The year started with so much promise. In a blink of an eye it has come to pass. Nearly. Finished. One day left on the year that started with a black canvass and infinite options. Possibilities. There were wonderful milestones and other moments I wish I had back. Try again. Harder. In another day a new year starts, a slate clean and ready to make a mark on it. Just like last year. But this is different. It always is.
It was just about this time last year that I jumped into the deep end of food blogging. Sure, I had the blog up for a few months but I didn’t actually post anything. Instead I chose to read some of the wonderful content out there and try to find where my voice fit in the blogosphere. And that’s what I did. I decided on variety, recipes W and I could both enjoy and personal stories. Heartfelt stories. Each month gained in momentum and the passion I have for blogging grew as the year did.
I attended my first food blogging conference this year. I made the trip to Washington for Eat, Write, Retreat where I met some wonderful, like-minded people who all shared the same love of food and blogging. It was personal, educational and entertaining and was run incredibly well by the team of Robyn Webb and Casey Benedict. I left feeling convinced that this was a path I wanted to be on. And still am. It felt great to be in a room with other people sharing a similar passion and I’m looking forward to more conferences in my future.
The reason I started this blog was to combine my two original loves, cooking and writing. I used to journal my process and life when I was younger but that often sat empty on my bedside table. I was afraid that this too would become too much work, too personal. And I figured it would have it’s day. But I kept on. And you kept reading, much to my surprise and appreciation.
After I put a camera in my hand I learned that photography is both demanding and rewarding. It was harder to come by originally than both writing and cooking but it’s just as personal and nourshing. It was like learning a new skill all over again, something I hadn’t done in quite some time. Photography enhances the way I tell a story. Infuses life. It’s still challenging but I’ve quickly become passionate about it.
I’ve had some wonderful successes this past year, both in my real life and on this blog. I’ve joined my wife’s photography team at Wendy Alana Photography and continued to solidify my love and appreciation for her. All of my rewards and successes would be nothing without her. I’ve created a few recipes that find a place on our table quite frequently. The food that I make for this blog is eaten on a decorated table for two where we share our own personal triumphs and tribulations of the day. Now year.
One of the best things to come from this blog in the past year was “meeting” so many wonderful and talented people. And my readers are incredible, both in their kindness and support. Although I do this for me, it wouldn’t be the same with you. When I started this journey I had two followers, all friends and family. I was surprised with my first “outside” follower and comment. And truthfully, I still am to this day. I’m so very grateful that you come back and share similar heartfelt comments with me and let me know that this piece of space means something.
Over the course of the year I’ve posted new content I was sure would be well received but wasn’t, and posts that I thought would be passed over but was well liked. In the process I realized it wasn’t about those things. It was about my expression of a moment in my life and being happy with that. The rest is extra. I’ve learned to be honest, real and open myself up and everything else will fall in place. Thank you for that.
It’s interesting when a year comes to a close to look back and see what posts did well and resonated with people. It also helps me close the chapter on this year and get ready for the big things ahead. Both here and in my personal life. Reflection. No remorse.
The following are my 5 top posts of 2011.
|Quinoa Cakes with Poached Egg|
|Baked Mac n’ Cheese|
|Squash, Sage & Apple Soup|
|Cider Rum Punch
It’s been quite the year. And yet it’s only the beginning. Every year end we have the chance to make up for mistakes in our past and strive for bigger things than ever before. Like you, I’m looking forward to path ahead. Yes, some with this blog. But mostly with my personal life. To be a better husband. Friend. Person. And yes, a better food blogger.