People often ask me how I learned to write. I find this funny since I am not a natural writer and was often mocked when I first started. But I persevered. Maybe it’s because I have a lot to say although, at the moment, I cannot think of a thing. Writing, like so many other crafts, takes practice. I cannot stress this enough. Practice practice and more practice. So with this in mind, I will continue to practice by writing this blog post.
My background is not what you might think. I am a pastry chef and a holistic nutritionist. I spent years working in a bakery and teaching at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Nothing in my past prepared me to be a writer. I wrote lousy essays in university, just good enough to pass. I even had a teaching assistant sit me down and explain to me the proper structure of an essay. Not sure where I was in high school when that was taught. Wait a minute, I do remember. I was skipping class and playing euchre in the cafeteria. It was not until I was baking for a living, that I learned discipline and a better sense of responsibility. This is critical to being a writer. However, it was not until many years later that I needed to write. I have run three small non-profit associations over the years and, with little or no budget, I had to learn to do a lot of things in order to get the work done for the associations. This is when I seriously started trying to write.
This was good practice to help me write for other people but it was not a lot of fun. Then I decided to write a holistic baking book. It took me three years to do it and I worked very hard at making it an expression of me. After all, it was all the knowledge of baking that was in my head and the health benefits that I had learned to incorporate into baking. If this didn’t sound like me, then I don’t know what would? It was the first time I received compliments for how I wrote and it gave me the courage to do more.
What Am I Working On?
Like many writers I often write for other people. I do various freelance gigs and I regularly write and edit the CAHN-Pro Nutrition News and Views. My love of writing, though, is expressed through my blog and my books, where I get to be myself and say what I like. All of my writing focuses on food and health and I love to source interesting information and pass it along. Currently, I am writing an online course for holistic baking to support my book A Pastry Queen Goes Green and an online fermentation course, my new love and passion. As well, a colleague and I are also about to launch the Simple Smoothie System, which we have written to help make eating healthier food easier for busy people.
How Does My Work Differ From Others of Its Genre?
This is a really good question. Many people write about health and food but they are usually just repeating what they have read or learned elsewhere. As a result, we have a genre where food is seen as the enemy and the public is confused. I have a completely different perspective. I do not belong to any camp and I do not take anyone’s word for anything. I want to know the answers as to what makes us tick and what we should eat as much anyone else. But I do not want throw the baby out with the bathwater. So I read research, I think about it logically and assess whether the researcher created a valid study and then, if the information is worthwhile, I pass it along, in as entertaining a manner as possible. I like to speculate about things and ask questions. And my favourite activity is creating new recipes and techniques, taking pictures of the results and posting it.
Why Do I Write What I Do?
I truly believe I have information that people will find helpful. But I also write because it is fun. I want to be a source of interesting information, great recipes and great food techniques. I am a firm believer in the cooking and food traditions of the past. Somehow, our ancestors knew what they were doing when it came to growing and preparing foods. A lot of the research today supports what they did, from the preparation techniques to their choice of matching foods in a meal. This fascinates me, mainly because it is also such a tasty task to do the research and it shows how we overthink our food today, when it could be a lot simpler. I really want to help people find the best foods for them and with all the digestive issues today, I have decide to make that my focus. If we can all digest the whole foods we were meant to eat, then we all can enjoy the foods we love.
How Does My Writing Process Work?
My writing process starts with a piece of information I want to convey, whether I am writing for myself or for someone else. It could be a new study I think provides a piece of the puzzle or it can be something that strikes me as funny or it could just be something I want to say. I start writing just to get the information written down. Sometimes this just flows and others times I struggle. I am sure that is true for most writers. Once I have it all down, I leave it alone, preferably for a day or two. Then I fix it.
This process works for me. It does not matter how badly I write it the first time. As long as the key points are written, I can walk away and see it with fresh eyes later. I find trying to write it well the first time, gives me writer’s block so I just type whatever comes out and worry about what I wrote later.
I would like to say I have a regular schedule for writing but I have other jobs, which often makes writing take a backseat. I know I would reach my goals sooner if I did have a regular schedule but, like everyone else, I have to take care of my responsibilities first. But when I do write, I do it on a day when I have some time spend on it. It makes it relaxing and enjoyable and this is my writing process.
I want to thank Andrea Sevsek for inviting me on the blog tour. Andrea is a holistic nutritionist, enthusiastic writer and speaker, with a mission to shine the spotlight on real, good quality, unadulterated, authentic foods—to reveal the pretenders for what they really are, life force vampires. Check out Andrea’s blog Diary of a FitNut
Whose is Next on the Blog Tour?
Next on the tour is Karen Stoyles, another colleague. Karen is a holistic nutritionist who is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and babies, empowering women in all stages of pregnancy from preconception to postpartum. Check out her blog on her website Nature Prenatal