In an effort to share more hashtag real life on this little corner of the Internets that I love so much, I plan to start sharing more personal stuff “Behind The Spoon”.
Get it? BTS, behind the scenes, sassy spoon, behind the…nevermind. I thought it was pretty clever.
Ok, let’s talk about why you’re here reading this…
For as long as I could remember I’ve had a presence on the Internet. I was that nerd that taught herself HTML and created a website on Angelfire. I was all up on ICQ, Yahoo and AOL chatrooms making friends with strangers. Geez, I’m old. From there, it was Tumblr and MySpace and…Blogger? I feel like I’m forgetting one but you get the picture.
I’ve just always been an Internet child and there was something about writing online that was therapeutic. When it came to blogging however, I could never find a topic that I could really talk about or stick to for the long haul. That and I was embarrassed about oversharing. What if someone I know found me? What if they saw my true feelings about something? What if they judge me?
So I would delete everything.
I also had a few “online” businesses/websites that consisted of creating paper invitations, selling pet supplies and providing social media management services when that became a thing. Not all at the same time, obviously but the point was that I always wanted to live on the Internet somehow.
One of my last attempts at the blog thing before A Sassy Spoon came to life, was back in 2008 when I wanted to be like Cupcakes and Cashmere. I was so inspired by her story and her blog that I started a similar one myself. I’d post about my favorite looks, home decor, DIY… it was a “creative outlet” that once again, you guessed it…I ended up deleting.
Are you seeing a pattern here?
I would start with a bang and then get bored or talk myself out of. That and I was impatient AF. If I didn’t have 50349384 readers by Day 2, what was the point? I was talking to no one. At that point, I was also young and still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life too. So I promised myself to not start something like that up again until I was ready and willing and, in it to win it!
So, let’s skip to present day.
Present day, I’ve been blogging on A Sassy Spoon for over a YEAR. OVER A YEAR. What? Considering my history with online initiatives, this was quite the fete. I still remember the day I texted my friends (it was January 2016 and I had just quit my job – more on that later) saying, “I’m starting a foodie Instagram so I can get all these food pics off my phone. I’d love to start blogging but I don’t know if I’ll stick to it. I’m just going to start with this first. Baby steps.”
That was literally my text.
I knew myself. If I went in hard, I would probably get discouraged (again) and give up. I always loved the idea of becoming a food blogger. At this point, I had been a Yelp Elite for three years, visiting restaurants, taking photos, writing reviews. Traveling and trying new restaurants were my favorite hobbies. Baking was my jam and whenever I had time, I’d cook and meal prepped like a boss.
It was a no brainer that I’d start something food related someday.
Initially I started by sharing photos of meals I had enjoyed at restaurants on Instagram. About a month later, after googling TF out of every article on “how to start a food blog”, I decided I wanted to give blogging a fair shot. Share my favorite recipes and inspire others to do the same. At that point, my faves were Skinnytaste, Andie Mitchell, Sally’s Baking Addiction, Pinch of Yum, and I said to myself – if they can do it, so can I! I can start small and just figure everything else out as I’d go (yeah, still figuring things out as I go) but bottom line: there was NO quitting allowed. No BS. I was going to make this blog work. For real this time.
And here we are present day. I’m still here!
Why did I start blogging?
- To learn more about blogging. Having worked in digital media for the last few years, I had followed bloggers for years and worked personally with bloggers, but honestly didn’t KNOW what blogging really entailed. I was excited to learn more about this truly unexplored territory for me. It was a new chapter for my career. The goal is to obviously have this become a full-time gig but for now, it’s fun and exciting and I’m loving all of it! …which again, considering my history with online life, this was AMAZING.
- To become better at cooking. At this point, I had learned basics via observation from my mom but I was take-out happy because I was working 50+ hours a week. So I wanted to learn, for real – learn new techniques. Learn more about ingredients and food culture. Get healthier (lord knows, I’m still working on this). Create my own recipes which makes me sooo happy. Any type of content creation is fascinating to me – if there’s food involved, even better.
- To inspire others. Whether it’s cooking at home or starting a food blog, I want to inspire you! Trust me, if lil ol’ me can learn about all things food, photography, blogging, YOU CAN TOO! I love when others reach out to ask me where to start. I’m no expert but I’m happy to help in any way I can!
- To connect with other bloggers and make friends online. Since my Yahoo Chat days, becoming friends with strangers has always been fun for me. Almost like all those years of noisy modem connections and clunky PCs has brought me to this very moment right now. Mind blown. Now I get to make friends on Instagram! Yay! The few people that have approached me to ask if I was “Jamie from A Sassy Spoon” has been SO cool! I can’t wait to meet more of you and seriously, I can’t wait to meet my favorite bloggers too. I’m such a fan girl of all the bloggers I’ve discovered in the past year. I just KNOW I will meet them all one day!
What I learned in Year One
My biggest takeaway from this past year of blogging for real has been that blogging is hard AF.
I don’t think I really understood what I was getting myself into. Holy crap, this was hard work. It was another world. I developed a mad respect for bloggers that blog for business. No one could ever really understand all the hard work it entails unless they were in the trenches themselves. Seriously.
You have to be a badass photographer, captivating writer, creative recipe developer, web designer, SEO specialist, hustler, accountant, therapist, mind reader, I mean you name it – it was part of the job description. Not complaining, I actually really enjoy it all. It gives me purpose and makes me giddy AF whenever I think about my next post. Something I had never felt before with any other blog attempt (or job for that matter).
I’d FINALLY found something I was passionate about and was sticking to for the long run!
If you’re interested in turning a passion into a career, understand that once it becomes “work”, it’s going to be hard. When you do something for fun, there’s no pressure and no fear of failure. When you decide to take that to the next level, it’s becomes real and scary and amazing all at the same time. Not saying this to discourage you, I’m saying this so you don’t start something you can’t finish. Nothing worst than seeing an abandoned blog or a closed business because you didn’t think things through before starting. Give it all ample thought and truly analyze what it will entail. Make sure you’re in it for the long run and understand all it will take so that you stick to it wholeheartedly.
Make sure it’s something you’re good at or could become good at. Add your own unique spin to it. Practice, practice, practice. Ask for help. Read a lot. Learn a lot. Ask questions. Interview people. Google everything! Above all, make sure you do whatever it is with your whole heart. There’s nothing fun about halfassing something.
And those of you who are already blogging and kicking ass, remember why you started. I’d be lying if I say I didn’t also write this blog for my future self. It’s always a good reminder to remember why you started. We’re in this together and I’m here to help all of you reading this in any way I can! <3
Some resources that may help you: