Writing Workshop


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It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend in San Diego. Sunny and 80F. I’m not sure if 80 is going to happen, but I wouldn’t complain if it does. Bring on spring. Or summer.

I’m all about warm weather.

Blue sky and palm trees

I’m going to be spending Saturday indoors because I’m participating in a writing workshop that author and writing coach Dianne Jacob is putting on. I found out about this intimate workshop (limited to only 10 participants) for members of the San Diego Food Bloggers group and I quickly snatched up a spot. I figure that I write at least 10 blogs posts a week, usually 2 posts per day, and if I can learn something that will help make me a better writer, then it’s a day well spent.

Plus, I get to hang out with other local food bloggers and talk shop.

It’s been that kind of hang out with other bloggers and talk shop (and eat frosting and play with KitchenAid’s) kind of week.

Joy, Cristina, Diane, KitchenAid represenative Rachel, and Alex

Events like this always seem to cluster up which is what happened last summer. I had more going on in one week than I did in months; a trip, a workshop, multiple blogger meetups, but it was a fabulous week, that’s for sure.

The writing workshop lunch is being held at one San Diego blogger’s home, and it’s a potluck lunch. I’m bringing pastrami on rye, with a side of garlicky mashed potatoes topped with crumbled bacon bits and green onions.


I’m bringing my favorite brownies, that have been enhanced a bit (see #10).

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with cream cheese frosting

And I think I’m also going to bring a bottle of wine.

shelf of wine bottles

You know, in case we want to try our hand at creative writing after a glass or two, while sitting outside and smelling the roses and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Yellow and pink flowers


Is writing something that comes easily to you?

Writing blog posts, writing term papers, writing for your job, writing emails, writing essays, writing non-fiction, writing fiction…they are all so different and what works with one does not necessarily work with another.

I’d fail out of college if I wrote my research papers like I write my blog posts; and if I wrote my blog posts like research papers, I’d have precisely two readers (me and Scott) because it would be a snore-bore. I’m anxious to learn from Dianne and soak up as much as I can.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

I don’t get writer’s block. I have plenty to say; too much to say, perhaps.

However, sometimes the things I want to write about don’t necessarily have to do with cookies or brownies, so to try to weave stories into food posts is something that can be a challenge. Not always, but sometimes.

I like to tell stories with the food I blog about to help put readers in the mood that I was when making it, when eating it, or to share why I made what I made, or share my childhood food experiences and memories.

Without telling a story about the food, and just posting the recipe and a picture, is akin to Allrecipes or any other recipe-based site. I have too much to say to simply post a recipe without writing a bit more and sharing details and stories. I figure if people don’t like some story-telling, they wouldn’t read food blogs and would only go to recipe sites for their recipes, but I’d like to learn to write better.

Improve, grow, challenge, change, strive. Good stuff.

Thanks for the Yoga Mat Giveaway entries

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. Hi Averie! A writing class for bloggers sounds awesome. How do you find out about events like that? I just started blogging in October and I finally feel like I am ready to learn either more about photography, writing or both. I would also love to attend a blogger conference or something similar to meet fellow bloggers in person. None of my friends blog and I love talking and learning about blogging. My friends lend a supportive ear, but I would love to be in a gathering where I was with a bunch of bloggers so we could learn more from each other and so forth.

    I can’t wait to hear what you learn today at your workshop.

    xoxo, Jackie

    1. facebook, blogs, internet, just reading lots of blogs and following this type of stuff…my first year of blogging I missed most events b/c I just wasn’t aware! But you get better at it over time :)

  2. I would say that when I write, it comes pretty easily. I seem to NEVER have a hard time coming up with something to say! :-) However, that is definitely not the case when I have sat down to write music. I can compose instrumental stuff for the piano but when I attempt to write lyrics to it…meh. It doesn’t happen. Ah well…

    When you were talking about what you were bringing to the writer’s workshop lunch and you started out saying pastrami on rye, etc., I was like, what the what??! Too funny! :-) LOVE those brownies you are taking. I made those on Tuesday this past week as dessert when I went to my girlfriend’s house for tea. They were a total hit – and – I meant to tell you that earlier!

    Send some of the heat up here to Santa Cruz, cause although we have sunshine and lots of it, we still don’t have the heat up here! :-)

  3. Sometimes I find I get blocked in writing about the specific topic I’m set to write, so if I go and just start freewriting about anything that comes to mind, it unlocks whatever blockage was going on and I can get to work. Some of my favorite pieces have come from that space.

    Can’t wait to hear about your workshop!!

  4. I usually don’t get writer’s block. As far as writing papers, if I ever have trouble it is just starting the paper itself but then I am good to go! Sometimes I can’t think of titles for my blog posts… that’s about it!

  5. I bump up against writer’s block when I try to make my posts about something. If I free type and just get it all out there then I can usually write something for hours. Then I attempt to dial back the crazy rambling to just a smidge of craziness and then I usually have something to put up!

  6. I think it’s great that you are taking a writing class! It is never a bad thing to learn more and refine your skills.

    And that San Diego sunshine looks beautiful!

  7. Writing emails, professional documents, and papers for school comes very easily for me. Fiction I have more trouble with, although it has been a very, very, long time since I tried.

  8. I think our styles of writing on the blogs are similar. I don’t ever really just post a recipe; I don’t want to read that in a blog. I like to include a story about the food. It makes it more personal and interesting to read. Or describe the food…something.

    Writing non-fiction is SO different!! One of the reasons that I started blogging was because writing my dissertation in a strict science format was making me forget how to write like a normal human being, and talk like one too. When I was in high school, I loved my creative writing class, and my teacher always encouraged us to “just write”. that’s the way I’m trying to think of my blog lately.

  9. Somedays I’m on and other days I just can’t flow with the words. I am still writing for classes as well, so I have to switch up styles quite often. But it’s been fun to challenge my writing skills with blogging- always trying to grow, improve, stretch myself like you said. I’m sure the workshop will be very useful and inspiring, have a fun time!

  10. I hope you have a great time. Sounds like a good workshop event. Both my BA & MA are in writing (prof & tech writing) and that’s what my job entails. I always knew I wanted to write for a career.

    1. That’s great that you always knew you wanted to write for your career and are doing it!

  11. Writing has always come second (or maybe third) to math and science for me. I am a left brained girl who struggles with creativity, which is why blogging has been such a fun challenge for me. I would love to hear what you learn.

    BTW, I saw my favorite orange label bottle in your fridge. With are obssessed with that in this household!!!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. We used to go through much more orange label. Life changes with a child…it’s more like lots of…water these days! haha

  12. Writing always came easily to me and I always liked doing that rather than math. Now that grad school is over I don’t write much except for e-mails and blog comments but I understand what everyone means about editing jokes, sarcasms, etc because intended meaning can be lost without body language and tone of voice… I can see why bloggers get stuck at times. Have fun at your workshop!!!

  13. Can’t wait to see what you learn at the workshop! I’ve read Will Write for Food and I loved it.

    1. And one day I’d love to read about your journey with the writing adventure you’re on and how things all went down and what’s been the most fun, the most surprising, the hardest…things like that are so fun to hear about. Again, massive congratulations to you. :)

  14. So excited that you’re going to a writing workshop! You know that writing is my life’s blood, so I’m always excited when others want to explore it in more depth.

    You totally had me on the pastrami and rye and bacon bits–I was like “wait, is she eating meat now?” I’m so gullible!

    You are right on about the need to write very differently in different contexts–but then, I remember you’re the queen of knowing your audience.
    Looking forward to hearing how it went.
    And a very belated happy birthday to Skylar! I thought of her earlier in the month and didn’t manage to get it together to write–been very snowed under.

    1. It’s wonderful to hear from you, Ela! You always have the nicest things to say and that you even remembered it was Skylar’s bday…you’re good :) I know writing is your passion, so I’ll try to channel a little of you tomorrow!

  15. I’m a little jealous of your real-life blogging friends, looks so fun :) And yes, writing generally comes easily to me, but I find blogging has made writing research papers MUCH harder (as I was reminded while trying to do just that this week!) since your own voice has no place in a research paper – I have to delete all my little jokes and sarcasms when I’m editing :)

    1. I have to delete many of my little jokes and sarcasms from my blog posts b/c I fear they don’t translate and facial expressions, giggles, hand movements are all absent so I worry things may not come across properly so have learned to be safe rather than sorry if people misunderstand my humor and sarcasm.

  16. Some day I’m going to attend something offline, lol. And I would be the one to bring mashed potatoes. :)

    I don’t get writer’s block at all. However, I do get writer’s title block. Sometimes coming up with a title for a blog post takes hours. Sometimes I end up putting off a post all together because I can’t decide on a title! It’s my least favorite part of blogging. Why can’t posts just go by numbers? 1… 2… 3… hahaha. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right??

    1. Post titles are tricky b/c for SEO purposes, it should be to the point, exactly what you’re writing about…not something cutesy. And for searching on my own blog, if I named things cutesy, I could never find a post 18 mos later that I knew I had written but couldnt quite remember the title. That’s why I try to go more for real name and less for cutesy but sometimes I can’t help it :)