When I think about what it took to make me a blogger, I realize this has been a long journey indeed. The first thing is I always thought bloggers were somewhat extroverted and wanting to have the spotlight shouting, “Hey, look at me!” Or perhaps they just were looking for a platform in order to perform or tell others what to do. I may somewhat resemble some of those attributes but I didn’t want to be “that” person to a large audience. What I did think is that I have something to say, something to share and that it just might help some people if I do it on a large platform. Scary! But here I am anyway.
Blogging is just another form of sharing or storytelling. I began my sharing through my cooking shows. I share a lot of what I learned at my mother’s elbow during dinner preparation. I also learned so much from both of my grandmothers and those tid-bits would make their way into my shows as well.
Ruby (my Mom’s Mom) showed me how to can and preserve summer produce. Corn, cucumbers and pickles, chili sauce, apples and apple sauce, green beans, bushels and bushels of tomatoes, strawberries she would pick herself, jams and jellies. Ruby grew up on a dairy farm and the “farm” in the girl never left even though she married a city boy and lived the rest of her life in a city. She shared stories of what her mother would put up and store in their root cellar including pork chops preserved in lard in a barrel. Her own “root cellar” (a converted coal room in her basement) was always a magical place to enter and see the jewel colored contents of jars which she had so lovingly preserved. Her freezer was a treasure box of summer fruits and vegetables, frozen in time for brightening winter’s darkness. How I miss her adding to my knowledge and my recipe collection.
Rosalie (my Dad’s Mom) introduced me to an international smorgasbord of food. Being a first generation American, she learned her cooking from her Polish family. The flavors of Rosalie’s kitchen were different from my mother’s recipes in many wonderful and garlicky ways. To this day, 20 years after her passing, the smell of fresh garlic reminds me of her. Although, in her kitchen the smell was always combined with the fragrance of freshly ground Eight O’Clock coffee and Chantilly. Her unique, signature fragrance “blend”. She had many friends who would often be included in a Sunday dinner and they would bring their dish to contribute. I was blessed to enjoy authentic Italian dishes and learn to be adventurous with tasting new things because of the World Table that her dining room became.
I think it was about 2 years ago at a women’s business networking meeting where the discussion was about internet domains. We discussed purchasing a domain and whether to use it or park it. There were suggestions of purchasing the domain of your child’s name and parking it until they reach 18 – then if they want to use it, it’s there for them. Well, (I thought) the internet didn’t exist when I was a child so no one purchased my name for my use. Then someone asked “Why would a parent do that?” The leader of the meeting answered, “Do you want someone else to have it?” Lightbulb! No! I didn’t want someone else to have my name as their domain. And there are others out there who may have wanted to have the same URL… but I found it was available and purchased it. It was one of the first pieces of confirmation that God has been guiding me to this point.
Another confirmation was discussing what I had in mind blog wise with another business owner. We were at a social media training meeting and after the program ended, we were chatting. I talked about what I wanted to share and as she listened, her eyes got brighter and wider and her enthusiastic response was, “You should be blogging!” I was encouraged and so motivated by her reaction to what I had shared. It stuck with me but I think the timing just wasn’t right yet or perhaps I was dragging my feet. Although, knowing what I know now, I wasn’t able or ready to step into this work back then.
A fellow cooking consultant thought of me and reached out to share an online community she had benefited from (thank you Mary Beth). She said she thought it could be a help for me too. As I learned more from this new resource, I realized the woman running the group was not only an incredible resource but she was a great trainer. Direct sales is a multi-faceted business model and it helps to have a trainer or mentor who can give training across all of those facets. It is also my experience that your trainer or mentor has to speak the same “language” as you do. I don’t mean mother tongue here, I mean this more as a mindset. This trainer was totally speaking my language and I was learning from the group. I took a couple of classes from her and learned so much more. When I learned she was offering a blogging class things really fell into place. I had gotten the URL, I had encouragement from others and I knew it was time.
The class was more money than I had spent on any training or even on my starter kit. Basically, I had to rationalize it as paying for tuition for a university level course (which is what this class is). Beg, borrow or steal. Those were my choices. One of them worked. Ha ha. But the tuition was paid the day before the class began and I was able to learn how to build this site and become a blogger and so many more behind the scenes, back-office things along the way.
This has definitely been one of the biggest, scariest things I have done. I would have done things differently but, again, God was in control and taking things in the direction he wants. So, where I would have dragged my feet again, he took those matters out of my hands and things happened a certain way whether I would have chosen them or not. As much as it’s in His hands, I had to be willing and obedient to share, tell the stories and take the “stage” or the platform of blogging and put out there what I hope is helpful to others.
So, what do you have to share? Are you sitting on your hands waiting for the right time? Have you gotten little prompts or encouragement along your path? Are you ready to start blogging or start learning how to blog? Let me share some of the little phrases or hashtag type sayings that helped me with this big step. Be brave. Get good. Do It Scared. Tell your story. If you have a blog inside of you that needs to become reality, I would love to hear your thoughts or help you find a way to begin.