5 little lessons I’ve learnt from blogging

apples || cityhippyfarmgirl

This little blog is now five years old. I’ve been writing, musing, dropping kitchen crumbs, taking pictures and sitting under the name cityhippyfarmgirl for five years now. Now how did half a decade zip by while I sat next to my computer? Well to be honest, I’m not really sure. What I do know though, is that five years is a wonderful amount of time to have learnt lots of bloggy lessons…Lots of them!

If you would like to pull up a chair, grab an apple or perhaps a slice of shortcake and linger awhile, I’ll share with you five lessons I’ve learnt in that time.

1/ Always write down your thoughts or recipes as you go along.

For recipes, I will never, ever remember the quantities and cooking times of what ever I am making. For thoughts, that seem so clear and unforgettable, they seem to disappear without even an audible “poofff” (despite all the very best intentions.) Five years on, you think I would have had this one firmly embedded in my brain. Nope, it isn’t though, I still occasionally forget and think that my memory can’t honestly be that bad, and of course I will remember. (It is that bad, and I do forget.)

Note to self, don’t forget, that I…well, forget.

sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

2/ There is always more to learn with bread baking.

What an amazing thing bread baking can be. To be always learning from and tweaking something as simple as flour, water, salt. I still get bubbles of excitement bringing a loaf out of the oven. What will it look like, how much of a spring will it have? No loaf is ever the same. Never. Not a one.

Life gives different loaves. In ways of weather, timing, distractions, commitments, forgetfulness, ingredients, new flour- they all play a part in my sourdough being different every single time. And really, how awesome is that!

3/ Photography, another big lesson.

I look back on photos I thought were pretty much ok, and can’t help but chuckle. Cameras have been and gone, techniques have changed along with them and knowledge is still to be gained in abundance with my photography. What I do know is that I get a kick out of taking photos and I can’t imagine that changing for a long time. I don’t think this photo from my first month of blogging back in 2010 would have been pinned too often. I do know it was a delicious pie though (recipe here) and remember all of us eating it with much gusto.

cityhippyfarmgirl

1st edition Jan 2010

cityhippyfarmgirl

2nd edition Jan 2013

apple shortcake pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

3rd edition Feb 2015

4/ Which leads me to my next lesson. Remembering.

Now I’ve already established at times, I’m not so good at remembering things. This is where having a blog is truly wonderful. It does the remembering for you. It’s my online diary of a sort. It stores many more day to day things, words, pictures, memories than I would have ever thought to remember.

Not to mention my recipes. I cook and bake a lot. Before having a blog I would have countless scrappy bits of paper dotted about the place, usually being lost between other bits of paper. Now I have them all here. Sure It’s a little weird having to go to the internet for your own recipes but hey it seems to work. I usually put a lot of time and effort into my recipes, bringing a concept to life, tweaking, changing, experimenting until I’ve got it just right. Sometimes they can be months and months in the making. I still feel slightly uneasy about other people using those recipes and putting them up on their own site without any reference, words or thanks given, a recipe now it’s their very own- it seems a murky copyright world, with well pretty much everything these days. So all I can do is know that what I’m doing sits right with me, and that’s what matters right?

Another wonderful thing about having a blog to help you remember is the feelings and emotions that might have slipped between the metaphorical pages. Tiny moments captured, which in another time would have been swept away to live only in my own memory bank…or to simply slip between the cracks altogether.

community || cityhippyfarmgirl

5/ Community.

I’ve waxed lyrical about the online community many, many times before. It will never get old speaking enthusiastically of all the people who make up this always evolving digital community. It’s pretty wonderful to be a part of that. When digital names spill over to lovely long emails, or names on the backs of envelopes, plump packages from people half a world away. Or coffee and picnics with people who were once just a gravatar. That’s pretty darn wonderful.

Through the online community I’ve also discovered more and more small businesses and people who I want to support with my careful dollar. Conscious shopping the way it should be- Instead of those coins going to a blank face that means nothing to me. I will repeat these words a thousand times, as it really is incredibly important to me.

apple pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

6/ Evolve and make your own rules up.

Now wait a second, didn’t I say this was to be five? Yes, I did but this is the beauty of lesson number six. If I want to put six up I can, I can do that, I can make my own rules up here. Yes I can.

I’ve also learnt to roll with it all. If something is bugging me I’ll change it. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t. I’ve learnt over these five years that for a blog to evolve you really have to ride with it, social media is an ever evolving thing and with that, well you have to be as well.

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How about you, if you have a blog what lessons have you learnt as a blogger. Or, if you are a reader what lessons have you learnt from reading blogs?

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54 thoughts on “5 little lessons I’ve learnt from blogging

  1. I do believe I’ve just learnt that I’ve stagnated over my four years of blogging! While I’ve loved having my memories and recipes online, I do remember dreaming of doing a photography course when I created my blog. Well I’m still dreaming! I haven’t learnt a lot in the technical arena either but, oh well, I’ve loved writing and making connections. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll find a way to do that course….

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    • Linda have you tried some of the online tutorials. They can be really great if you can’t get yourself to a photography course, especially for specifi things you want to learn how to do. Ive also heard good things about lynda.com for tutorials, you might have to pay a little for those ones but you have the benefit of having the same name so it must be ok πŸ™‚

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  2. Man, that apple pie looks delicious, in all its incarnations. What have I learned from blogging?
    I’ve learned to leave a draft overnight before I publish it. Always edit with fresh eyes πŸ™‚
    I’ve learned that blogging to a structure is good for me.
    I’ve learned that the blogging community is one of the best things about blogging.
    I’ve learned to follow my heart, always. If I enjoy doing it, someone else will too.
    I’ve learned to persevere, even when nothing seems to be happening. Good things take time.

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  3. What a fabulous 5 years you’ve had! And such great lessons! I’ve got myself a little book for writing my recipes in now and it makes life so much easier. I love lesson 6!

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  4. What a lovely, thoughtful post. I have often wondered if I should keep blogging now time has become so tight with 4 young kids in tow. But I just love it, ordering my thoughts, keeping myself busy with new recipes to try, quilt ideas. But most of all the remembrance. Because sometimes years gone by feel like huge piles of laundry to sort, but there was so much more.

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    • Yep. I completely agree Marijke. Life is more than just the laundry but at times you have to remind yourself of that. With four young kids, time is really crucial, but you are entitled to a little you time and if blogging is an enjoyable outlet for that, then I say stick with it…do it when it suits and how it suits…(and then back to the laundry πŸ™‚

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  5. Lovely post bridie and lovely to see your blog develop and bloom with such honesty and beauty. That apple pie looks stunning but isn’t it interesting how we focus on the photography on our blogs – so many bloggers bemoan how terrible their photos were and how much they are improved (me included) and yet I sometimes look back and still love the recipes and writing. Though even my recipes and writing evolves though not as much as my photos! And I still am loving my sourdough baking and think of you often and the gift you gave in showing me the way. Many thanks again.

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  6. Great post Brydie, so interesting! Happy 5 years, your blog is one of my favourites. I love your honest, simple style. Isn’t it interesting how our blogging style evolves and changes. I couldn’t agree more on the bread baking point. The blogging community is amazing, I agree with that too.

    As a blogger I have learnt that I can always improve my writing and photos! I have also learnt not to doubt myself. Each time I press post I wonder will anyone actually read, and sure enough lovely people always call in. Happy Sunday x

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    • The ‘doubting’ posts can be some of the best ones can’t they. The I’m not sure and the hovering over the publish button….then bam, all is ok.
      And right back at you Jane, yours is one of my favourites too, (I just wish you were on instagram as well! πŸ™‚

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  7. Oh you give me hope that my photography will evolve over time too.
    In my short blogging life I’ve learnt that-
    Just because you wear someone’s blog doesn’t mean they’ll read yours.
    You might start a blog thinking you want to head one way but it’s ok to change your mind/direction.
    More people read than comment. This was hard for me because I comment a lot but not everyone does.
    You can meet some of the best people through blogging & that having your own little community is the best thing ever.

    Happy five years xx

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  8. A great blog Brydie and great lessons! I don’t think it’s strange at all that you look at your own blog for recipes – one of the reasons I started mine was to get rid of some of the many pieces of paper with recipes I had cluttering the place, and to remember recipes that I came up with.
    Congratulations on five years!
    Beck

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  9. You just taught me something magnificent Ms Cityhippyfarmgirl…”Evolve”. Here I was thinking that after almost 5 years of blogging that I was out of ammo and in my last post I put my blog on hiatus for a “while”. Life just delivered an incredibly challenging new study course that we have to physically attend and suddenly everything is upside down and I was looking for things to fillet and slice and shear in order to get some semblance of order back from the ensuing chaos. I think rather than put a stop on theroadtoserendipity, I am going to let it evolve. I made a cover for a tablet that we bought as part of this new course. I crocheted it and needed something to fasten it with and thought ‘crochet buttons!’ Off I went to the interweb and found me a pattern and created some from some old frumpy buttons. I immediately wanted to share it but ‘the blog is on a break’… I think I was missing the whole point of blogging. The connections, the sharing, the mutual inclusiveness and the way that social media has opened up a wealth of possibilities and that wonderful shining word ‘Evolve’ is my mantra for today. Thank you from the bottom of my little cotton socks Ms Cityhippyfarmgirl for the reminder that life is ALL about learning to adapt. πŸ™‚

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  10. Pingback: Evolving… | theroadtoserendipity

  11. Here, here! πŸ™‚ Great post and I completely with agree with all five, um six, of these, especially the one about developing the recipes and writing it down!

    I learned one more lesson and that was to stop taking advice/criticism of family, or at least not take it too much to heart. I let my sister convince me that the prose/commentary part of blogs was not a good thing, that it just annoys people, and that she just clicks off a blog if there’s a bunch personal stuff on it – and I actually altered/edited several and changed my writing style for awhile.

    I then listened to my heart and realized that I’m a blogger, this is my life/my story and that’s the only thing that makes me different than any old recipe book you can buy. After all, there’s a lot to be said about recipes and the food we make with them! Anything less is just a list of ingredients an techniques!

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    • Ohh booo! Gosh I’m so glad you changed that. For every blog there is a reader. If that’s your style, than that’s your style and someone will love you for it, well at least read you for it. There is no point (on so many levels) what so ever in doing a blog that isn’t ‘you’. Glad you listened to your heart.

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  12. Yay! for five years xx Such helpful tips here for a little blogger like me. If I use anyone’s recipes or craft I acknowledge it on the site but I also like to go to that webpage and let them in the comments that I used it and thank them.

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  13. Thanks for sharing these little pearls of blogging wisdom. I can relate to your feelings about your early photos! I’ve learnt that no matter how good I think a photo is, just a little way down the track I’ll look back and wonder how I ever thought that! And I absolutely agree about making notes as you go. I have a little book that lives in my kitchen so I can jot down new recipes as I create them, then I go back and add changes as the recipe evolves.

    And as a reader, I most enjoy reading blogs (like yours) where the author’s voice clearly comes through and you get a sense of the person behind the screen. Beautiful, inspiring photography is what gets me in, but the words are what keeps me coming back πŸ™‚

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  14. YES, all the things you’ve learnt from blogging, I have too, although you put them much more eloquently than I do. LOL! Blog lessons I’ve learnt… Share regularly on your social networks, keep the content fresh and on brand to what your readers most enjoy. Also, I find keeping my posts short and snappy with excellent photos is a real winner. I love this post, Brydie, thank you. πŸ™‚ Also, happy bloggy birthday, that is awesome. πŸ™‚

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  15. Congratulations on five years of blogging, Brydie and you certainly haven’t stayed stagnant. Your photography and cooking and recipes and bread-making have all developed along the journey and that has to be a very satisfying thing xx

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  16. Such lovely words. I think the nicest thing I have learnt about blogging is that there are so many like minded people out there (all over the world!) that I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t taken the plunge. I would recommend anyone thinking about it to just dive in!

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  17. 5 years! That is amazing. It seems like such a long time ago, when I had a blog from a garden in Tuscany. A different life completely. And now I’m blogless, but still very much enjoying yours and finding so much inspiration through it.

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