It was exactly one year ago, June 19, 2014, that I clicked publish on my first Carrots & Raspberries post. I don’t know if I ever believed I would stick with it for an entire year, but here we are!
Sometimes it is a bit difficult to put yourself out there and try new things, especially when you’re a bit of a recluse. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I’m an introvert, with a small group of close friends, and I like to stick to doing what I’m comfortable with, mostly in the privacy of my house in my stretchy clothes, surrounded by my cats.
In the past year, I’ve really stepped out of the box and basically put myself out there for the world to see. I was scared shitless, I’m not going to lie. I like my little world where I knit and I cook and I tend to my garden and I meet a friend every now and then for a tea. And no one else really knows about it – I just do my thing and that’s quite alright.
I’d waffled about starting a blog for a few years. I love reading other blogs and I even have a few blogs that I check several times a week, and I’ve always thought I’d like to try it, but I just wasn’t too sure what to write about. On top of that, I was afraid to put myself out there. It’s not that I can’t take criticism or that I care much about what other people think – it’s that I like to be a private person. Then one day about a year ago, I decided that I was tired of coming up with excuses not to start writing, so I went ahead and started writing about one of my main passions in life: gardening.
One main reason why I wanted to start writing was to challenge myself. I wasn’t looking for a way to bring in extra income and the goal wasn’t to see how many followers I could get. I just wanted to write about things that I loved.
I hit publish on my first blog post a year ago, then I published a few more posts, and then I decided to share the blog on my personal Facebook page. I wasn’t really expecting much. I mostly received comments from friends and family members on how much they liked my blog, but I kind of felt like they may be saying those things because they were my friends and family and they were obligated to say nice things (I’m not saying this to be negative at all, I was very pleased at the initial response. And there were no haters, so that had to be a good thing, right?). But then I started to get some positive comments from people I was not expecting, like people I hadn’t seen for years, and that was a shock! A little weird for me, but in a good way. Then comments from people I’d never met before, and that was unbelievable!
I think the hardest part of putting yourself out there is figuring out how to accept the positive feedback. My instinct is to turn red, say something awkward, and then change the subject. Learning to smile and say thank you has been a huge mountain for me to climb. Just accept it, Megan!
The point of this post is not for my readers to comment here and give me praise. It is to say that if you really want to do something, just do it. I’ve learned a ton from this blog. I learned that I really like writing about things that I am passionate about. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert on any particular topic – if you’re passionate about something and love talking about it, do it!
The thing I didn’t expect when I started blogging is how much of a community I could become involved in. I’ve gained a few internet friends who share common interests, exchanged emails with people in the gardening community I really admire, and have even been asked to contribute to other people’s blogs. I’m trying to be humble about some of these things, but I am also very excited, so hopefully this doesn’t come off as smug.
Even though my blog has evolved a bit since I started writing it (the original plan was to focus primarily on small space gardening, but I do write about cooking, weaving, knitting, sewing, cats, and whatever else fancies me), I feel good about where things have ended up. I’m really looking forward to the next year on Carrots & Raspberries.
And lastly, thank you to all of my readers, you are the milk to my cereal.
The little wagon that belonged to me and my siblings growing up – I use it for plants now!