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Did you start a new project? Do you have a goal for this year? Are you just fine with where you are? Are you learning a new skill?
Feel free to consider the term “working on” as informally as you like. Dianne
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(Photo by Ian Dooley on Unsplash.)
I am opening a collectible & vintage, new & used culinary bookstore.
I just finished writing a self-published cookbook/history book and now its in the design stages so I'm working on not driving the designer insane. I dont know how authors working with publishers handle it! Just hand it over and hope for the best? Sounds even more nerve-wracking!
I am writing a blog based on my experience of running a culinary store for 47 years. I wanted to write about food in many of its’ aspects, not just recipes (although I love a good recipe!) but rather food in film and books, social issues and superior sources.
Just wrapped our 7th annual national InTents, the farmers market conference, bringing market managers from all over the US and Canada together. After some business and literal housekeeping, it's back to my book, the Kitchen Confidential of farmers markets.
I launched Awayday, a self-care subscription box for moms. Like a lot of us, I’d been experiencing burnout over the past few years — even cooking was no longer bringing me joy. So I leaned in to taking more time for myself and prioritizing my needs, and it led me to come up with an experience that can help others do the same.
You'll have to come down and check it out! Email me so we're in touch and I can put you on my list to announce the official grand opening - in a couple of weeks.
I launched my cheese-centric newsletter this year: https://milkfed.substack.com/ I'm also getting back into editorial writing about food and agriculture after focusing on client work for a few years (and also looking for a few new content/copywriting clients!). Right now, I'm in that limbo between final edits and publishing/payment with several assignments and it'll be nice to finally see them out in the world.
At the moment I'm focusing on my newsletter, Letters from Tuscany, trying to write those articles and recipes I always hoped I would be commissioned by magazines. I'm giving permission to myself to be the food writer I wanted to be.
Besides this, I just started working on my next cookbook proposal, and it's so refreshing to dive deep into a new theme!
My agent just started submissions a few weeks ago, so hopefully 2023 is the year we make this cookbook happen -- it has already been written in full!!
This is how one thing leads to another, as we all experience in different ways. By the way, thank you for asking this question. The answers are delightful!
Last year I published a memoir inspired by cleaning out our attic and organizing our STUFF during the covid lockdown. My book, "There's a Clydesdale in the Attic: Reflections on Keeping and Letting Go" unpacks the experience and tells stories about the objects we keep (or let go) and why.
I give programs about the book to all kinds of organizations, and thoroughly enjoy it. I tell some stories, and offer some practical ideas about how to organize belongings, how to pass them on in a more pleasant, interactive way with kids and grands, and even how to "settle an estate" when it comes to easily dividing the ordinary objects that are rich in memories and milestones.
My work is writing the programs for various groups. There's a big difference between speaking to a small book club that wants me to "tell us about your book" and to a church banquet that likes to hear the spiritual side of what our belongings mean to us or what they should or should not mean or to a group that enjoys funny stories about some of the oddball objects we still keep.
I enjoy writing programs as much as I enjoy writing newspaper columns which I do for three newspapers after a career in journalism. I'm also writing a program for a Chamber of Commerce Women's Empowerment luncheon and will tell them about what I'm doing in retirement, and how I didn't publish my first book (Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast) until I was 55. I'm now 64 and already thinking about (and writing) my next book! -- Donna Cronk from Indiana
I hope that my agent will finally, many edits later declare my first novel ready to go out to publishers - my goal is to get a date in the diary for my next book, even if it is not a cookbook this time!
Recipe editing and testing for a cookbook and a few other people/pubs, working my way back into the pitching articles game, a little content writing (which I'd like more of -- bills, they get paid this way!), trying to make time for the ever elusive book project (which is now two very different book projects, one having nothing to do with food). Oh and my newsletter, which as of this year involves working through my collection of old recipe books and pamphlets. Thanks for this thread! Fun to see what other folks are up to.
I have been honing my essays- after attending your How to Write a Cookbook Proposal' in reference to my idea for a cookbook about my 20+ years of special Solstice/Christmas dinners stories, menus and recipes-
I stepped back and started working on just writing- I got lucky through a friends referral and Ive been writing monthly for more than a year for a regional newspaper out of Charleston WV ! That has led to more content and investigative writing for a couple of other gigs!
I am going to follow up on Pascale's thread- as a possible outlet with revenue generation for my original cookbook idea. Thanks for this thread Dianne-been very helpful and interesting-
gotta run- got a how to make pasta cooking class to teach (that brings in some $ and is fun fun fun).
My primary writing project is a recipe book of delectable (but deceptively gross) recipes that look exactly like animal scat. I'm delving into animal digestion & diet to inform the book (and lay groundwork for a broader scat guidebook.) I hope to finish the recipe book manuscript & photos by the end of 2023!
Before I got into wildlife tracking 10 years ago, I used to bake bread and experiment with cooking at home. Five years ago, I started looking at scat more closely, and wondering how to mimic the texture with normal ingredients. I've done some recipe testing over the last few years, and my tracking friends have actually identified scat in the field after eating my (fully human edible) desserts that look like moose & beaver scat.
I'm also studying towards my Professional certification in Track & Sign and Trailing, under the Cybertracker International system... and I'll be taking my 2nd degree black belt test in Ki Aikido later this year.
What a lovely thread!! I'm busily hitting "subscribe" on a dozen new Substacks, yay!
I'm trying to expand the recipes listings related to my little Australian native food business (https://bentshedproduce.com.au/) - the idea is to eventually collate/create enough to create a publication of some kind but not sure what yet. I need to go chat firmly to the recipe section though, as there's a bug in the buttons, meaning it won't expand the full list. Just noticed that.
In the meantime, I'm getting a bizarre joy out of writing "dictionaries" about poultry (https://anconatozoning.substack.com/) and Maremmas (https://abruzzesetozombies.substack.com/), and am wondering whether I mightn't expand the model to the native produce anyway. I'm hoping they'll make books eventually, once I've collated enough content. (Scrivener is holding it all in proper alphabetical order ... ).
I must say Substack is a _very_ nice little publication place. I seem to read things here that I tend to put off till later on other systems.
I am about to launch my memoir Every Ounce of Courage : A Daughter’s Reflections On her Mother’s Bravery.
It’s historical meets gastronomical.
It’s about how my late mother Lulu Reyes Besa, a humanitarian aid worker, bravely saved lives of American and Filipino POWs during WW2, & for that she was awarded the US Medal of Freedom, twice, by President Truman. At the end of the memoir, I shared heirloom Filipino recipes that go back to my grandmother’s time.
This is really fun to read through! I just launched my paid subscription on Substack and I'm trying to work ahead on recipes and newsletters so that I don't get behind schedule. I'm trying to find the right balance of producing enough content to attract readers but not so much that I can't keep up with it. I'm often amazed by how many recipes other Substack writers share each month!
As a now-retired teacher of English and journalism -- and a yearbook adviser of 23 years -- I have finally turned my attention to revising and expanding an SC BBQ cookbook I first created about 5 years ago. Doing everything myself from cover to cover (indexing a cookbook is quite the challenge, isn't it?), no agent or other outside support, and will self-publish one way or another. The original is a simple, but lengthy PDF (150 pages) that I only sold on my website, but lots of people asked for a print version (understandably), so I expect to offer both with this revision. Looks like it will push 300 pages. Good to get back to book creation, after having done it for so many years.
I'm working on my Substack, From the Kitchen of Christilisa (christilisa.substack.com) where I share stories through food-based fiction books, cookbooks, recipes, and restaurants. I'm also trying to finish my first food based culinary fiction mystery novel.
Trying to make the time to get my cookbook started.
Trying to get in a solid groove with my Substack started last fall, just had a pause to regroup. Biggest challenge: overwhelmed by all the potential content, trying to maintain focus on just one newsletter at a time, my small slice of perspectives on the dynamic, complex world of seafood. Also finishing up a white paper about consumers and seafood based on info collected from a survey I put together. It's well outside my usual realm of consumer platforms in which I've been writing for so long. A bit anxious about it, but it feels good to stretch into new areas.
I am working on the ethnic roots-and-food memoir that I started to think about not long after my first book came out--in 2009! I continue to struggle with how central the food element should be.
Am trying the Instagram subscription model
With my followers, to both hold myself accountable for the development work and keep the lights on. By keeping future book content behind a paywall I can get user feedback without giving away the store.
I'm working on my new "Dinner and a Movie" Substack - pairing classic movies with the favourite recipes of their stars. Hoping to encourage the sprinkling of stardust around kitchens everywhere!
I'm about 75% through the manuscript for my next book, and it seems never ending. Then, like Old Line Plate - I'll be deep-diving into the design myself. Photographs are 80% finished. So, starting to get some ducks-in-a-row for the press kits! Keeping fingers crossed for a June pub date.
I'm working on Table of Gods, a cookbook inspired by the world's oldest recipes written on clay tablets 4,000 years ago. Have just ordered your book, Will Write for Food and looking forward to reading it :)
I'm finishing a book on unusual Chinese tofus that taste like cheese, fish cakes, bread. Getting excited for our launch next month!
Selecting a ‘Baker’s Dozen’ of cookbooks from my collection and writing a short description/history/significance and putting them on public display somewhere in my area (public library?). I guess I could do a blog or sub stack as well.
I'm about to celebrate my one-year anniversary on Substack with Culinary Chronicles. I wanted to commit to my writing and challenge myself to publish an issue every week for a full year. And I did it!
This is a good moment to thank you for your help. Will Write for Food helped me to find some courage and your kind words online gave me confidence.
I'm looking forward to more writing and creating more content in my second year.
I'm planning to start a new series of YouTube videos about good food near walking trails in Singapore where I reside. This is our channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/ieatishootipost and website: https://ieatishootipost.sg
I'm not sure it will work.
I am starting my own food related newsletter soon!
I decided to release my latest cookbook in a new format, through Substack, one chapter a month. It's a cookbook memoir (very different to my previous books). https://pascaleskitchen9x12.substack.com/ and is the story of my kitchen, a story about reinvention, of feeding friends and family and community, of surviving fires, floods, and a pandemic. It’s about a cooking school, and an unexpected pop-up bakery. Like a soufflé this is a story about the ups and downs of life in the food business.
Each chapter also has an audio version, a printable pdf of all the recipes and a dedicated playlist. It's a multi-media story about the power of food.
All subscribers also get my monthly (I agree with you, once a month is enough) newsletter which features seasonal recipes, articles, cookbook reviews, events, classes etc. All of this makes for a tight writing schedule and certainly keeps me on my toes. The newsletter goes out through a different platform. It means more admin to track subscribers to both platforms but is manageable so far.
Just finished writing my first cookbook which is published and on-sale 4/4/23! Working on earning a teaching license and volunteering to teach food preservation.
A year ago, my husband and I started cooking our way around the country to teach our daughter about the various regional cuisines. We cooked the recipes on Facebook Live, too. I created a newsletter (https://culinarytravelers.substack.com/) so folks had access to the recipes and stories from each state we virtually visited. Now, we're taking the same concept and have created a series of fundraiser dinners for our local Elks Lodge (where we volunteer to cook monthly anyway). If I can get my butt in gear to create recipe booklets, I'll sell those, too. This year, we're featuring vintage foods in the newsletter... which probably means another dinner series next year!
I've got a new book coming out in October about rare & endangered American foods! https://wwnorton.com/books/9781324004660
This is such an illuminating and inspiring community. Love reading about all of these projects. After writing my blog, Kosher Like Me for 12 years, I’m working on short form writing. I’ll also be teaching cooking to teens in person (!) and possibly launching tours of my award winning farmers’ market (Westport, CT). I’ve learned that newcomers and shy shoppers are hesitant to navigate the market. I’d like to help shoppers to plan cooking with a focus on seasonal.it’s and availability. Maybe classes with just purchased goods or lunch following our walk abouts?!
In addition to a new design on my website, randomsweets.com, I started a food podcast called Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens. I’m having so much fun! I’m following your advice from your cookbook class…grow your platforms. Thank you for asking!
Great thread, Dianne. I publish Jewish holiday recipes on my website DanasTable.com. I just launched a culinary trip to Discover Jewish Southern Italy. Next I plan to research recipes in Italy for a cookbook. I'm a member of a cookbook accountability group that stemmed from your online cookbook proposal class. So, thank you. Your class was a wonderful springboard.
I am working on nonfiction essays with the goal of getting one essay/article published this year. I've always wanted to write, have no writing background and only have one published essay in a small food blog from several years ago. I'm always looking for more info on pitching!
I am currently focusing on my newsletter. I moved the it to Substack at the start of 2023 - https://lckcookingwell.substack.com/ - and am trying out a new format and frequency. It is a chef-created digest of ingredients, recipes, cooking tips, techniques, and culinary lifestyle tidbits for at-home cooks of all levels. It's all still evolving, and I am learning in the process, but I am enjoying the freedom to explore a bit.
Diane, this thread is chock-full of creative projects--such a good idea to have your reader community share their work!
I recently rebooted Cook & Tell, a monthly foodletter my late mom wrote and illustrated for 30 years, pre-internet. It’s been a sweet way to keep her spirit alive and gives me a chance to flex my food-writing and cooking muscles as well!
Also writing an article about recipe cards as microessay mementos.
Working on cookbook #2 ( very slowly). More importantly, working on a coffee table book about Sicily. Have started teaching cooking lessons again -- since covid.
I'm attempting to transition from being "a writer who doesn't write" to being "a writer who writes."
I've been writing a food blog since 2012. In 2016, I opened an Italian restaurant, Italian by Night. I'm trying to keep motivated to write once a week.
I've done a bevy of short-term online editing and webinars to increase my efficiency and to keep my skills current. I've also done a slew of (demanding) qualifying tests for publishers and agencies, which are now par for the course. After all this, it's discouraging to be confronted with the reality of the low rates that have become standard in exchange for the expectation of qualified editorial work. So this entry is also a short call out to increase awareness of this negative trend in our industry.
Working on publicity for my cookbook to be launched in August (The Gilded Age Cookbook), trying to sell my next project A Very Victorian Christmas (cookie book) and hopefully can get back to working on a book that I have had in the works for a while, Process: A history of processed food. There's not enough time in the day :)
I'm finishing up my first cookbook proposal and just now debating which agents to start sending my query letter to. I'm also in the middle of moving and starting a new job, so things are busy on my end!
Plugging away on Volume 2 of my all-ages graphic novel, NIX!
I am restaurant columnist for a local newspaper. I’ve been working on developing my own website since the start of the pandemic that includes searchable summaries of 450 restaurants, recommendation lists and a weekly newsletter. I keep thinking I’m close to finishing, and am willing to launch before it’s complete, but sometimes I feel like I’m never going to get there.
I'm currently writing a recipe book of delectable (but deceptively gross) recipes that look exactly like animal scat, for kids, trackers, and naturalists.
My hope is to encourage curiosity about animal diets & digestive systems, and to help folks recognize scat in the field and connect to the natural world through a memorable "cooking and/or dining experience" at home. I'm delving into research articles to inform the book (and the more in-depth scat guidebook that's the next project...), and hope to have this manuscript & photos completed by December 2023!
Before I started wildlife tracking 10 years ago, I baked bread and experimented with cooking at home. Five years ago, I noticed scats varied wildly with diet and started getting really interested in texture, and how to recreate that with common ingredients at home. I've had friends enjoy my scat recipes, then identify scat in the field from their encounter on the plate.
I'm also studying towards my Professional certification in Track & Sign through Cybertracker International.