Amanda Hesser’s Advice for Aspiring Food Writers

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  04.18.12 | 10:14 AM ET

What does the former New York Times food writer and editor say to aspiring food writers who ask her for advice?

I can no longer responsibly recommend that you drop everything to try to become a food writer. Except for a very small group of people (some of whom are clinging to jobs at magazines that pay more than the magazines’ business models can actually afford), it’s nearly impossible to make a living as a food writer, and I think it’s only going to get worse.

Hesser talks salaries and freelance budgets, and she offers other suggestions for those still interested in pursuing food writing.

So what happens now if someone comes to me wanting to become a writer? I don’t totally crush their dreams. I just step on them a bit—before trying to help the aspirant re-imagine his or her future in a whole new way.

If all that’s too depressing for you, check out this photo of falafel and tzatziki on the same site. It’s pretty, and it won’t step on your dreams. Its only purpose is to delight you.

4 Comments for Amanda Hesser’s Advice for Aspiring Food Writers

Los Angeles bus girl 04.23.12 | 2:11 PM ET

I really enjoy reading food writer articles and when I find a good write-up, I try to visit the places. I was delighted by the photo of falafel and tzatziki. Thanks for the insight.

Cindy 04.25.12 | 9:50 PM ET

I agree… It is very hard to make a living as a food travel writer.

Sally Payton 05.01.12 | 11:33 PM ET

I watch and read any food-related shows and articles since I was 9. It’s always within me but it’s hard to step up and live that dream. Becoming a famous food writer for sure isn’t a piece of cake. Not realistic for someone like me, Hesser is very lucky.

Hermes bag 06.15.12 | 6:17 AM ET

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