What It’s Really Like

pie split

Hello my darling friends.

I’ve bombarded you with a ton of melted cheese, buttered popcorn, and chocolate chunks lately.  I feel like we haven’t had the proper amount of time to catch up.

Can we just take a breath together.  Maybe have an extra cup of coffee or another half glass of wine?  Let’s absorb this Wednesday the best way we know how.

You may or may not know that I’m currently working on my second cookbook.  It’s a blessing.   It’s totally exciting.  It’s a dream come true x 2.

I’ve heard people compare writing a book to giving birth to a child.  I get it.  Writing a book is laborious and time-consuming and… actually, I totally don’t get it, nevermind.

I haven’t had any back pain or swollen ankles or excruciating pain while writing this book.  Although… I’d like to sign up for an epidural here and now, if you’re offering (which you aren’t).


You know what happens when you have a baby?  It comes out and people are STOKED.  You know what happens when you write a book?  It comes out and people write a review on Amazon.

I was doing some deep thinking this morning while washing the dishes produced from a failed pie recipe testing session…. writing a book is exactly like this for me:   I get dressed up, fancy but not tooooo fancy, to go to a friend of a friend’s party.  (stay with me… this is a very detailed analogy… there were a lot of dishes to do).  I’m wearing an outfit I feel pretty confident in, but I’m wearing my favorite, wear-them-waaaay-too-often flats because I’m interested in foot comfort on this particular evening.  I get to the party and (to my horror) discover they this particular house has instituted a no-shoes-in-the-house policy.  Gracious Lord in heaven please help me.

First panic:  I know I don’t have a pedicure on these feet, and things are starting off a little less than perfect.  Second panic: Do.My.Feet.Stink!?  I have no way of knowing…. AND!  Since this is my very own anxiety nightmare, I can’t go to the bathroom to check, I can’t leave the party, I can’t insta-pedicure my feet… I just have to sit with the self I’ve created.

Writing a book is EXACTLY like taking your shoes off at a party and hoping your feet don’t stink… or hoping people don’t notice that your feet stink.  Replace ‘feet’ with the word ‘book’ if you aren’t following my (totally ridiculous) train of thought.  You spend months and months writing a thing, preparing it for the world, trying your best to make it what you want it to be…. and at the end of the day, you just have to take your shoes off and hope to God they don’t (and your dang BOOK doesn’t) totally stink.

It’s just that.  It really is.

Aren’t SO many things like that in life?  You understand, I know you do.

In other news, I’m working on a pie chapter and I need you to come over and help me eat the pies that don’t stink.  Sidenote:  I should have a bake sale.

desk life

In addition to writing a lot, and freaking out a little (and OVERSHAING!)… I’m reading a few books.  Words going out of my brain means I need to put some words back in my brain.  I think it’s math or something.

I’m currently reading:

Lean In.  You know… that totally controversial women’s empowerment book written by  Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.   I’m glad someone is saying the words she has said about women in the workplace.  They seem to be fighting words, but you can judge for yourself.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald.   Zelda was a fascinating woman and I am so enjoying this book.  It was spawned by my love of F.Scott and my recent reading of The Paris Wife (which was sooooo good).  Also, if I have a daughter, I’m naming her Zelda… I called it.

Lastly, I’m rereading The Great Gatsby because it’s better than anything that will ever come out of my brain for as long as I live.  Sometimes it’s nice to drown in that sort of work.  Also, the Baz Luhrmann film is coming out this May and I’m a little more than completely obsessed.

Mostly though, I’m testing pies, mixing cocktails, trying to make a lovely book even though it feels like a fight right now… and really, I wouldn’t change a thing (but maybe I would).  I so appreciate that you are here with me.  With my whole heart that’s true.

Note:  The top picture in the post is a recipe test for a Vegan Grapefruit Pie inspired by this recipe by Sprouted Kitchen.  (It was a fail.)

(other) Note:  The photos in this post were taken with my iPhone and tweaked using Instagram, VSCO, and Diptic…. in case you were curious.

…oh man.

166 thoughts on “What It’s Really Like

  1. I know I keep saying this on all available to me social media channels (and in the real world, but there’s no way to let you know I’m sharing my love by including you with an @joythebaker) I just love how you put your sparkly personality out there on your blog, it adds so much to the already spot on recipes that would be enough to bring thousands of people here. Yours is literally like the only food blog, where I bother reading the rambling before, on the others I just skip to the recipes normally but no-no not on here. I sometimes even make people listen to me reading it out loud because it cracks me up so much. Yeah I’m a little weird, so I’ll stop right here.

  2. I was also thinking about book vs baby analogies (I was reading book reviews on Amazon and being amazed at what jerks some people can be!) I was thinking about how you after you nurture the baby through pregnancy and toddlerhood you then send him/her out into the world of school/ pre-school and know that some people will be mean to your kid and bully him/ her. But hopefully the wonderful, nice people will far outnumber the few jerks! Anyway, I loved your “first born” and am super excited to meet your 2nd!

  3. Aaargh I’m so excited about your new book. And I totally get the whole taking your shoes off at a party thing. I worry so much about that I sometimes take extra socks in my bag! I don’t know what flavour that pie at the top is but it looks immense.

  4. My book comes out in a month and I’m already bracing for the Amazon reviews. Or other blogs. I hope people are nice. But it’s the cyber world and I am prepared to put my thick skin on. I have had a baby and I will definitely say that writing a book is like having a baby and when I announced my book I did a baby & pregnancy analogy in the post. You’re on the money there!

    You have nothing to worry about with book 2 other than how to invest the millions of dollars you will make from it b/c people are going to love it. Period :)

    And about holding a bake sale…yeah, I need one too. I pawn coffee cakes. muffins, cookies, cakes, etc off on whoever I can. Like HERE nice to meet you. Enjoy it.

    1. Goodness gracious averie, I heart your blog and I would pawn all the goodies you post off of you!
      p.s.- had your vanilla avocado smoothie for bfast yesterday. I miss it :)

  5. joy,
    your book is going to be brilliant, no matter what you do… I’ve got your first book and it’s amazing, and apart from your recipes, what makes it so good, so unique is that it’s got so much you into it.
    if your second book has as much you as the first you’ll be number one…
    I know this is hard, I do a cooking blog and find it quite hard sometimes and I can not begin to imagine a cookbook. But it’s also exciting and I think that’s what keeps us going. You will take off your shoes and everyone will compliment your feet…just wait and see…

  6. Hmm.. I would go wash my feet straight avay. And then Ask the host for socks. Coordinated to my outfit if necessary. What the hell. If friends come over and have to take shoes off they always get fuzzy socks or slippers or what they wish/I have.
    Ok this was not what you needed? Then I tell you about the book.
    It would be technically a lie to say I *know* it will be REALLY GOOD, since nobody *can know* that in advance. But listen, you have your own personal style in doing this and it won’t go away tomorrow. and we all adore it. So just do your thing the way you like and it will be loved. Just like a baby. And are you doing this fore the review? You shoul be doing it for us! Forgive my autorithy, must be PMS’ing. :D

  7. I have a recent fascination with Fitz too-loved the Paris Wife and have downloaded a few around the subject too…a trip to Shakespear and Company (the bookshop) in Paris was a real treat!

  8. So exciting about the second book. Um, inactuallynreslly would make the trip to Venice to eat pie for ya. I’ll bring Bourbon and fernet. And I promise not to “borrow” any recipes for the next kcrw pie contest, haha.

  9. Joy, all I could think of while writing my blog post about my epic fail life in the kitchen is you. I’m elaborating, hold on. I feel like you’re the only blogger who will give me (cuz you do speak to me) REAL LIFE. So you made 100 perfect pies but you’re still all embracing of the fact that it’s not always that way. Whatever, you don’t need this pep talk. As for cookbook 2 (and I mean well): Eff isht up.

  10. First of all, you rule, your cookbook is going to be amazing! Duh! Second, I am loving your book choices. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and The Paris Wife are on my reading list and I’m super excited to get to them. The Great Gatsby is one of my all-time favorite books! I am about to read it again before the movie comes out!

    Also, I wish I had some pie right now. Sounds like a great midnight snack. :)

  11. This is beautiful and true. And it reminds me: on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, many Episcopal churches do a recalling of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. The symbolism is so powerful and intimate, BUT it’s so very vulnerable. Countless people tell me they got their pedicures. I’ve found that odd, but okay. Then my mom, my mama, who was afflicted with polio at 9 months old, whose feet bear deep scars (scars I’ve traced like following a map on a far away adventure) misshapen from atrophy and countless surgeries, told me something so painful. She doesn’t go forward for the foot washing. She doesn’t think anyone should have to deal with those feet. So thank you for being vulnerable and sharing and letting them possibly stink and being real.

  12. I think our Sundays with Joy group and my curled cover are pretty good proof your feet don’t stink! Can’t wait to bake my way through the next one!!

Leave a Reply