I’ve been fascinated by the digital world and the way it’s shaping not only the way content is spread through our culture but the content itself. I was eager to embrace blogging, thanks to Meg Hourihan and her husband. I’ve created two innovative cooking apps for smart phones, Ratio and Bread Baking Basics, with the hopes of making cooking easier and more fun for people—and there's more to come, thanks to Will Turnage. I hope to introduce a top-secret "e-project" in the fall.
One of the things I’m most excited about is the fact that the new media gives more control to the people who make things and takes away some of the power from the companies that once managed and distributed what other people made. This has beneficial and also dangerous repercussions, but I look at it as an opportunity.
One of the new forms of content that has proven to be especially successful on the new digital devices is midsized narratives—writing that’s longer than magazine pieces but shorter than a book. Amazon has created a whole division devoted to these, called Kindle Singles, headed by journalist David Blum. (I read and wrote about Ann Patchett's The Getaway Car, a lovely, short memoir on becoming a writer.)
I could self-publish directly to Amazon, but Kindle Singles is a curated operation, meaning Blum and his colleagues serve as old-fashioned gatekeepers (they edit, copyedit, create cover art, and, yes, decline submissions), but it seems to me a much more flexible (and successful) form of gatekeeping.
OK, my question to readers: I’m considering writing a memoir of my journey as a food writer, something I never set out to become. If you were to be interested in reading a short memoir on this subject, becoming a food writer, what would you be most interested in?
I know what I want to write about, but I’ve also found that part of my love of this new media world is an interaction with readers, whether here, on Twitter, or privately via email (I really do try to respond to everyone; please forgive me if you’ve written and fallen through the cracks—it's nothing personal, I get a lot of email), and this is a new way of doing it.
Again, in a food memoir, what would you most like to hear: more about writing, about chefs, about food, about cooking, how-to information . . . what else? Please let me know!
If you liked this post on a question to readers, check out these other links:
- My video post on Awareness in the Kitchen.
- Ideas in Food's Aki and Alex are another couple doing what they love to do.
- Always great to look back and see Donna's photography.
- They Came, They Saw, They Cooked: NPR's piece on 5 food memoirs.
© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.