I've been invited by a beautiful bloggy friend Lila from Little Wolff to participate in a 'Blog Hop' - a post answering the prompts below about Why I Write. I've got a lot of respect and admiration for Lila, not only does she write and photograph so honestly and beautifully, she is also far more consistent and dedicated to her online space than I am, so I was really touched that she thought of me. Defining how and why I write here has been on my mind alot lately, as I settle into a new style of life and begin to rethink what I'm carving out for the future, so this was such a great prompt for me. As part of the Blog Hop, I've invited some other bloggers to take part - you'll find their details below, make sure you check them (and Lila!) out.
WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
About a month ago, I was all geared up to start working on a way to support others to grow food - to help them design their backyard, balcony, windowsill or community garden allotment, so that it produced abundantly and was manageable and beautiful. I have an online service all mapped out in my head, and I know that I have the knowledge and skills to be able to do it...but right now, my energy seems to be flowing more to the life I'm living each day here in the market garden. So, I'm honouring that by pulling back from my plans and putting my effort into growing food, and maybe even starting to sell that food to others. I'm seeing examples of small food producers all over Instagram and Facebook, like here and here, and it's motivating me so much to be apart of that. To be growing food in a healthy ecosystem with as little external inputs as possible. To give people a choice to purchase food from somewhere other than a supermarket. After studying and working in agricultural industries for 13 years, I have an understanding about how food is produced in Australia, and I love to see the slow but steady undercurrent of smaller producers taking things into their own hands. It's hard to be a profitable farmer these days, and especially challenging if you are a small farmer supplying your product to the normal channels, where it will end up in the supermarkets or wholesalers. I love that people are starting to look for alternatives, both as producers and consumers.
HOW DOES MY WRITING DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN MY GENRE?
I think that the answer to this is two-fold for me - one, I write basically as I would speak (except my writing is more considered, sometimes things just come out of my mouth, and it's...messy!), meaning that my writing 'voice' is unique to me. And two, the content that I write is reflective of my interests - I'm passionate about living a sustainable life and a simple life. To me this encompasses things like growing my own food, 'minimalism', living according to my passions and desires instead of social expectations, simplifying our home and life by defining what really matters to me, sourcing or making natural products that don't have a negative impact on our environment and generally choosing to see the beauty in life, rather than the (often unavoidable) negatives. Things are very rarely black and white for me - I live in shades of grey, and I think that perhaps this helps me to have a more compassionate approach to living and to others - it's easier to encourage people by leading by example than it is to berate them into doing what you think they should do!
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
When I first started writing, it was purely in pursuit of a creative endeavour to get out of my 'science' brain. After working in a science job for 8 years, I'd gotten good at data and writing scientific papers and interpreting results and problem solving, but I'd neglected the part of me that used to love creative writing, crafting, reading fiction, listening to music, dancing, all the things that I used to love as a teenager and a young adult. I'd taken on this identity of a Scientist, and was always confused when people pigeon-holed my personality as such. I didn't actually expect to make anything of this space, or even know if I'd enjoy it!
Nearly a year later, I have to admit that it's given me far more than I anticipated, and I have enjoyed parts of it that I didn't expect to (like the techy side of it..although not too techy please!). My favourite part, without a doubt, has been the connections I've made with other bloggers and readers far and wide and the actual friendships that have sprung up from that. Isn't that what we all want? Connection with other people? I get frustrated with news reports lamenting the loss of connection between people in this 'digital age' - perhaps it's time to redefine what 'connection' is, and give credit to the new ways of fostering it, instead of trying to fight against it...
HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I'm often envious of other bloggers that have a dedicated writing practice, and completely in awe of those who publish a post daily. I try to post at least once a week, sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. If I've had an idea for a post, I'll jot it down in a notebook or save it as a draft post, then come back to it later. Generally, I never actually want to sit down to write, but really enjoy it once I do (this has been a habit of mine my entire life - procrastination is a frenemy of mine). I need quiet to write, I've never been able to write or study to music, and I find myself staring out the window alot, so a pretty view never goes astray!
It's really important to me to use predominantly my own photos on Think Big, as taking photos and editing them is something I love, and I find the accountability of needing them helps me pick up the camera more frequently...that being said, if I find myself putting off a post simply because I haven't a photo to put with it, I'll use a good stock photo (these guys are great).
Writing a post is not a quick process for me, and I usually write and edit as I go rather than a quick draft that I go back over in it's entirety. This is what works for me, and I find I have a greater connection to what I write if I do it this way. Similarly, I can write more freely typing it directly onto the computer, rather than writing it out on paper first (pretty sure this is what 5 years of uni essays and a thesis drummed into me), and I live life on the edge by typing directly into the Wordpress draft - I haven't had a post eaten yet...fingers crossed!
SHARING THE LOVE
So, I'm supposed to share with you three blogs, who will also share Why They Write...except I'm never great with rules, and I picked four wonderful women to share with you...the more the merrier, right?
Make sure you Hop over and check these four beautiful spaces out, and look out for their posts coming up next week!
Tash from Little Bit of Thyme
Tash is a Perth mum of three who has been married for eighteen happy years. Tash can be found over at her blog Little Bit of Thyme where she shares all the things that makes her life content right now. You'll find posts about her garden, cooking experiments, books and blogs she loves, parenting and time management tips as well as just plain ol' moments in time!
Lucent from Lucent Imagery
Around here she’s known as Lucent. Lucent is a legally blind woman who shares her photographs with a few words of gratitude or a long rambling piece that is definitely not minimalist. She is always honoured when people spend time in her online space and has made special friends through it. She values genuine relationships, travel, good food, photos and experiences the most. She’s completely and utterly in love with her handsome husband, adorable dog and thinks her mum is always the prettiest woman in the room. If you’re her friend you’ll know without a doubt that she treasures you. Lucent appreciates the simple joys and is a resilient optimist taking on life’s challenges with a smile and the occasional tear. At 33 years old she is finally totally smitten with her hair in its natural state and colour – her mum can’t understand what took her so long! Cloudy days make her bounce out of bed even more cheerful than usual, as her eyes relish the gentle light. Autumn is her favourite season. Finding greenery in urban environments makes her quietly congratulate it for its optimism and beam of life through the concrete. She’s an (attempting) sophisticated jeans-woollen jumper-and-loafers city dweller crossed with outdoor boots-waterproof jacket-country woman. Sometimes she struggles with her desire for privacy and the modern expectation of oversharing. She feels she’s lived a couple of lives in her pursuits, but now calls herself a housewife first. But labels don’t define her anyway, pfffft. You will find her seeking out the quiet corners of the café with comfortable chairs. Her husband is the one who drinks coffee, she just photographs it. She totally digs hugs, laughs and smiles, and would like to pat your dog please.
Bridie from Miss and Misters
Bridie lives with her three young sons, husband Ivan, and (currently) five chickens. She doesn’t have the stickers on her car to prove it, so you’ll just have to trust her.
She lives in gorgeous Sydney, although loves to get out when they can, and is sure one day they’ll end up some place with a quieter pace. Some place where they’ll have horses and Ivan, ducks. But not just yet… For now it’s still time to drink up the wonderousness of Sydney.
As a family, they try to have an ethical existence of sorts, making some small and some big steps where they can, when they can. You’ll read about some pretty simple and practical ways they’re choosing to live sustainably, frugally, towards a more minimalistic life, and the mistakes they make too! In every day, they try simply to be faithful in loving each other, other people, our planet and God.
They're also all about living purposefully and injecting a little magic into our family life, so maybe you’ll be inspired with a few ideas.
Other than that, you’ll find photos, updates on their family, recipes, musings on motherhood, children, marriage, friendship, civic duty, faith, ethical responsibility … actually Bridie don’t know why she's making a list, she thinks she should just say ‘randomness’!
E from Dig In
E likes baking, cooking, growing and eating food. She also loves reading, thinking, daydreaming and talking about the baking, cooking, growing and eating as much as she loves doing it!
It doesn’t always mean she always does it well, so Dig In is as much about her failures as it is about her successes.
E love writing about all these things. Dig In is the space – the freedom - where she can flex her creative muscles and use all sorts of lovely adjectives (usually inappropriate in her day job) and share some of her favourite things and challenges in life. Where she can record the seasonal changes in her vegie patch and on her dinner plate. Where she can rhapsodise about how much she loves to cream butter and sugar, add vanilla and eggs from her mum’s chooks, some flour and sour cream, bake in a moderate oven and make a good plain cake.