Mmm, pimento cheese.
Not that giant preservative-rich tub o' stuff at the grocery store, but real homemade pimento cheese.
It's a delicious tradition here, and I really wanted some this afternoon.
But I didn't have pimentos or roasted red peppers or anything remotely... OH! The jalapenos and garlic in a jar of spicy olives. And my cheese was the wrong color and I used yogurt instead of mayo.
This is just one reason that I've been offered the nickname "Martha Stewart on Crack" I come up with odd ideas and mess with recipes. As far as most people know, the results are delicious.
Food is a great opportunity for experimenting--some days I start with a goal--what taste am I trying to make? Other days it's more "Um...these three things need to be used up--how can I combine them?"
Sometimes it works.
Sometimes it's pretty atrocious. Thank goodness for ravenous teenagers.
Experimenting in other ways, though? I tend to be more cautious.
Take blogging--putting yourself out into the world (albeit in a small digital file) can seem all kinds of risky. So many questions of voice and perspective and length and... let's put it mildly and say that you could spend a whole lot of time second-guessing yourself, and never actually get started.
Or you finally make a decent enough stab at setting up, but then get caught in the second trap--when is a post ready to go up? The perfectionist unsure self can put an idea in perpetual limbo.
I've spent an awful lot of time in both of those stages.
In late February, I took a leap. I was just going to go ahead and put up a blog post Every Single Day*.
No deciding that a post wasn't good enough.
No "I don't feel like it."
No whining that I had nothing to say.
A whole 'nother sort of experifail.
The good news is, not a whole lot of people knew about this blog. And I didn't need to publicize it much if I didn't feel it was up to snuff.
But I have made it through one hundred days. One post each day, for whatever they were worth.
It has definitely been a learning experience. There've been the pushy days where I forced myself to publish something I found totally drecky. And SO many days when I knew I had a couple of good ideas, but it needed more time to percolate. (Note to self--it would help if you started writing before nightfall, or at least before 10 PM.)
At some point early on I discovered the stats pages, and oy. I have a competitive bent and I love numbers. It is hard not to get distracted by that. But it also required a lot more savvy than I had (and for the most part, have.) Still, it was both gratifying and terrifying to see that people were reading. And sometimes grumpy-making to see when people were NOT reading.
What does this mean moving forward?
Um--I don't know. Yet.
Do I really want to go for 200 days? Not really. At some point I may give myself a day off. Or maybe a week when I head off to the northwoods.
Do I know more about my voice? Sort of. Still not sure if I can articulate it. (Feel free to write me a blurb.)
*Writing every day was already part of my routine--I use 750words.com for daily journalling. Given that I aim for an average post length of 200-300 words, the volume was never an issue. Publishing was.