It’s National Career Development Month. And more specifically, it’s National Career Development Week, so I thought this would be the perfect week to share a few things I’m often asked when it comes to blogging as a career (or as something more than just a hobby).
First, a disclaimer: I don’t consider myself a career blogger. I suppose I’m a professional blogger, as I’m paid to do it, and that constitutes a job of some sort. But even if I weren’t paid to blog, I’d still be doing it because I love it all the same. That’s how I started, and that’s how I’d end it — if that day ever came.
And I guess that’s the first “rule” of blogging as a career: Blog because you love to.
I didn’t start writing for an audience. In fact, Garden Betty was privately published for the first couple months, intended only as a diary of the whats, wheres, whys, and hows of my garden. I was writing to document the surprising beauty and variety of food that can be grown by somebody who, just three years ago, could barely grow a pot of basil. But I also wanted to share those discoveries with my friends, and I figured if my friends were reading, why not a few strangers who would appreciate them as well?
Every time I walk outside, I’m inspired to make something. I want to work with my hands. I’m filled with so many thoughts and ideas and questions and answers. I start with a sentence in my head and finish with a story on my site.
I write about my garden because there’s so much to learn from the soil that translates to life. There’s wonder and joy and frustration and heartache. Battles to pick and thorns to pull. Sprouts to celebrate and bounties to thank.
I write about my garden as a reminder that living simply is living well. There may be days when I’m too busy to pull the weeds in the beds, or too tired to make a meal at home; when I wonder if it’s worth the time and energy to create something that can be so easily bought. But then I’ll remember — I can’t buy the gratification that comes from gathering breakfast from my own backyard. I can’t buy the experience of raising a purple carrot from seed and back to seed again two summers later. These are the things that should be on everyone’s “100 things to do” list.
Maybe that’s why I really write about my garden. Living off the land is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It truly is one of the great adventures of life, and a narrative worth sharing.