Contributed by BOM Katie Johnstonbaugh
I started my blog the year my daughter moseyed off to Southwestern Oklahoma State University to pursue a degree in Communications. She would call me during the week and say, “Mom, how do I make our sweet potato casserole?”
Fast forward two hours, two dead cell phone batteries, a hurting data plan and my desperate need to want to jump into my SUV and just drive up there to show her how to peel a friggin sweet potato, and I began to think there had to be a better way.
I sat down and Googled “how to start a blog” and within a day had a hideous-looking webpage with a truly bad graphic of a glorious strawberry cake across the top. I sat down and dashed off my first shiny blog post and sat back and just radiated inwardly with satisfaction.
If you’re a writer like me, you are nodding along with me, because you remember that first moment you hit “Submit” or “Save” on your first blog post, book or article and you know the feelings of delight that are birthed out of you upon completing that latest piece you wrote. It’s inspiration become tangible prose and it can be shared.
I specifically use the word “birthed” because the feelings of birthing a child are, while different, also completely the same. The sense of creation, pride, expression and getting that idea that is sparking around in your brain out in written form brings almost a relief, because to NOT get it down on paper or prose is akin to what an addict must feel when trying to resist their next hit or drink. Who among you has been found desperately whispering words into the Dictaphone app on your phone during a meeting or your eyes furiously scanning for a napkin or anything to get that thought down before you forget.
It must be done.
So you see, I blog because of that inspiration. Because when that feeling hits me, I cannot resist that urge, and because I cannot sleep sometimes or concentrate on a nonsensical TV show when I could be blogging and creating something truly meaningful and merciful heaven, getting that nagging revelation out of my brain and into reality!
I also think it’s important to note that I believe the success of my blog, including a five year running TV segment and my first book, The Food Lover’s Guide to Oklahoma, all came about because of my blog. Because when I blog, I have no limitations, no editor, no deadline and no critic, except for, of course, myself.
Creativity is bred through passion.
I am not forced into a box when I blog, but only write about what I love to write about. When you write about what you are passionate about, your writing flourishes. I love to cook, I love to explore restaurants, I love to garden and I love my family. When I write about those things, I don’t have to force anything and somehow it got noticed. Others noticed the passion and they shared a like passion with me in return through comments. This is the ultimate high for a writer like myself. It makes it all worthwhile. The old adage, “Work at what you are passionate about and you won’t be working at all,” is absolutely bona fide truth.
When I blog, I am utterly immersed in expressing my latest passion, whether it’s the hole-in-the wall place I think everyone needs to know about (and right now!) to get the best street taco with that amazing green sauce on the side, or to experience just how simple it is to make that velvety smooth and creamy pumpkin ice cream I just whipped up the night before.
I blog because blogging satisfies a place in my soul that is otherwise still longing for a fix. It is like a loofah sponge to satiate a prickling rawness that must be scratched, or a deep thirst that is quenched when the cool wet waters of prose are poured over it.
I also blog because I leave the legacy of old and new family created recipes for my children, and their children’s children and maybe someday even my great-great grandchildren to enjoy for as long as the world wide web stays alive.
Oh yes, and my cell phone battery is alive and well and my data plan rejoices.
Blogger of the month Katie Johnstonbaugh writes about food at her blog, Dishin & Dishes. Katie works full time in the Putnam City School District and is a wife, mother, grandmother and author.