Check out this article. See, now, I like Jack Monroe, and I find I agree with a lot of what she says (possibly those two things are linked, but I mean I like her style of writing and her frugal attitude towards food) and although I only picked her blog up after she became better known, I understand her backstory.
Jack’s backstory is something to do with being a good distance below the poverty line as is the wont of the Struggling Writer, only she has two tiny kids in tow as well.
This is a way of life I can relate to.
She has a great blog with loads of clever ways to make sustenance out of nothing, and I can totally recommend it. Dozens of ways to use up ancient and semi- (or fully) rotting veggies, pesto made from anything as long as it’s green, and I think I remember some magical whizz about the way she uses stock cubes.
Except, there’s just one thing bugging me about her now.
I get that she knows how to survive being poor, I do. And I honestly don’t feel envious that she has a Guardian column and has been on TV (these are not things I aspire to) and won some great awards. Moi, jealous? Not likely. Don’t think I would know how to be.
What I’m really asking is how long she can write a truly honest blog (and it sure was an honest blog before she was famous) about being poor when she now refers to the time when she was poverty-stricken as being in the past.
I thought that the other week when she wrote a piece about keeping warm in winter, but today this article really does feel as though those horrifically frugal times are now in the past. I’m glad for her – it must be amazing to walk outside one day and the sun is shining – but now I want her to evolve and reinvent herself, and write about that, not write about things solely on the basis that it’s ‘something my readers might like’.
She writes really well from the heart, but now it does sometimes feel like she’s writing more from the brain. Nothing wrong with that in many ways – she is a journalist, after all. Trouble is, she’s made it relatively big time on the basis that she writes commonsense about being poor, and if it was me, I would be terribly afraid that I would lose my readers as I evolved.
Tricky dilemma. I wish her luck with it; it’s great to see good stuff happening for someone when the world is filled with such misery.