Whenever someone pursues an 'artistic' path, it's easy at first. This is due to being clueless. "Ignorance is bliss", as the old cliche goes, and that lack of knowledge allows most people to approach any artistic pursuit with abandon.
After pursuing said endeavor for a while, some patterns become clear. You learn things - what works, what doesn't - and then you rely upon what works for a period of time.
And then? And then things stop working.
This is where I am at in regards to writing.
It was easy at first. I wrote about myself for a while, on a long-retired blog, and connected with some folks. I moved onto writing about food, on this blog, and connected with even more people. I was able to parlay that into a small book deal with a major publishing house, and that's where things went awry.
The books reached a far smaller audience than this blog did in its heyday. But the standards to which they are judged are rigorous, in ways that blogs are not.
Books are judged by the bottom line. In other words - Did you make the publisher money? This I had little problem with. Books will find an audience, and the major publishing houses ensure that the proper amount of exposure is given. My publisher did fine work in that regard.
Books are also judged in more nebulous ways, and the one that trapped me was that of authenticity.
The punch line here? It's me doing the judging. I am the one who is unhappy with my writing. I am the one who thinks that there has to be a better way to make food history palatable than tying that history to a glorified road trip.
At any rate, here I am, still alive, still trying to figure things out. I know I should up my game. I just don't know what that looks like.