No bento today

I had actually written a bento blog post to be scheduled for today, but now I don’t really feel like posting it. Although I keep my blog a-politic and neutral,  and will continue to do so, I didn’t think it right to completely ignore what has been happening in recent days.

As the majority of my readers know, I live in London, and luckily no-one I know has been affected by the latest attack. Not physically that it. Most of us are affected emotionally.  It affects our daily lives, it colours our activities and thoughts.

But at the same time, life goes on as usual. It has to. We will not let them win.

Take care and keep safe.

DB

 

 

 

 

I now also share more (food) photos on Instagram

More thoughts on blogging

I have previously written a post about how I feel about blogging, it remains the most read post on my blog, so clearly it struck a chord with readers. That post was written 2.5 years ago, and this morning, I suddenly felt I needed to write some more thoughts on this subject.

You see, after I take a break from blogging, like I did recently, I tend to do the same things over and over again. I quickly write down a few draft ideas to blog about in the next few weeks. And I go on an extended blog surfing trip. Not only am I catching up on the blogs I already follow, I also try to find new bloggers, follow links leading to other links, hook up at a meet & greet (can I recommend again the one at Harsh Reality), check out WordPress suggestions etc. I usually end up with adding a few more blogs to my Reader and more inspiration for my own blog.

This time however I noticed something. Namely that a lot of new bloggers announce in their first blog post that they have thought a long time about blogging and did a lot of research and/or read blog/books about blogging before their first post. I actually can’t remember doing that. I remember that one day I thought, well, why not start a blog and I just started. After that start, yes, I got dragged into the whole blog atmosphere, making connections, monitoring stats and likes, finding blog parties, but nope, all my research before starting the blog consisted of a 15 min look around which blog platform to use (= which one is free and looks easy to navigate) and another hour or so selecting a format.

Naive? Maybe. But then I never set out to be a professional blogger, to make money from it, or to promote a business. Of course, I would be quite happy to be given kitchen gadgets to review, think that could be quite a fun thing to do 🙂 but that’s not why I started this blog. I am also not a writer (I struggle sometimes to get out a coherent sentence) so there is no aim to turn my blog eventually into a (e-)book or into a cookbook. I just want to blog about what I like to eat  – mainly for lunch – and what I like to bake.  And for the last 3 years I have enjoyed blogging, although I do sometimes take a break because of lack of time, inspiration, life getting in the way, or just because I get distracted by other things.

I am actually slowly embracing other forms of Social Media. I still don’t like Facebook and don’t use it, and although I (think I) am on Bloglovin, I never really have gotten the hang of it, nor of Twitter/Pinterest. I do like Instagram though. Often I have made, eaten or seen something I quite like sharing but don’t want to write a blog post about and I do find Instagram is great for that kind of thing. Here again though I am sort of blundering my way through it, finding out how it works after I already pressed the share button, so again a case of “do first – check out how it works later”. The silly thing is that this is not actually how I am. I am a person who very much likes to be prepared, be organised, so just doing things without a proper research is not me.

And that brings me to another thought that kept coming up in my mind the last few weeks which was how impressed I am by some (new) bloggers out there, whilst at the same time realising that their blog style isn’t suitable for me. For example, two of my friends are bloggers, one of them has blogged a bit longer than I have and the other one has recently  started. Whilst both of them are in different countries, and the subject of their blogs is different, they do have in common that their blogs are both well thought out. Well prepped and set up. Their lay-out looks professional. They are clear in the style and message they want to bring out and both have (I assume affiliated) links to products, or give aways. They were both well prepared before they started blogging. More importantly, they both are very personal bloggers. With personal I mean, they blog under their own name, and share photos of their personal life.

I like the anonymity of blogging. Like? I love it. That’s also the reason why I haven’t promoted these 2 blogs or linked to them. Because I like my anonymity. And a little part of me fears that I can be linked to them through their blog. Of course my family and friends know that I blog, most of them do follow or read my blog. And when I meet new people, it sometimes comes up. But – as far as I know – no one else out there can link this blog to me. I avoid mentioning names of friends/family, avoid detailed locations or photo’s that show me. (Yes, I do check reflections in photos). I don’t share too many details of my life. If you would turn detective, I assume that most readers will have figured out that I live in London (given that I wrote a whole blog post about it), that I am female and have an OH. If you dig deeper you might also find out my OH is Welsh and am sure there are more bits and pieces that can be deduced. But there are not many “concrete facts”, nothing that is hard evidence that links Dosirakbento to who I am in real life. I even screen comments…. any comment that uses my real name gets spammed automatically.

Does that make me paranoid? Or fake? I don’t lie on my blog, what I write and post is still who I am, what I think, what I do, what I eat, everything is real, everything is personal in that way. I think the biggest reason for me not to publish my name is that deep down I am a private person. I also don’t like the idea that everything I have typed and posted out there, will remain for eternity (or whatever counts for eternity in blogging land) out there for anyone, anywhere to see and read. So I hide behind the anonymity that blogging can provide.

The silly thing is, I like reading other people’s personal blogs. I like having a little insight in somebody’s life. I love the thoughts and ideas, the daily, weekly, monthly high lights and low lights in their life. I feel happy for bloggers – who I have never met in real life- when something good happens, or sad when something bad takes place. So I don’t have any issue with them sharing their personal info, just with my own….

Which brings me to a question for my readers. What are your thoughts on sharing personal information like your real name and photos of yourself/family/friends? Where is the line between sharing details of someone’s life but not sharing similar details of your own? It’s not like bloggers are friends in real life but at the same time there is this close blogging community and I do know that some bloggers meet in real life at events and do become friends in real life as well.  I guess that each blogger has the prerogative to make that choice, and has to decide what is best for her/him. At the moment I do feel comfortable with what I do share with my readers but I am interested to read your thoughts in the comments.

And because my blog is after all about lunches and cakes, I’m sharing this recently made cake.

It’s definitely cake time here in London!

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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).