“Winning” Sweet Potato Recipe and Fleeting Food

When I started my blog, I never thought I’d care about traffic. I mean, the fact that people even commented was some sort of miracle.

But today, it hit me that maybe I actually care. Kinda…

You see, ever since my dad’s tumor took over my life, my food posts have been nearly non-existent. A week goes by where I just ramble and whine and I see a major drop in traffic. I want to not care. I really, really do. Cause in the large scheme of things, traffic in meaningless. But knowing that I had an audience and lost people hurts. Its like your in a play and people come and walk out. It hurts less when its just a few people show up.

The only thing different this week from other weeks is my lack of food posts.

Funny how food attracts us so. But life is not all about the food. Eating disorders are not “all about the food”. And here’s a shocker, food blogs are not all about the food.

Don’t get me wrong. Food is great and all. It brings us together and gives us a reason to go out and travel. But food is fleeting. You have some, eat it, and its gone. You can’t cherish it like you can a human or a feeling. Food, even astronaut food, has an expiration date. Feelings last. Places and objects last. Memories last. Food  (and sex for that matter) can be a wonderful experience. But its over eventually. But that feeling I get when I’ve made someone laugh or smile. Ahh, that feeling lingers a while. Longer than it takes me to scarf  a cookie.

I have a point…..I promise.

Ok, I lied. I don’t have much of a point. I’m just pissed my readers care more about food than what have to say. Since I took a break of recipe developing this week, I’m recycling an oldie but goodie because I got a call today that this recipe won second place for the North Carolina Sweet Potato Blog contest.

Hey Charlie Sheen, I’m “winning”!

51 thoughts on ““Winning” Sweet Potato Recipe and Fleeting Food

  1. I’m a very new reader, and I AM reading what you have to say (congrats on the 2nd place – and that’s not why I’m here). just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you!

    and you’re not rambling and whining – your posts lately, while I wish you did not have the reason to write them, have been heartfelt and moving.

    still sending healing energy and prayers.

  2. So freakin’ awesome- I remember yesterday when we were having a double texting convo, you mentioned it and I forgot to congratulate you on that- so CONGRATS!! It is nothing short of a genius recipe.

    Re. traffic. Sheesh. What to do. I think we all care to a certain extent whether or not we are being heard. We all want to be appreciated for what we do here in the ‘sphere and in the rest of our lives. I think that you do an amazing job as a blogger, whether it’s about a recipe or about your deepest feelings. And you are a great and entertaining writer. Some people may just want the recipes- that’s ok. Others are interested in you as a person. That’s great too. And please please keep in mind that some of the most BORING blogs on the planet have crazyhuge traffic. It means nothing. Nothing at all.

    Just keep doing what you are doing. Sometimes it’s smart to take a little time off checking your stats- kinda like weighing yourself- just check in every few weeks. It frees you up to just do what you really want to- after all- it IS your blog.

  3. Well, dear, I’m twice your age. (shudders) and that makes me old enough to be your mom. And now I want to go drink a bottle of tequila :-) Right now, I wouldn’t recommend sharing a straw with me unless you want the croup/plague/kennel cough/mesothelioma or whatever it is I had this week.

    • OMG. I love that Deb signed in as “Mummy.” :D

      Eden, I want to know what a vagina storm is…uh, actually, never mind, I probably don’t. Curiosity will kill me one of these days.

      I hate caring about traffic, but come on. Anyone who has a pulse wants to know that people care about their life. Funny enough, and I’m being honest here, I never really cared much about the food component of your posts. I just like to read your rambles. Even the occasional whines. ;-)

  4. I”m not sure this is any consolation, but I actually usually skim over the food part of your posts because I’m hopeless with recipe following and know that about myself (It just kills me to have to measure or follow rules, its almost physically impossible for me haha, nothing against your recipes, I’m just too lazy to use them)

    My point, which I swear I have one, is that I read your blog for the other stuff- the lists, the topics, the humor, but most importantly, the PERSON behind the blog. I think since meeting you I have enjoyed reading your blog more as well.

    So I vote forget traffic and keep up the blogging, in whatever way you feel like. I think your readers will hang in there!

      • I third it and agree with Allison and everyone else. I’m glad you can cook and congrats on the winning recipe, but I’ve never ever made anything you’ve posted. I have learned to love you in a non-creepy way for entirely different reasons.

        Even though my blog has never been popular, I rarely ever look at stats. I’m not kidding–it’s like getting on a scale and looking for validation. It’s pointless.

        Winning!!!

      • P.S. to my last comment–
        Since I’ve stopped talking about food and exercise and those “issues” all the time, I’m pretty sure I’ve lost a ton of people. But you know what? It’s not me, not what I want to talk about. I don’t live my life or write my blog to make other people happy, and neither do you (I assume.) Quality, not quantity. I couldn’t move on until I moved on, and neither can you. It’s life :)

    • i do a lot of skimming over your food part too. i mean, i look at it, but i don’t read the recipe. i don’t give a shit how much flour or cheese or baking powder or salt is in what ever delicious creation you made. i do star recipes that look good but i come here for your snark. and i expect you to make me food in may.

  5. I never read the food part of your posts! I just read the content. Only because I cant eat most of the food anyhow. Maybe your readers are divided. Keep doing what you are doing.

  6. I’ve been in a busy patch lately and I’ve not been as active in my social media interactions (blog, twitter etc.) Every time I log in at twitter, I see I lost a couple of followers. I can’t say I care enough to do something, but still… Getting to the point though, I still read your blog every day. I have not contributed to your traffic drop, promise! :-) Food or not, I like it a lot and I actually feel really honored that you share your personal story and struggles with me through your blog…

  7. For what it’s worth… I think your blog has become even more ‘real’ and your words more powerful this last week… I admit I read food blogs almost exclusively, but after a while I skim over the food and primarily read the words in between. I almost always glance at your recipes and carefully read the rest of your posts. Food for me is more a way of connecting with people.

    Wishing you lots of strenght,

    Dame Noire

  8. I have to echo what some people said above, I *always* just skim over the food parts of posts. I’d be bothered too if it seemed like people were staying away just because topics had shifted more heavily to issues of more substance than kitchen photos (not that you didn’t have any substance before, hopefully you know what I mean). I think that the honesty, and without at all intending to sound patronizing, vulnerability that you’ve allowed yourself to show since your dad’s health took a bad turn has really allowed us to know more about Eden, and if people would rather look at pictures of oatmeal then that’s their loss entirely. I know there is disappointment in seeing a drop off in readership, maybe it can be approached as a chance to separate the wheat from the chaff, to use an outdated figure of speech?

    Have definitely been thinking about you, even though I know you don’t even know me, I am really pulling for you and your family right now.

  9. Your food posts make me hungry most of the time, and you know my bambino loves it whenever you post pictures of doughnuts or cupcakes. And while the drop in traffic does suck (I get sad whenever I go for a day or two without an entry and suddenly I’m down to 15 hits over 24 hours), your faithful readers will still be there…Like me. :) Congrats on your win–That’s awesome. And I’m hungry enough right now, I could devour a plate & a half of those straws!

  10. I know I don’t comment much in the first place, but I just haven’t commented on any of your posts about your dad because, basically, I just feel awkward. Since I don’t really know you I don’t really want to say anything like, “I’m sorry, just know I’m thinking of you” or anything, because that’s just kind of creeper-ish I think. And I just never know what to say when people have such intense news like this. I mean, really, my manager told me she was pregnant and I just said “Oh”. So instead of saying something and sounding like a creeper, or sounding like a pretend-overly-caring person, or just sounding like another one of those people who say “Sorry about all this” because they think they should say something, I just, well, don’t say anything… and end up seeming cold-hearted anyway.

  11. Hey! I just wanted to say that I am actually more interested in what you have to say than the recipes you post on your website. I find it highly inspiring and you seem to be such a great and strong person. I wish you all the best and I hope that you will be able to enjoy your father’s presence for much longer than the doctor’s have predicted. I am sure that if he can have fun and enjoy his life to the fullest, he will feel less pain and he will live much longer.
    Stay strong!

  12. Hey Eden,
    I’m a NEW reader!! I’ve been here for a week or so, because you are very inspiring. I wish that you and your family were not going through this, but your strength and attitude are amazing!

    Don’t worry about those people who have left.. all the people here are ready to support you as much as we can!! :)

  13. Pfft, even if I admire your recipes, I care much more about your writing.

    I sometimes wonder if I’d get more traffic if I posted more food. But I just don’t make much I consider interesting enough to post. And I’m too much of a perfectionist to post much in way of recipes. Then I realized, blah, I don’t make anything noteworthy off my blog, and I’m too weird for everyone to like, so I just go with it and am grateful to keep a few readers on board.

    But also remember, traffic can be misread. A lot of it also depends on time of day, time of week, and that random “X factor.”

  14. For the record, I care much more about what’s going on in your life than food (no offense to your food posts). Everytime I click on your link in google reader, I hope your dad is doing okay.

  15. I care more about YOU and what YOU have to say than the food. I would read even if you stopped talking about food. Perhaps its different when you know someone, and spent time with them in person, but I don’t think so. I loved your snarky attitude, posts about blogging/bloggers, etc. even before I met you. Although you post awesome recipes, and great food pics, it is not the food that keeps me coming back again and again.

  16. Oh, and as for the whole beginning part of this post…it’s weird but I was having the same feeling this morning about my posting. I don’t want to care, but I do care, when I don’t get comments or when I don’t get visitors (and you get a LOT more than I do)…so I overanalyze and think, “Should I post more recipes?” “Should I NOT post recipes?” “Should I blog everything I eat?” “Does anyone really need another picture of peanut butter?” “No one outside of Austin really cares about this restaurant or this event do they?” “Should I stop talking about my life?”

    But you know what? I’m having a major allergy attack and I don’t feel like cooking. Food right now is unexciting because it doesn’t taste like much. So am I going to spend all day cooking? No. Will I have a new recipe for Monday? Maybe. [But only because there is a beer company paying me to develop one...]

    I guess my point is that people read blogs for all different reasons…and I’m going to come clean here and say that I have probably once or twice actually ever made a recipe I saw on someone’s blog. I get inspiration from their recipes, sure, but I read because people’s lives and how they relate to food interest me. I like to get ideas about flavor combinations and also learn about regional things and people’s interests and…

    Well. Anyways. Keep doing what you are doing. I’m even reading on a weekend which says a lot about how much I like you (and your blog). I don’t do that for just anybody. :)

  17. Congrats on your recipe! That is way cool.

    When I first started blogging I cared about traffic. My food posts still get more hits and comments than my other posts, but for the most part I enjoy writing the other posts more. So now traffic means little to me. As long as I’m writing what I want to write, I don’t care about how many people read. The fact that people read at all is awesome!

  18. Girl, I don’t even check the traffic on my site. It does get to me when I seem to get less and less comments every post, but I refuse to change my blog for other people. It’s mine damn it!! Lol! And of course our blogs aren’t always going to be the same from every post. As people, we evolve, and change, and go through things that don’t involve food -> it’s okay!

  19. I actually prefer your ‘non-food’ posts! I care more about your life, you as a person, your feelings and thoughts than a recipe. I can make my own recipe, but there is only one ‘Eden” (meant in the non-cheesy way). Congrats on your win- Charlie Sheen has nothing on you! You’re in my prayers.
    Love, Barbara

  20. So…I feel a bit cruddy commenting now after not commenting the last several blogs. Just that I can soooo relate to your experiences….battling an eating disorder and both parents dealing with cancer. I lost my father from a really aggressive and sudden cancer onset and my mom has had two bouts with breast cancer and now is dealing with a slowly progressing bone cancer. Thank goodness she is doing pretty well all in all and has a will of steel. Blessings and prayers to you and your dad. Talk about unexpected strength (from Deb’s blog!).

    Anyhooo…..I love reading your blog though I do get a bit intimidated since I really don’t know you so I don’t want to assume to much. I have narrowed my blog reading to a handful since I’ve found that some are just rehashing the same thing over and over again (same recipes, pics, stories etc) and seem to have some ulterior long-term motive. A prize or something? Most trafficked? Most blogs/week? Just no depth.

    Okay I”ll shut up now but I love your variety of snarkiness, recipes, heartfelt posts, opinions etc….just keepin’ it real which shines through!

    Sorry to be so verbose…I”m still learning comment ettiquette and I pretty much suck it seems.

  21. When I saw what you posted on Twitter, I thought at first you meant you had lost Twitter followers, but then realized you meant the blog. Like everyone else has said, I read to hear what you have to say since I love your wit, sarcasm and overall snarkiness! Of course, I have been very concerned/worried with what’s been going on in your life lately. I love to see the recipes, but if you never posted another one, I would still read cause I like your writing style/personality. I have read since Nutritious Junk and I am not quitting now :)

  22. I rarely read blogs for the food any more. Don’t get me wrong..I LOVE food and other people’s food does inspire me and I make other bloggers’ recipes but I keep reading for the human interest stories. I was also pretty um…amused that my most-viewed post this month was a pizza post.

  23. Congrats on being a Winner! :)

    Like some of the others, I tend to skim the recipe posts — I read for your personal experiences (and insights!). It has been difficult reading this week, because you’re going through such a tough time. And you are doing a remarkable job of getting that across through your writing. Maybe some people can’t deal with that, or it hits a raw nerve? Or maybe they don’t just want to skim and run? I know I sometimes leave posts that I know require thoughtful reading (and commenting) if I don’t have the time or concentration right there and then…

  24. The ironic thing about this post is that I don’t read your recipes at all. No offense. I just read for what you write about. I’m sorry other people stopped reading and I’m sorry about your father.

  25. I’m a new reader, but I love all your posts! I like food posts, but I like the real stuff more (although of course I don’t wish you had to go through what you’re going through). It’s amazing to see how you handle everything so well, and seeing your real thoughts is inspiring. I love that you write from your heart! :)

  26. I am a new reader also, pretty new at least :) I enjoy your posts, no matter what they are about :) I think the more and more I distance myself from my eating disorder, the more and more I care about the real things people have to say, and less about the food they are eating! I love your blog, just the way it is :)

    Scott

  27. I saw when you wrote that on Twitter and was surprised by the change in readership! I check your blog almost daily and think about you a lot (sounds creepy I know). Your posts lately have not been whiny or negative, but real. It makes me remember how quickly life can change. Keep doing what your doing, people are still reading!

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