Why I became a Real Food Blogger

by brenda on November 12, 2011

{photo credit}

I am at the 2011 Wise Traditions Conference in Dallas, and last night I listened to a real food bloggers panel. There is a lot of interest in learning how to blog and understanding why people blog. This is my story.

I am a writer.

It is just in me! I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. I knew from a very young age that someday I would write. I often think in written words. That’s hard to explain to people who don’t think that way.  In college, I majored in English Literature–not because I am particularly drawn to fiction, but because that was where all of the writers were. My freshman year in college, I joined a FIG (Freshman Interest Group) with other Lit majors and I was delighted to learn that there are people like me out there.

I have to.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and I have to write what I’m thinking.

I think the best (worst) way to torture me would be to take away my laptop and all of my pens and paper. I would still find a way to write, though! I’d be carving words into trees if I had to! πŸ™‚

I am a technology geek.

(Though, I have to note, my husband is more of a technology geek than me! We established that in our dating days!) I created my first website in 1998! It was a bio site about me and what I believed in. As a teenager, I was on Prodigy, and then eventually on AOL. I went on different “boards” (there were no chat rooms way back in the day!) and debated people about religion. I am not sure that did any good, but hey, I was writing! I learned Microsoft Front Page when my boys were tiny, and started a blog about being a mom back in 2003. I learned about metatags (old-school, now!) had 3,000+ unique viewers every month, and I thought I was successful! I made about $30 per month on Amazon sales. Woo, hoo! πŸ™‚ When Front Page was no longer being updated, I spent hours learning Dreamweaver. When I struggled to figure out RSS Feeds and commenting, I moved over to Blogger, and then eventually WordPress. (Note that I’ve since removed the majority of the content of that site…but someday, maybe, it will be back!).

I am passionate about real food.

In April of 2009, I did a “Food Challenge” on my blog for moms. I spent 30 days writing about food, and I LOVED IT. I realized that THIS was the topic that I wanted to focus on. Before that, some of my most popular posts were about “Feeding Underweight Kids” (I was at the top on Google–that was amazing!). Unfortunately, in those posts, I had regurgitated everything the dietitians taught us at the hospital. We were feeding our son super-high calorie drinks, Cheetos and Lorna Doone cookies and thought that we were helping him. When I started reading about food, I was appalled at what they had taught us! We changed our diet and saw a difference in our health. (I’ve shared my story of how the GAPS diet has helped our family heal.)

I love scientific research!

There is PLENTY of research out there that defends real food. I love it! I eat it up! I’m a Google Scholar junky and when I learn about something exciting, I just HAVE to share it with all of you!

I cannot stay quiet.

When I am passionate about something, I have to write it. I cannot sit back and allow all of the people I care about to eat junk without at least knowing the truth. (They can ultimately make their own decisions, but I feel like I would be doing people a great disservice if I did not share what I know). I am not very good at speaking opinions and debating. I get flustered, and I think of all of my really good points after the conversation (usually in the middle of the night, and usually, in written word). I communicate best in writing. I also enjoy writing, because the reader can choose to take it or leave it. You can debate me or unsubscribe if you don’t like what I’m saying. I’m not “shoving this down your throat.” I share what I believe, and you can make your own choices. I’ve said before, in my post Food and Grace, if you’re my real-life-friend and you choose to eat junk, I’ll still be your friend. I’m not going to debate you about it when we’re spending time together. It’s your choice. I can still enjoy you. If you have questions, I’ll answer them–but I’m not going to “preach” real food to you and tell you that what you’re eating wrong. (Likewise, I hope that people will not attempt to debate me when we share time together. I eat with conviction. You eat with conviction (or not). Let’s drop the subject and just be friends. πŸ˜‰ ) This blog is a non-threatening way for me to share what I need to share. Real food heals people. I know it, I’ve seen it, and my life is different because of it. I have to share this, and since I’m not an in-your-face debater, I write.

I want to support our dream.

If anyone ever tells you that writers don’t make money, you can (if you’re an in-your-face debater) tell them that is a really stupid lie. Unfortunately, I’ve heard that message for a lot of my life. The truth is, you can make money at writing. You have to be passionate about your topic, committed to writing (it has to be in you!), and you have to be good at it. Ignore the “writers don’t make money” message, though. Many writers, indeed, make quite a bit of money by sharing words on screen or in print. Last night I had the privilege of listening to a blogger who makes “thousands” per month on her blog (as a stay at home, homeschooling mom!)–more than her husband’s income. She worked like crazy to make it happen, but it can be done.

Ever since we first got married, our dream was to have some kids, adopt some kids, and to own a farm. There were only 2 things stopping us: our health, and money. I had an autoimmune condition, digestive issues, felt weak most of the time, etc.! The Farmer felt exhausted every afternoon and evening. How can you raise lots of kids and take care of a farm when you feel crummy? That, and, farms were too expensive–we could afford 1 acre and a mobile home, or a super nice house on a tiny neighborhood lot. (And, since we couldn’t adopt more children in a tiny mobile home, we chose children over chickens and we went for the large home in the suburbs).

Fast forward! The GAPS Diet helped me heal! The Farmer has far more energy than he used to have! We started filling out paperwork for adoption not long after that. The economy brought farms down in price–they were within our reach! All within 1 year, we bought a farm and took on a sibling group of foster kids (whom we hope to adopt). Woo, hoo!

Now, here we are–farming a tiny portion of our 30 acre farm and raising 7 children. Life is good! However! The Farmer is still going to his “day job” to support the farm. Our dream is to have him home, farming full time. We have a lot of vision for our farm, and we’d love to make it all happen. Any income that I make on this blog (after the money I give away!) is for supporting that dream–to bring The Farmer home and to create a sustainable, working farm. That is my vision. That is his vision. We’re in this boat together, and in the meantime, I am just happy to be doing what I love (writing!) and sharing what I’m passionate about (food!) with all of you!

That’s my story. Do you write a food blog? Why do you write? Share your story!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 12, 2011 at 6:30 am

Thanks for sharing your story! I’m a real food blogger too. I started my blog as a weight watchers gal, mostly for a place to store my recipes. I didnt really care about readership. Now I blog real food and I’ve got a small handful of followers. Blogging is a fun hobby for me, but I am not a “writer!”

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Tarena November 12, 2011 at 10:24 am

LOVE this brenda!!! You are a gifted woman!
I too can’t imagine life without writing! I have so many journals…it keeps me sane! (Now I just need to actually work on my spelling!lol!) It is such a joy to write together about this passion that has healed us and can help others so much!
Hope you are having an amazing time!!!!

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brenda November 21, 2011 at 6:50 am

Thank you Tarena! You are so sweet!! πŸ™‚

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Rebecca November 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I am very thankful for your passion and gifting….praying the Lord Jesus will keep it coming. I am not a blogger….and a passionate reader of real food blogs

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brenda November 21, 2011 at 6:48 am

Thank you Rebecca, this is very sweet! πŸ™‚

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Jill November 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Hi Brenda,
It was so great to meet you in person at the conference. Wasn’t it awesome? I’m so glad you enjoyed the blogger’s panel!

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brenda November 21, 2011 at 6:47 am

Jill, it was super cool to meet you, too!! Thanks for sharing on the blogger’s panel, it was very cool! πŸ™‚

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