Acclaimed Author of ‘Julie and Julia’ Talks About How Blogging Changed Her Life

March 3, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Andy Garcia

ulie Powell, author of "Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously," shares her secret to happiness at the 46th Annual Women's Symposium at SMU on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. (PHOTO BY SYDNEY GIESEY/ SMU DAILY MUSTANG))

Julie Powell, commended author of Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes and 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, knows the power of blogs and their role in society. Her book was adapted into an award-winning film, featuring Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as Powell.

Powell started her blog, The Julie/Julia Project, while working in various temporary jobs in New York City. She did not anticipate that her account of cooking Julia Child’s recipes would launch a career.

Describing herself as a “project girl” Powell believed the blog would provide focus to her life. Only after the project was underway did she realize the potential of blogging.

When Powell saw people were interested in her work she was hit with a flurry of emotion.

“I was a little terrified but it was also exciting,” Powell said. “It felt like I was walking this tight rope and everyone was watching.”

Once readers started commenting on her work, Powell claims her blog became a chat room for open conversation. Recognizing the value of expression, Powell said she allowed her blog to develop on its own.

“The blog really was a community, there was a sense of responsibility among the community,” Powell said. “If you ever wanted to comment again you had show some kind of respect, so it was kind of self regulating that way.”

Seven years after the completion of The Julie/Julia Project, a successful novel based on the blog and other works, Powell still thinks blogs provide an excellent medium for communication. However, Powell warns blogging can lead to problems in society.

“I just feel it leads to a certain lack of discipline in the way we talk to each other,” said Powell. “We are too busy telegraphing every thought we have, to consider what those thoughts mean.”

Powell suggests people interested in blogging find something they are passionate about and dedicate themselves to staying with it. Whether it is politics, sports or even cooking, she says there is an opportunity to be a part of the growing online discussion.

For more pictures of the Women’s Symposium click here!

For a recap of Julie Powell at the Women’s Symposium check out this video:

Video and editing by Fernando Valdes

Julie Powell Lecture from on Vimeo.