When I decided to close my Orthopedic & Medical Massage practice, I knew that I had to do something that would be interesting and stimulating. At first, I thought I may go back to school to re-train or update my Personal Training skills, and perhaps go back into the field of Sports/Nutrition. My husband later asked, “What would you really like to do? What are your real interests? What would make you happy?”
I quickly realized that the thing that really interests me is FOOD! I have a huge collection of cookery books – a bit of an obsession, as it turns out. What you see here is just the first few I grabbed for a photograph! I also love reading food blogs and found myself really drawn to the idea of writing my own food blog. So, that’s what I decided to do! I have to admit, though, I had absolutely NO idea just how much work that would actually entail.
Once I decided to do this, I told people what I was planning. Bad move. Every time I would see anyone, they kept asking me, ‘Well, where is this blog then?’ I’d have to explain that in reality, I had no idea that I would need to learn so many new skills. ‘Really? What are you doing then? Don’t you just start a WordPress Blog and off you go?’ Um… nope!
I think if I was happy to just write up a recipe and slap on a photo, that would be simple, and the blog would be live by now. However, the blogs I follow are gorgeous. I realize that mine may take years to get to that point, but in the meantime, I need to learn everything I can so that the blog at least looks a little bit better than a dark photo with a meagre recipe attached.
When I do anything, I always put my heart and soul into it. I keep learning and trying to perfect what I’m doing. If I can’t be good at it, I find it hard to commit to it. It would appear that being a bit of a perfectionist can make life quite interesting and challenging at times!
I made some outcomes at the start of the project: the main one being that my 3-year plan is to write a cook book. That’s a pretty big outcome. When I would say this idea to people, they would quite often say things like, ‘Well, it’s not easy to get published’ or ‘Not many people get to author a cookbook’ or ‘There are so many books out there already’. Those things are all true. However, for me, unless I have a clear outcome, I find it difficult to even make a start. I realize this is a pretty big outcome – yet it is one I am whole-heartedly committed to.
As I write this, I am still in the throws of learning a vast array of new skills:I have set up a Child Theme in the Genesis framework, including changing the CSS code and make quite a lot of styling changes. My blog is beginning to look clean, structured and (dare I say it) inviting to the reader. Understanding code has not been easy for me – and something I haven’t touched for nearly 30 years. Simply adding links to Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Linked-In, meant I had to then go and learn how to use those apps – and set them up with content. Content that currently looks pretty immature and like I have no idea what I am doing!
I have been learning DSLR photography from scratch. Up until now, I’ve never had anything more than a point and shoot camera. Understanding aperture and f-stops, lighting and shadows, camera speeds, when to use a tripod, as well as reading histograms, how to take photos at night, so that look like they were taken during the day, and using all the other camera settings has been a stretch for sure! I’m still coming to grips with that! I’ve also been learning food styling and food photography, and learning to make little studios with backdrops and mock table tops. Photographing food is a world unto itself! Just when I think something will look great, I set it all up, take a picture – and, ugh, it looks awful!
Writing recipes. Well, I thought that would also be easy. When I’ve developed recipes before, I just added this and that, cooked it for, oh I don’t know – a while – and hey presto, great supper. Now I’m needing to measure everything, test, re-test (read fail, fail again) and write everything up in detail. Ok – so that part is beginning to come together.
Next – how to write and take photos so that people will immediately be drawn in, and want to read to the end, and then look at another recipe. And another. And then come back again next week to see what’s new. Sure, I used to write pretty good essays in my former years – but that’s a whole lifetime ago, and completely different from anything I’m trying to do here.
Next – and to my surprise – the most difficult thing… how to do all of this together? Make the recipe, and take the photos to show the process and then a gorgeous picture of the completed recipe? Timing. That’s what I’m learning right now, timing.
So – that’s where I’m at right now. Hopefully, in the next ‘Setting Up This Blog’ post, the site will be looking a little prettier, a little cleaner – the photos more inviting, the words succinct and well-written and I may even have a few followers.
I will endeavor to have things looking more professional during the next year. I will strive to create a site that will evolve over time, with photos so alluring, readers will be drooling and asking for more. Learning new skills is a challenge and something I find stimulating and rewarding. Learning from failures and set-backs is exciting and, to me, important. To continue to grow, evolve and adapt as I age will help to keep me young and engaged with life. My husband and I have always sought out adventure and enjoy rising to the challenges that change can bring to one’s life.