Reason To Write: It Got Me Cooking

line of casseroles

I ate all of these.

Last month, I wrote about how my writing had forced me out of my comfort zone, leading me to make my own wine, tour 34 wineries, and even battle my extreme social anxiety in order to give a live reading during NYC’s annual Lit Crawl.

You guys responded with some pretty fabulous stories yourselves. Susan Johnston of The Urban Muse mentioned that she had done a few Mortified readings (so cool!), and Natalia M. Sylvester of Inky Clean wrote of the time she had gone to a bee farm to watch how honey is made (I find this absolutely terrifying).

I love stories like these. Because, while the number one reason I write is to connect with others, the number two reason I write is to give myself an excuse (or an opportunity) to try new things.

And because this is such a huge part of the freelance lifestyle (and of freelancedom, if you will), I’d like to share these stories more often, and hear more of yours.

The other night, I had another one of those holy-crap-writing-brought-me-here moments. I was participating, for the second year in a row, in Emily Farris’s annual Casserole Crazy competition. A friend and I whipped up one of my grandmother’s old casserole recipes, donned some cute aprons, and enjoyed an evening of unbridled casserole-eating.

I find this amusing because, when I was growing up, I refused to help my mother in the kitchen. “Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I have to do the cooking!” I used to say, in that snotty, brat-tastic way of mine. And for the first year of my marriage, no one did the cooking. We ate lots of pizza and McDonalds and I gained 35 pounds and now I can’t wear skinny jeans. (Okay. I could never wear skinny jeans. Bygones.)

But about two years ago, when I was managing Nerve‘s products blog, I connected with Emily, who was managing their pop culture blog. She had published a book of casserole recipes, was throwing annual casserole competitions, and convinced me to take part.

God I love the people I meet through my writing.

Now I’m the type of person who gets excited about Corningware.

gizmo's head in my new corningware

Gizmo totally wishes there was food in them there bowls.

I found these bowls on Etsy. They’re the same mixing bowls my mom has. What the hell have I become!?

Who are you glad to have met through your writing?

And if you’re interested in sharing your stories on Freelancedom in the future, let me know! I’d love to make Reason To Write a new series, and I don’t want it to be all about me. (Though lord knows I could go on about me forever.)

Related: How Writing Forced Me Out of My Comfort Zone


  1. I would have to really think about it, but you are right. As a writer, I meet literally HUNDREDS of people I would never have the chance to in “normal” life. Maybe it’s because writing is such solitary work, but I love just talking to other people and hearing their stories. Even if I completely disagree with their point of view, I find it so fascinating to chat with them.

    I will add this to my possible guest post list and let you know when I’ve written something interesting. Thanks for the opportunity.

  2. Writing brought me to my whole Martha project. For the last two years, I’ve given my life a Martha Stewart makeover. I’ve cooked hundreds of her recipes and done her crafts. It’s been an amazing experience for me and as a result my family has tried so many dishes we never would have had.

  3. Creating the Frugal Kiwi has brought me a whole new way of life complete with beehive (not so scary, really), chicken coop and DIY, well, everything really. I love all the things I’ve learned. Learning IS the best part.

  4. Well, Steph, I met *you* through writing! And I got to interview a certain reality TV crush several years ago, which was cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I write about music most of the time, so I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with quite a few great artists. I should say I write about classical, folk, country, Irish, and Scottish music, so quite a few of them are top notch in those areas but perhaps not widely known mainstream names. What’s really wonderful is to be able to learn so much about the varied ways people approach the creative process.

  6. I was trying to think of everyday people that I’ve met through writing, but I guess it should be most obvious that I’ve “met” a whole mess of celeb-ish types, mostly writers who I fiercely love and/or envy or activists whose work I admire. But I’ve also got a little posse of writer friends that I’d never have otherwise, and that part is pretty nifty. I expect the celeb-ish thing to keep on keepin’ on and the circle of “real” people to grow more as I chug along. Being back in the states will also surely help the “real” people factor because, you know, I can actually show up in person ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. It’s true, there are people whose stories I would never have had a chance to know otherwise. That is one of my favorite parts of writing–the interviews.

  8. Aw, thanks for the mention! I actually have quite a fondness for bees because of that article, to the point that, when I see one and the person I’m with starts to get all terrified, I’ll defend the bee! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love the idea of a Reason to Write series. Would love to contribute sometime!

  9. You! I’m glad to have met you once in New York City. And it was writing that brought us together!

  10. Writing has given me the opportunity – and permission – to delve into so many subjects I’ve always been so curious about but never gave myself the time to explore. And, of course, it has opened up my life in so many other ways – it gets me out there; I travel more and get to meet so many fabulous people, including other writers who I’d probably never have met otherwise.

  11. I write about being an innkeeper and living green on Cape Cod. Since my photo is on the blog, people in town come up to me on the street and say hello, since they recognize me. It is great to connect this way with so many members of the community.

  12. Writing brought me to my husband! He answered a few questions I had posted to an online journal site (this was before blogs were known to the general public), asked a few questions about my graduate journalism program, and it grew from there despite the fact that we lived 5 states away from each other. Yes, folks, that’s why you get graduate degreesรขโ‚ฌโ€to find a man. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. What a great topic! I love it. I’ve been so glad to talk to some wonderful inspiring people in the field of natural parenting – doctors, lactation consultants, researchers, etc. – when I’ve done interviews. I go away after these interviews feeling so recharged and happy to be doing my little part to help spread the word about causes that matter to me.

  14. Between my writer’s group, conferences, and my blog, I’ve been lucky enough to meet (whether in person or virtually) so many great people and I’ve made some friends in the process, not just acquaintances. My favorite writing story from the “trenches” so to speak was when I was doing a feature on an organic farm. One goat in particular was especially curious and tried to eat my notebook!

  15. I so enjoyed reading these comments, you guys. I love that writing has brought us together, too. Your stories of the people you’ve met made me think of a time when I used to do more interviews. Interviews terrify me, because I have such social anxiety but, after reading Lawrence Grobel’s Art of the Interview, I tried to approach these interviews more as casual conversations and, because of this, had some of the most gratifying and fascinating convos of my life. There’s no doubt that writing pushes me. In a good way.

    Natalia: Totally shoot me an e-mail if you’re up for doing a guest post! I’d love to have you on the blog.

  16. Colleagues like you, of course, make the writing life less lonely — and I’m constantly inspired and awestruck by what my professional peers do.

    And, of course, it’s an honor and a privilege to interview the people I meet — many of whom invite me into their homes and tell me their secrets — a lot of whom I would never meet in my everyday life.

    I feel blessed to do the work I do and to connect with some amazingly cool people doing good stuff in the world.

    I’ve met many of my best friends through writing. How great is that?


  1. […] other week, I wrote the kick-off post in a new Freelancedom series — Reason To Write. It was a post about how writing had provided me with the opportunity to experience new things, and […]

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