Creation is hard. There is a reason there are so many myths about creation. The world was created by a God, or gods, or held on the back of a giant turtle, or rose from the depths of the ocean, or came from a spark of space dust. No one can fathom the sheer amount of creation required to make the world and so we explain it away.
We’ve inherited the task of creation from those early primordial forces. Whatever created the world created a spark within us that longs to make things. The way we make things takes different forms. There are artisans and chefs, engineers and biologists, those that create from the mind and create from the world around them. Creation is hard, but it is valuable.
I discovered early on in life that my preferred method of creation was through the written word. Encouraged by my teachers and the love of my favorite authors, I have written for longer than I have managed to stick by anything else. When I reached adulthood, it made sense to put that skill to use and make some money off of it.
I fell into the modern day trap of commodifying my hobbies. I entered the world of blogging with the aim to share my writing, and quickly donned more and more hats as it became obvious that being a writer was not enough. To reach the level of success that I thought I wanted (Internet fame, essentially), I would need to be a photographer, editor, SEO specialist, web developer, and advertiser.
It would take me years of trying and failing at this to realize that the reason I am “not good” at it is because it was never my intention to become those things in the first place. I started The Kitchen Gent in 2016 as a way to share my love of food through writing and photography. I have changed a lot in the 8 years since then, including in ways that I did not expect. A disillusionment with social media and online spaces is high among those. I fully expected that by 2024 I would have thousands of followers waiting on every new recipe. Now, it makes me uncomfortable to think of inviting strangers to share my life the way that bloggers I once looked up to do.
2023 brought about major changes for me as I moved to Washington, D.C. When I look back at this blog, it’s clear to see that it’s more than just the move that is keeping me from updating it. The man who started this blog and the man who is writing this post are two completely different people, and it’s ok to acknowledge that. How to move forward with that information has been a bit more difficult to come by.
I have decided that the identity and purpose of my blog and social media are going to change. It’s time that The Kitchen Gent is put in its place on the shelf, to be admired and thanked for everything that it has given me. This blog and this online persona have helped me explore my creativity, venture into new cooking skills, and get over a fear of sharing my writing with the world. I say that, but this next step is not taken without hesitation. I will continue to share my writing on here as a place to host my portfolio and showcase that which I would otherwise keep hidden close to my chest. Pieces that I have tried to sell but been told are not marketable will find their way here, as well as essays that I may be drawn to write that I don’t foresee making their way out into the wider world.
My hope is that this shift will draw people to me who appreciate my writing and my creativity, while pushing away those who see their relationship with me and my writing as transactional. I am not interested in using a single SEO keyword from here on out. I do not want to write only when I cook (because that is less and less these days; more on that later). And I definitely do not want to be on any social media platforms that do not serve me.
This does mean the end of The Kitchen Gent. But this is the beginning of Words by ZJG. Thanks for reading.