So here’s a confession: I have wanted to start this blog for over a year now. But it turns out there are many reasons not to start a blog. I can’t decide what to write about. What if no one reads it? My photos aren’t good enough. I should ask for an SLR camera for Christmas (and then continue to use my iPhone anyway.. :S one day I will master that huge, scary piece of technology..) I should fork out 1,000€ to get a website professionally designed.
That last thought was probably my lowest point. I mean, 1,000€ actually isn’t such a bad deal for web design (and I’m not ruling out treating myself to a little blog makeover in the future) but clearly I was shitting myself at the prospect of starting the blog, and using any old excuse to put off getting started on the damn thing.
Eventually I received some advice from my Dad (a fellow blogger, and an original inspiration for starting my own). I was trying to justify to him (read: myself) the cost of 1,000€ for blog design when he (thankfully) interrupted me. “Candice, isn’t the whole point of the blog for you to write? Why don’t you just write?” And he was.. well, right! The most important thing was the writing, and as soon as I could pluck up the courage to just start writing, then the rest would fall into place around it over time.
So that day I reached out to my online-wiz-friend Janelle, and asked her to help me set something up. She did a bit of research and suggested I take out a subscription with Squarespace. Squarespace offers a range of different templates in a “what you see is what you get” editor-format, so it’s really easy for any old hack (read: me) to put together a blog. Janelle was even kind enough to set up an account for me, and shortlist some of the best templates. I may not have paid her 1,000€, but I did hack into her Etsy account and send her a little somethin’ from her Favourites list ;)
Ten blogs later, and I have noticed that there are some pretty cool perks to having your own blog:
1. It’s an inspiration to keep busy and try new things
I am a massive nerd and I keep an editorial log for the blog. I currently have my blogs planned all the way until the end of January. There is one weekend in January where I don’t have an idea yet, so I have already been on Skyscanner to suss out cheap flights. Does anyone know anything about Llubljana??
2. It’s a way to gather my thoughts and opinions
Do you ever struggle to answer simple questions? Like what did you do on the weekend? What is your favourite movie? Why are you vegetarian? Maybe its down to my social anxiety, but often when I am asked these questions I think “shit, I don’t know the answer to this” and end up giving a response that is way less than satisfactory.
I have always been much better at putting my thoughts into writing then I have into speech. When I sit down each week to write my blog, it gives me a chance to mull over what I have done in a bit more detail. And when people ask me what I did over the weekend I already have an answer (that has been crafted, edited and proof read over several hours!). It’s like my weekly “elevator pitch”.
3. You discover things about other people
This was an unexpected one, but apparently writing about your life on the internet is a great way to find out about other peoples lives! It turns out my friend Vera is really into yoga, my friend Anna has a Thermomix, and my friend Toni is as addicted to cooking blogs as I am! I’m sure these things would have come up in conversation eventually, but the blog kinda fast tracked it for us all.
4. Your friends consider starting their own blog
Since I started the blog I have had a couple of people say to me, “It’s so cool that you’ve started a blog. I have always wanted to start one too” or “it’s got me thinking about starting my own blog”. And to this, I respond with a big fat, unreserved “DO IT!”. If the best thing to come out of this blog is being able to demonstrate that anyone can start a blog (you don’t need to own an SLR camera, you don’t need to fork out 1,00€ for blog design, you don’t need to have thousands of followers – you just need to want to write!) then I would be very, very happy.
If you are reading this and considering starting a blog, then please, please do it! I can’t wait to add you to my Feedly :)
5. Free stuff
Ha! I wish ;) So Thermomix hasn’t called yet, but I’m not giving up hope!
Of course, I developed a love for reading blogs before I developed a love of writing them. Here are some of my favourite blogs, which you might enjoy too:
Green Kitchen Stories: I follow a lot of (vegetarian) food blogs. This one is put together by a sweet Scandinavian couple. She is a Danish nutritionist and he is a Swedish photographer. They are also authors of my favourite cookbook, the eponymous Green Kitchen Stories, and their most recent cookbook, Green Kitchen Travels, will most likely be my new favourite cookbook. They also have a series of Apps which were recently selected in the AppStore Best of 2014.
This Rawsome Vegan life: There are a lot of vegan blogs out there at the moment, but this one is a real winner. Emily von Euw is a History student in Vancouver whose blog features raw vegan desserts and smoothies (among other things). Her blogging “voice” is energetic, playful, and unapologetic. Some other vegan blog “honourable mentions” go to Oh She Glows (I love her Raw Pad Thai and Avocado Alfredo pasta sauce) and My New Roots (this one is also written by a nutritionist so you get some additional insight into the nutritional properties of the dishes, which aren’t completely vegan, but, meh!)
A Cup of Jo: This was a recommendation of Carolyn that has become one of my daily faves. Originally a magazine writer, Joanna Goddard now blogs (frequently but briefly) about all sorts of things: beauty, food, fashion, books, babies…
So what about you? Have you ever considered starting a blog? What are your favourite blogs? I am always looking for more recommendations…