What is This Blog Even FOR? (Plus: bread making adventures)

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It’s almost been two years since I started THIS blog⎯I’ve been blogging for years before on a different platform. When I posted for the first time, I had a grand idea for what I wanted it to be. I wanted to write lots of book reviews, share my experience in writing/querying/publishing, and posting plenty of short stories.

Looking back, I’ve only somewhat succeeded. I’ve written a handful of book reviews, though I’d like to write more. Certainly I’ve shared my experience with writing, that seems to be the one thing I do regularly. But, I’ve only ever posted one story and a couple of poems here.

Is it worth continuing to update my audience on my writing life, when I don’t even post writing for them to read?

My close friends and family, who know what I’m working on, read my updates with proper context. But what about people who don’t necessarily know me? What if they’ve never read anything of mine before?

So many of my creative projects exist outside of this blog: my paintings, my novel, etc. Then what is this blog for?

At the moment, it’s just been a place where I can vent my creative woes. Basically it’s just an online diary, with occasional book reviews/recommendations.

I want this blog to be so many things. To be a place where I can share the outpourings of my brain, fictional or otherwise. But the life updates and personal posts seem to leave me feeling like I’m not truly being creative. Where are the poems I long to write, the stories I want to tell?

Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t have plans. I’m in the process of editing some long-lost stories to post as a serial style novel here. Though, as per usual, it’s procrastination central over here. But, I’d like to get the first chapter up by the end of the month or, at the latest, the beginning of April. So… stay tuned for that, I guess!

Perhaps, instead of focusing what I wanted it to be and being disappointed that it’s not, I should do my best to make it what I want. That’s basically the story of my life: stop worrying and wanting and moping, and start doing!

Perhaps it’s the all craziness that’s going on right now: coronavirus, economic recession, etc. So let’s all do our best to stay positive.

On a happier note, I made a loaf of bread from scratch for the first time this week. Specifically, it was a loaf of sourdough.

I’d been wanting to make a loaf of bread from scratch for a while but hadn’t gotten around to it until now. As I wrote in a Medium article about sourdough bread and mindfulness, it was a recipe I found in a French cookbook that finally inspired me. It provided a step-by-step guide on how to get a sourdough starter going through to the baking, even including a troubleshooting page.

Getting the starter going was a little intimidating, considering I was basically growing the yeast I’d need for the actual dough. But it worked! It bubbled and ate and eventually was used to make the dough.

Making the dough was an adventure. Buckle up!

The recipe, written by a professional French baker who has been baking for years and knows exactly what he is doing, told me to make the dough by mixing all the flour on a worktop then pour the wet ingredients into a dent in the mountain of flour. Do you know what happens when liquid is being held in my a wall made of flour? It leaks.

Liquid and flour went absolutely everywhere. In the process of trying to block the leaks, more leaks occurred. The mound was leaking, I was covered in wet flour water, it was all over the floor and the countertop.

Eventually, I managed to grab a bowl and scoop as much as I could into the bowl. Imagine: I’ve got a big metal bowl suspended between my stomach and the counter, as I try and shovel flour and liquid into the bowl while it slowly spread farther and farther on the counter. I could only reach so much with my short little arms.

It was then mixed together in the bowl on the floor. While the counter was covered in gross flour water, which dripped down the cabinets and onto the floor. But, in the end, the dough was made!

I made the biggest mess in the entire world, but the mess eventually made into bread. Of course, after some time rising, and some kneading, and all the things a dough needs before it becomes bread. And bread it indeed became. Somewhat successfully.

The loaf has a fantastically crisp crust and a wonderfully robust sourdough flavour. It’s a little dense, but that can be remedied through experimenting with different flours and rising times. Despite that, I’d call my first attempt at bread a decent success. It was eatable at least and it looked like an artisanal loaf of bread. More importantly, it’s inspired me to continue on this bread-making journey.

So more bread adventures will be had in the future!

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