mint green tea and writing
This interview is for people who devour words they love and think of beautiful lines they have read when they do everything else. Nicole Gulotta's Eat This Poem is a literary food blog and the dynamic between food and poetry frames the narrative. She considers the preparation and enjoyment of food in the context of poetry, and recasts the everyday routine of assembling, cooking and eating your food in terms of the creative process.
Since discovering Eat This Poem, I am determined to read and write and actively slice out that time.
A Q&A with Nicole follows below.
on writing, projects and process
My intention from the beginning was to pair poems with recipes. I wrote a very generic food blog prior to launching Eat This Poem, and felt my voice was drowning in an oversaturated market. I also wanted to reconnect with writing in a new way, and one day while reading a poem with a food reference, I immediately thought of a recipe to make. That was my ah-ha moment!
So many! Poetry was my focus for a long time, then food writing took hold and I began writing a lot more non-fiction. Currently, I'm in the process of finishing my cookbook, and I freelance for the independent food magazine Life & Thyme.
It took three years to write my cookbook. I don't say this to discourage anyone, but to prove it can be done when you work full-time and/or have a family. Writing isn't always the quickest of endeavors, but if you're passionate about your project, it will absolutely get done when the time is right.
I recommend starting on social media. Interact on the Facebook pages of your favorite writers and bloggers, and engage with them on Twitter. You might not be instant friends, but all relationships (in person or online) take time to cultivate. Be consistent, ask questions, and share their work. Over time, something will blossom.
on writing, technology and motherhood
I do a lot of initial drafting and note taking in the margins of my day. My cookbook was essentially written on my lunch break, and nowadays I use a note app on my phone to jot down ideas or fragments of potential newsletters or blog posts. It's all a mess for a while, but on the weekends I manage to find more dedicated time to put the pieces together.
I'm still forming my opinions about this, but overall, I'm hoping to adopt a less-is-more approach. I'm a huge fan of technology as both a work tool and for entertainment (my husband also works in the video game industry, so we can't avoid it entirely), but there is certainly a balance to be had. We're big fans of experiences, and plan to encourage our son to spend time outdoors, look at the clouds, and read as much as possible.
a few of nicole's favorites...
City and dish in that city: A few years ago I had a caesar salad at cook in St. Helena, and still think about it.
Notebook to write in or paper to write on: I'm utterly devoted to Moleskine notebooks.
Learning experience with regard to cooking or cooking technique: I learned how to hold a knife while watching the Food Network in college. It's one of the best skills a cook can have.
Let it go" realization you've had while parenting: I've tried to be very conscious about letting our son determine his own schedule, rather than the other way around. There have been times we've been late to events or had to cancel plans altogether because of sleeping, eating, or what not, and instead of being frustrated we just say "it is what it is" and try not to stress about it. Every stage is temporary, so there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.
We can't wait to read your cookbook!