...and social media killed the blogger. Or, in my case, more like a combination of social and traditional media.
At least that's the best explanation I can offer for the nearly nonexistent nature of this blog over the past year or two. It's not that I've stopped writing - not at all - it's just that I've pretty much stopped writing here.
I used to write about Baltimore restaurants here; that content has found a home both at Baltimore Fishbowl, in my events column, Hot Plate, and at the Sun, where I write longer form pieces here and there.
Other posts - short little ones inspired by random thoughts or observations - end up on Facebook, either as posts of my own or posts in the comments. Facebook and Instagram are also where I end up sharing bits and pieces about meals I've had out, or dishes I've made at home, or even interesting articles or cool things I spot here and there. I don't share as many of those things as I did back when I was blogging daily...but occasionally it happens.
I don't do any real restaurant criticism anymore - once I stopped reviewing for the Sun, I lost my interest in that kind of writing. I'd rather focus on the positive than on what doesn't work (though I always did try to deliver criticism in a constructive way).
There is one type of writing that I've lost without blogging and that I miss: longer form observational stuff. Over the past year, I've started, but not finished, a bunch of posts with names like "What follows peak food?" and "How to be a good restaurant guest" and "The evolution of dinner parties" and "Restaurants as artists." Posts that start with a quick spark, but then require real thought and effort to complete.
I miss that sort of writing and thinking, but I find myself too distracted to actually follow through and finish the posts. That's where social media's doing the damage, I think. It's much easier to post something quick and walk away than it is to follow a thought and explore it in writing.
All of this is a very long - and navel-gazing - way to say that after over 12 years, Mango and Ginger is officially on hiatus. I'll continue to sporadically update the "about" page that houses links to recent articles. And who knows...maybe 2018 will bring me the inspiration and the follow-through necessary to finish one of those longer posts. I'd like to think so, but I'm not holding myself to it.
Even if this is the last post I end up writing in this space, it's been a great run. A dozen years, zillions of words, countless meals, a bunch of trips, many new friendships, and tons and tons of great memories. My life wouldn't be the same without this blog and I will be forever thankful that I started it way back when - and that a reader or two found it along the way.