Monday, August 24, 2009

Julie & Julia & Me

Over the weekend Marge and I went to the theater to cool off, and to see Julie & Julia. Yes, I think our priorities were in that order.

The film, for those who might not be familiar with it, is writer-director Nora Ephron's adaptation of Julie Powell's memoir of the year in which she decided to cook and blog her way through every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Marge and I both enjoyed the film, in large part because Meryl Streep's performance as Julia Child was so entertaining and endearing, and because the film featured two strong women who decided they wanted to do something and did it, despite the obstacles and skepticism they met along the way. Both of them had very supportive husbands, and we also found it refreshing to see male characters who were portrayed as something other than clueless or contemptible.

I'm not familiar with French cooking, and although I remember Dan Akroyd's Saturday Night Live parodies of Julia Child — one of which was included in the film — I never watched Child's show. But I could find plenty to relate to in the character of Julie Powell, played by Amy Adams. When Powell began cooking and blogging her way to fame in 2002, she was a 30-year-old low-level New York City bureaucrat who yearned to be a writer.

I think every blogger can relate to this movie: the moments in the beginning of her project when Julie questioned whether anyone was even reading her blog, the thrill of receiving her first comment, the responsibility of knowing that her words were being read, and the frustration of producing worthy material day after day.

It is that last point that is prompting me to write this. At one point in the movie Julie's husband, seeing her obvious frustration over the demands of her self-imposed deadline, suggests that she back off the project. She responds by saying that she can't, that there are hundreds of people who read her blog daily and count on her to post.

I have no illusions that there are hundreds of people hanging on my every word each day. Truth is, a typical day for my blog is 20 visitors and on a really good day, 40 to 60. Only a handful visit every day.

My initial goal was to post six days a week, preferably something informative or entertaining or thought-provoking. The time required to do this, however, is getting to be too much. I do have a full-time job, and several other things on my plate at the moment, and lately I have been struggling to make time for all of them.

And guess which one has suffered the most? My workouts!

More important, I don't want to get to the point where my desire to post something daily leads to my posting just anything. Nor do I want this to become more chore than fun, because I have been having a lot of fun with it.

So beginning today, I'm abandoning my commitment to posting daily. Some weeks I might end up posting every day, and some weeks I might post only a couple of times. Routines can often be helpful, but I don't want to become a prisoner to one.

I hope those of you who have visited regularly will understand, and will continue to return. I appreciate your interest, and your comments.


  1. I went to see Julie & Julia this weekend as well - how funny! I absoltely loved the movie...being a "foody" I could totally relate. I'm sorry to see you go but I can understand exactly why you are abandoning us readers - just kidding!!! I know it takes up a lot of your time. Welcome back to freedom! :-)

  2. Ha, Lori! Thanks for making me feel a little guilty already. :-)

  3. Today I am setting up my own blog. I have already decided that I will only write when I feel like it. Just like I do everything else. Your 8/24 entry confirms my decision. I actually haven't finished entering anything on the blog .... so don't get too excited.

  4. JustMyOpinion (aka MaryAnne), good for you! I'll look forward to reading your blog. One blogger who I read, somewhere, mentioned that she only writes for herself. I thought that was a good approach. Once you think you have to write for others, you're toast. Good luck!