Have you tried it fresh? One of the most outstanding gyoza I’ve ever tried was shiso gyoza. I’ve only seen it once when I was living in Iwaki and I would do almost anything to have it again. I guess I could make it! 😀

  8. Very well said! You’ve captured how I felt when I began blogging (and what I still struggle with at times). I love all your bento posts, whether they are “fancy” or “ordinary” and they serve as a source of inspiration for me to have more fun with my own meals. Not that I’m trying to add pressure to post things for us! I just want you to know I appreciate how you share your meal photos with us and I find interesting ideas from all of them. 🙂

    • It’s very nice to hear that my lunches are interesting to others, thanks for your kind comment and appreciation 🙂

      And strangely enough, now that I have removed the – by myself inflicted – pressure, I actually feel more inspired again to make creative lunches!

  9. Hi – I’m glad that you have found your blogging style and reason for doing so – I think it’s what many struggle with. I know that I do. And also, you do interact with your followers, and the wider blogging community, as well as writing for yourself. I believe that’s all that the awards are about – gentle encouragement from others so you don’t hit that 6 month mark and give up, wondering if anyone else is reading this stuff. I’m sure that’s also why it’s so rewarding to get comments and likes; everyone needs approbation. Keep going and keep writing for yourself!

  10. Hi. Thanks for the comment on my blog. 🙂

    I enjoyed this post. I, too, want a proper camera. My pics all come from my iPhone or iPad, which I know are not the best. Oh well! I’m a busy mama of a three year old, and sometimes I only have time for a quick pic. And that’s okay!

    I wrote about why I blog, too, over a year ago. Here’s the link to that, if you don’t mind me sharing:


    I hadn’t read my post in a long time and this post made me go back and read it again. Thanks for that.

  11. Hi Dorisakbento! Thank you for taking the time to like my posts, though it is a blog in its humble beginnings. I saw this listed as one of your more popular posts so decide to check it out. It’s nice to know there are others who read before they like. A conversation I had with my bf was out of surprise – my blog’s new, how and why are people liking it? I’ve only given the link to five friends! So I was wary of getting likes just to return and be ‘recruited’ as a follower. I was pleasantly surprised by your blog post and its frankness. Much as I enjoy making fancy dishes, tweaking, and dreaming up (sometimes resulting in being mediocre) dishes, a top fav is my everyday common, regular meal. I have leftovers at my disposal, an assortment of odds and ends, a couple of cheap grocery items and an ever growing pantry that couldn’t make up it’s mind in ethnicity. So, it’s about being creative to put together something quick, hot, and tasty, using up leftovers, often as I rush out to work. But my bf ‘s tastes are sometimes different, presenting a new challenge that I don’t mind . Plus I like pretty foods and trying new dishes… The bento box ( or Dorisakbento?) is a great way of colourfully and cheerfully dressing up otherwise unadorned portions of a meal. I just may try it and just focus on cooking one or two parts! Also, I too am getting into the swing of my blog, thinking of the audience’s wants for a food blog. But at the end of the day it comes down to what I like, and I can’t seem to shut down or shut up about my interest in food. It’s nice cause you seem to be doing this for your reason of enjoying it, not bc you have a limited view. I ran out of things to say in my last blog. So far, this has just been fun! 🙂

    • hi Grace,

      Thank you for your detailed comment on my blog and on this blog post.

      As you write, every blogger needs to get into the swing of her/his blog and find out why he/she is writing.

      For me, writing this blog post was part of the journey of finding my own reasons why I am blogging and for whom.

      The reason why I found your blog is very simple, I always like discovering new blogs that share my love for food, so I use the WP reader and tags to browse for other bloggers. So I probably found yours, using the tag for “Food” or “Noodles” or something like that.

      What I normally do when I see a (for me new blog) post with a tag that interests me, is looking at the original blog website if there are similar posts and read some before deciding I “like” them.

      I also look for the “about page” (if there is one) to find out a bit more about the blogger behind the blog, or thoughts about the blog. And I also look for the most popular posts, or categories etc, if there are any that could interest me.

      If there are a lot of posts that I like (ie, more than just one or two), or if my general feeling/look/subject of the blog is one that I like, I tend to follow a blog in the hope that my initial browse/look/like feeling gets “confirmed”.

      If I decide not to follow at that moment, I will sometimes find that blog again (when using the same tags) at a later stage and might follow at that point.

      I actually have only ever “unfollowed” one blog, because there was an overload of posts that suddenly veered away from the initial subject why I followed the blog.

      I hope the above makes sense and I look forward to seeing more of your food posts 🙂

      • Hi Dorisakbento, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I have been putting a great deal of thought into my why since the summer, but I think it’s an organic thing that will keep evolving. Thank you for the tips, I’ve started looking other blogs up via tags as well! And I too like reading others’ ‘about’ pages. I haven’t posted in mine yet but I’ll get there. Thanks!

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post. It was very honest and inspiring. I’m new to blogging and I can see how it is easy to get caught up and the words that you have wrote about keeping it real and being true to yourself makes a lot of sense. I have a feeling I am really going to enjoy reading and trying recipes from this blog. I love asian food, it is my favorite cuisine. Thanks for visiting my website and I will for sure be keeping up with yours from now on. Have a great day! 🙂

    • Thank you for your kind comment. I guess every blogger needs to find the best “blog mode” that works for her/him and writing this post was part of that process for me. I have actually noticed that my motivation/inspiration/creativity…etc… has gone up a lot since I made “the decision to blog to please myself first and secondly to please my readers”.

      Wishing you lots of fun blogging!

      • I will keep what you have said in the back of my mind as I continue with my own blog. Continue to do what you do best and I will do the same. I will be keeping up with your posts. Have a good rest of the day! 🙂

  13. Your thoughts totally make sense. I think it’s a fine line between writing what we want and catering to our readers. I think, but I may be wrong, that as long as you are loyal to yourself and write what you are truly passionate about, the readers will stay, new readers will come. I love your bento creations. I cook myself too but appreciate how much time and effort it comes to buying the ingredients, cooking and then packing everything. You’re probably reading her already, but Cooking with a Wallflower is a great food blog and she’s currently writing about how she plans her recipes, and her interaction with readers.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful response. I agree that the only way to enjoy blogging is to remain true to your own passions. I do hope that that pleases my readers and new readers are of course always more than welcome. But I also like to interact with other bloggers and I have noticed that this is not possible if one just keeps oneself to her/his own blog. That’s why I browse other blogs a lot, and also why I love comments and recommendations such as you give, I will definitely check out that blog.

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