Things I Love about the Blogging Life (and Some Things I Miss About Not Blogging)

Posted April 19, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Blogging / 12 Comments

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Blogging is definitely one of those things that changes your life. Whether you monetize your blog or not, you often find yourself needing to treat your blog like a job so you can bring consistent, high-quality posts to your readers.

Personally, I love the blogging life. I love the new opportunities I’ve been able to pursue and the way blogging challenges both my creativity and my practicality. Still, I sometimes look back on my pre-blogging days with a wistful sigh as I remember the free time I used to have.

Here are a few of the thing I love best about being a blogger (and a few things I miss about life before blogging):

 

THINGS I LOVE

  • All the stuff I’ve learned. I started this blog because I love reading and cooking, and the work I’ve put into it has made me better at both. I’m much more aware of the role food plays in books (I even wrote a post about it here), and I’ve experimented with WAY more cooking techniques and ingredients than I would have otherwise. Plus, I’ve learned a lot about photography, which is a hobby I’d never really thought about pursuing until I started AWR. In short, my blog has pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to expand my horizons, which is flat-out thrilling! πŸ™‚
  • The Community. This blog has allowed me to get in touch fellow readers, cooks, tea enthusiasts, and all manner of lovely, geeky folks. Traditionally, reading and cooking have both been pretty solitary activities (reading especially), so I love that blogging has introduced me to a community of people who share my passion for food and lit.
  • It’s Introduced Me to So Many NEW Things to Love. My blog inspired me to take my love of tea to new heights and start designing my own blends, which has become a minor addiction. Now I’m dreaming about making and selling my own teas some day! Blogging also introduced me to NaNoWriMo and the wonderful, supportive community that helped me write my first novel in years: Operation Crossroads. And I’m planning on writing a new novel this year! I’m also tossing around the idea of developing a homeschooling program that combines cooking and classic literature. The possibilities are endless!

 

THINGS I MISS

  • Inventing Random Recipes. Since I cook weekly blog recipes and make dinner for the Mister and me every night, there isn’t a lot of time left for inventing random recipes. I’ve managed to develop a few original recipes that I tap into when the mood strikes me (Garlic Parmesan Pita Chips, Pork Sung Buns, and Perfect Pork Chops to name a few), but other ideas are pushed to the back-burner or forgotten due to lack of time. To help combat this, I’ve set a challenge for myself this year: include at least one original recipe in each menu. This is allowing me to flex my inventing muscles once again, even if my motivation doesn’t always come from raw inspiration.
  • Reading Just for Fun. Don’t get me wrong, I still get to do this. Just not as often as I would like. There are certain books I have on my TBR because I think they’d make great menus, and I have a policy about not making menus for books I haven’t read (just in case I don’t like them). Sometimes if I’m reading a “blog book” and a “fun book” at the same time, it can be difficult to remember if I should be watching out for food.
  • The Blissful Days Before Technology Headaches. Blogs are great, but having one means you inherit all the problems that can come with them. I once had a theme designer drastically change the theme I purchased in an update (which is why I switched to Tweak Me by Nosegraze, the awesome theme I have now). A few months later, WordPress randomly cut my upload file size to a totally unmanageable amount, and I had to make a php.ini file to fix it. When it comes to blogging, tech troubles seem to be the gift that keeps on giving.

 

At the end of the day, I think the pros of blogging far outweigh the cons.
I plan to keep at it for a good long time! πŸ™‚

If you have a blog, how has it changed your life? What are your greatest blogging joys and pre-blog reminiscences? If you don’t have a blog, what do you think you’re favorite part of blogging would be?
Let me know in the comments below! πŸ™‚

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12 responses to “Things I Love about the Blogging Life (and Some Things I Miss About Not Blogging)

  1. Great list, Alison! I definitely agree with you on the learning and community bits. I’ve learned so much about the craft of writing and the publishing industry since I started blogging, and have “met” other writers, bookworms, and “cheerleaders” as well. And I’m so grateful for the knowledge, friends, and support I’ve gained as a result.

    As for cons… I don’t know. The only ones I’ve thought of (having too many blog post ideas, the massive expansion of my book collection) aren’t exactly bad problems to have. *lol*

  2. This is great! Even as a new blogger, I can really relate to your pros and cons, especially the vast amount of problems I’ve had on the tech and photography sides. But it’s been very rewarding, everyone’s been very welcoming and I couldn’t be more lucky to be part of such a great community!

    • Profile photo of Alison's Wonderland Recipes

      Thanks! I think one nice thing about tech problems is that they’ve forced me to learn more about stuff like coding. Each year I get a little more confident diving into the site’s code and making my own changes. In fact, today when I was captioning some pics, I was like, “Shoot. I want to turn these into links, but galleries won’t let me directly add a hyperlink. That’s ok. I’ll just grab the link code from my tea page and change the destination/visible text.” I wouldn’t have been able to even THINK in those terms when I first started blogging! So yeah. Tech probs = total blessings in disguise. πŸ™‚

  3. I wasn’t ever home schooled, but I can still appreciate the idea of combining “home ec” with literature. That sounds amazing, and I do hope you’ll share a few tid-bits as you create the curriculum!

    • Profile photo of Alison's Wonderland Recipes

      Thanks! If I decide to pursue the project (right now I’m just researching to see what kind of work it would entail), I’ll probably have the curriculum available as a paid ebook download with one lesson available as a free sample. I’ve got SO many I ideas for different directions I could go with the curriculum. I’m really excited!

  4. ladyelasa

    I would have loved to take your cooking class when I was homeschooled! That would have been amazing. XD I didn’t get into cooking until my junior year of high school, but it would have been fun to get into it earlier. Free time is definitely something taken up by blogging, but like you I really love the community I’ve found in the blogging world, especially you and your recipes! I’m going to be trying the Redwall Deep root pie next week.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

  5. Hi Alison, I really enjoyed your post! I try to read all I can on anything that has to do with blogging. For over a month now I’ve been researching, reading, and even writing in a notebook things I think would be great to blog about. To be truthful, I’m terrified I’m going to get things wrong. I have a question I’d like to ask. Is it ok in the blogging world to start posting blog posts, while still working on your actual blog page? Or, must your blog be setup completely b4 you begin posting? Good luck on everything you decide to do, on top of your impressive blog! I think a cooking/lit class would be a wonderful way for one to enjoy two great love’s.

    • Profile photo of Alison's Wonderland Recipes

      Thank you! It’s great to hear when anyone likes my posts. πŸ™‚

      If you can, try not to worry too much about getting things right. The truth is, there isn’t really one right way to make a blog. Everyone kinda has their own way of approaching it, and part of the blogging process is discovering what works for you. It may feel a little nerve wracking at first, but try to have fun with it. You’ll have lots of trials and errors, but that’s normal. πŸ™‚

      To answer your question, having your blog formatting finished before you start publishing posts can make it a little bit easier for your readers to read and navigate the blog, but it’s not a necessity. Every blogger develops their site at a different pace. If you have a really clear idea of how you’d like the blog to look, it may be worth it to wait to start publishing posts, since it probably won’t take weeks and weeks to put together. If you’re not sure how you’d like it to look, you can star publishing and experiment with the formatting as you go. A nice in-between is to start with a very simple format (white background, black text, minimal or no menus, etc.) and make changes a little at a time.

      Hope that helps!

      • It most definitely does! I appreciate your time, I know you are very busy. Last night I had decided it was best to get the site finished first before posting and at least have a few posts written before i post the first one. I believe out of all the ways I’ve learned, about how to blog and what not to do while blogging, is from great writer’s like you, and in the writing communities. Thank you again☺

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