It is crazy to think I have been publishing posts on my blog for over three years now. I still remember the fear and excitement when pressing that publish button on my very first post. It was the 13th of December 2014 and it was a craft tutorial…
So how did we get here?
I wasn’t a big blog reader when I decided to start mine. I mean I had read blogs occasionally but didn’t really follow anyone. I liked writing though, and when I thought about what activity gave me the most joy and fulfilment it was and always had been writing. I was more myself when the words appeared on the page in front of me and I felt more confident writing rather than talking.
But the thing with writing was that I didn’t have a purpose. I wrote bits and pieces in a few word documents on my computer for years. Before that I wrote in journals. But the idea of a blog, an online place to write and to have people then read it was an idea that slowly grew in the back of my mind.
My initial feelings towards blogs where that which was portrayed in How I Met Your Mother and Barney’s ‘You can read about it on my blog’ phrases. It seemed like something that was novel and not really taken seriously. But the more I looked into it, the more I realised that it wasn’t just the Barney’s of the world writing highly opinionated tales about their own lives. It was real people sharing real stories about their experiences and not only entertaining, but actually helping others.
Now that started to sound pretty cool, (though maybe not as cool as this swan…).
I can’t remember if I ever expressed a desire to start a blog with anyone, but when I finally did it was to a close friend at dinner who gave me the push I needed and a few days later, I had a free WordPress.com site. I felt so determined to just start that when I pressed publish I really had zero idea what I was getting myself into.
I was never a person who had hobbies. A doctor asked me once what my hobbies were and I said reading. He replied with ‘that’s not a hobby, it’s just something you do’. I now think that is completely false, it totally counts as hobby, but this sentence was enough for me to spiral into a search for something to become a hobby, because that to me felt like something everyone else but me had. Maybe then I thought, this blog, it could be my hobby.
Being that I hadn’t had a hobby before, I didn’t really think that it would last. Pretty much everything I’ve started with good intention has always come to an end. It had never occured to me that I would grow to love this website so much that I would be working out how to spend more time working on it.
For that reason then, the name I chose didn’t matter to me. Two and a half years later, it mattered and I changed it. It ended up being that simple. The story around the name change can be read here, but basically I had grown so much with this blog, so much more than I ever expected so I needed to make a change that made me feel ready to be in it for the long game.
The reason why I blog today is still the same as when I started. I love to write. When my fingers run over the keypad of my laptop and it makes that clicky sound and the page has a bunch of red squiggly lines because I’m typing so fast that there are SO many spelling errors, that is when I feel most myself. I feel as if a different part of me, the internal me, is letting itself out and is able to run wild and free.
But now, as I enter my fourth year of blogging, I find there are other reasons too that keep me going.
I love learning. Setting up a website, learning about emails and domains, about seo and content marketing, about social media and trends and strategy. About photography and PhotoShop, and about baking and creating recipes and learning new skills in absolutely all areas. I read, I listen to podcasts, I read more, I watch tutorial videos. The most time I spend doing ‘blog stuff’ is around educating myself so that I can keep growing and getting better. And I don’t expect that to stop anytime soon.
The community that surrounds blogging is amazing. My blog has opened me up to a whole other world of people as passionate about writing and sharing as me. Through this online community we can share ideas, tips, skills and inspiration and help each other where we can. I love when other bloggers take time out to comment on a post or to give you a hand. They understand the feelings you go through that many others who don’t blog may not. It’s supportive and it’s encouraging and it is a massive reason I keep going.
I also love my readers. With each month, the views on my site grow and I thank every single person from the bottom of my heart. In the first two years, I really didn’t get many views – at all. I had no idea what I was doing but I just kept going implementing the things I learnt along the way. Some people have been here from the start, others are new, and that’s exciting. What makes me happiest is when I get a comment on a blog post or on social media – it makes me aware that by me sharing here, I might just be helping someone else and that fills me with joy. I still do a little happy dance each time I get a comment saying that someone has tried one of my recipes and loved it.
Photography is a new love for me, but it is one that is gaining momentum fast. It now gives me just as much joy as the writing and more and more I am planning my activities around photography. It’s an area I am focused on and one that I want to continually improve.
And finally, I wouldn’t do this at all if I didn’t love sharing. What once was one of the scariest parts about this whole adventure, is now one of my favourite things. I get so excited about being able to share things with my readers. It might be a new recipe, a tip to make something easier, the best books I’ve been reading (yes, it’s still a hobby) or a new exciting destination that I want to tell you about. Food recommendations, best day trips, travel tips, anything that I think might help someone. This is a food and lifestyle blog, every post will have my opinion and feelings infused, and I hope that honesty shines through and makes what you read here just a little bit more relatable than some of the information we get bombarded with everyday online.
So with this, I guess I really just wanted to say that I started this blog unaware what it would become. I am still unsure of its future but now I am not scared to see what it becomes, I look forward to celebrating every growth or small win, and I look forward to learning from my failures. While there are days when I have doubts about my blog, it all comes back to the simple fact that I love it. When I am writing, when I am photographing, this is what makes me happy.
So while we might be a long way from that crafty post that incidentally was my first and only craft or DIY post ever published, it represents where I came from and the feelings that allowed me to get to this point.
Thank you again for being here to share in this journey, it keeps me moving forward and challenging myself to create new and exciting content to share with you.
What will the next three years bring? I don’t know for sure but I cannot wait to find out 🙂
One last thing, I totally understand that these images used in this post are somewhat random and don’t really match the content but just go with it…I didn’t know what to use!