I live in a different world from where most of the corporate sponsors reside. I understand that those sponsors are needed to fund the conference, but it was a bit of a shock to my system to see things that didn’t align with my personal ethics. Working in the co-op world means that products are weighed on multiple levels – how they impact the environment, how their workers are treated, the quality of the ingredients, etc. It was a good reminder that that specific view isn’t necessarily held by everyone. It’s easy to get too insulated.
While my views about supporting net neutrality and protecting small towns’ water rights may not have been represented in the sponsors that were at the conference, that isn’t really what this post is about. Obviously, it bothered me enough to mention it, but at the end of the weekend, that wasn’t what I carried home with me. The most important thing I brought back from BlogHer’14 – what I’m infinitely grateful for – is that it’s not about the money you MIGHT make with your blog. It’s about the writing.
Everyone I spoke with who had started their blogs because they loved something and loved to write about it, and then shifted to a money-making model, were unhappy. They missed the pleasure they had originally gleaned from writing. That concept was solidified for me when I attended a freelancing workshop. The panel was peopled by fellow journalists, and their dedication to the principles that we were taught in college was a breath of fresh air. Actually, it was more like an icy blast that brought me to my senses.
I love writing about wine and beer and food. I love being able to use my palate and my knowledge to help my readers understand the characteristics of well-crafted beverages and how those pieces of liquid art can support and make a meal better – and how that meal can improve the wine or beer, too. That’s what Sapid Cellar Door is. I find so much joy in writing about wine, especially, and getting to continue to learn more and more about it.
And I love sharing who I am with you, be it through my artwork, my ruminations, or my sometimes doomed DIY projects. I’ve been feeling pressure lately, mostly self-initiated, to bring some monetary success to my blogs. That pressure has been detrimental to Book Syrup. I would get inspired, and then I lose it, because I kept thinking that it might be too personal for pixyofwhimsy – which, by the way, has been my online persona for almost twenty years now. How can a moniker I’ve carried for so long not be personal?
I write because I have to. That’s always been the case and always will be the case. The fact that I’m privileged enough to have two blogs to write about things that inspire me, intrigue me, and challenge me – I’m lucky, and I should hold onto that knowledge. That’s what I took away from BlogHer’14.
Write what you love. Forget the rest.