Julie, Julia, and blogging

My first big exposure to personal blogging was the film Julie & Julia.  I knew that blogging existed in some vague way before I saw the movie, but hadn’t read many blogs or heard much about blogs that were written by individual folks.

I have to say that I was not impressed.

Julie, the blogger in the movie, becomes so obsessed with her blog about making all of the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year that she becomes whiny, petulant, and inattentive to her job, her friends, and her spouse. She gains media attention, notoriety, and a book deal, but the costs to everyone around her are high.

On the other hand, I loved the intertwined story of Julia Child in France.  Her question of “What should I do?” and her quest to figure out what that was and to pursue it with passion, persistence, and good humor, all the while staying connected to her spouse and her friends, resonated with me.

My greater affinity with Julia has a lot to do with some similarities.  Julia McWilliams Child was a proud member of the Smith College class of 1934. I am class of 1982.  That women’s college/liberal arts background was evident to me in her ability to tackle new challenges and discern her way forward, especially as an outsider at the very French and very male Le Cordon Bleu, later as part of a circle of women chef-teachers, and finally her decades of teaching people to enjoy cooking and sharing food through her television shows and cookbooks.

I also related to Julia’s age in the film. She was about 49 when Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published, which was my age when I saw Julie & Julia.  I could appreciate the re-invention(s) that women make in their middle years and the ability to keep learning and growing that makes re-invention possible.

Maybe, if Julia’s story were unfolding in the 21st century, there would be a fabulous blog or website to accompany her book and television endeavors.

Maybe not.

Still, despite my initial bad impression of blogging, here I sit, writing a blog post about it.

Julie taught me things that I didn’t want my blog to be:  limited to a narrow topic, time-constrained, high-pressure, all-consuming.

Julia taught me to stay open to change, to accept criticism but to maintain the integrity of my work, to remember to enjoy time with family and friends (and food), to persevere even when it looks like the goal is unattainable.

So, I find myself five years after the film with a blog that is almost a year old that is eclectic and (I hope seen as) thoughtful, that has started to attract a small group of readers and commenters who appreciate some of the topics I write about and the way in which I write about them.  I have also in these years rediscovered poetry and am working to improve my poems and find appropriate journals or publishers with a goal of being published in print.

Unlike Julie and Julia, I am unlikely to ever publish a full-length book. I may eventually be able to publish a chapbook of poetry, but it won’t be as a result of my blog – or my cooking.

And I won’t give up from the discouraging number of rejection notices.

Julia didn’t.

 

 

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Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

9 thoughts on “Julie, Julia, and blogging”

  1. Hi Joanne,

    This post reverberated with me. I was so taken with the Julia part of the movie that I dressed up as Julia Child for a Halloween party 5 years ago. I met her at Smith at a reunion. And, at 6′ tall, I looked up to her in more ways than one (She was, as you likely know, 6’3″).

    Joanne, I feel we are living parallel lives. . .but not truly parallel since they have intersected at times through our dear friend, Mary.

    I enjoy your “Julia ” perspective on life! Bon appetit!

    Steph

    Like

    1. Thanks, Steph! I’m sure you would be a much more convincing Julia than I, standing, as I do, at 5″ 1 1/2″!

      I love how Smith women have so much in common and connect in so many different ways, including for us the old-school way of through a friend and the on-line way of Facebook and blogging.

      Bon appetit to you, too!

      Joanne

      Like

  2. Thanks for this post. Sometimes I feel my lack of “focus” on my blog and choosing instead to write about what I need to write about at the time, makes me less than a “real” blogger, which is a person who has a niche, a specialty, a format that draws followers who eagerly await the next post – exactly like I eagerly await the niche posts of many of the blogs I follow. It helps me to see, yeah, I enjoy her eclectic, thoughtful blog. So there is room for doing it differently.

    Like

    1. There is room for all kinds of blogs and bloggers, including the eclectic types. I think it is easier for non-niche blogs to get lost in the shuffle, though, which is why I am always excited to find others, like you, that wirte on a variety of topics. I found your blog from Susan Cushman who I found through her blogger son Jason of HarsH ReaLiTy, so it was a chain of diverse blogging that led me to you.

      Liked by 1 person

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