Today marks a milestone for me; 1,200 posts written since December 27, 2008. There are more posts than that here but this number seems somehow magical to me. Perhaps it’s the first time I feel like we’ve hit any sort of milestone since our 1,000 consecutive days (a streak that continues through today) or perhaps it’s because I didn’t expect to feel that there were more milestones left. At any case, it feels worth mentioning – and it feels good, if not surprising.
A really giant thank you and hug to those of you who read and follow this project. Your support has inspired us – and others – as we’ve stumbled and fumbled our way along. An even bigger thanks to those of you who comment, share and attend events and say hi. I wish there was more time in a day to interact with the comments we get and if I had a magic wand that’s the one wish I’d be gunning for. Thanks as well to our members on Facebook and Twitter; it’s been a lot of fun to hang out with you there and thank you for sharing all that you do (of ours and others that inspire us) as well!
Bigger hair and beard than normal:
This post isn’t so much about patting myself on the back though (I’m an awful self-promoter who is guilty of sometimes forgetting to promote myself while others times accidentally over-promoting and not even knowing I’m doing so). It is about sharing some of the things I’ve learned the hard way that might save others some steps along the way. These are the types of posts formed of good intent that I often cringe at years later realizing how much more there was to learn and if there’s one thing I know more than ever, that’s it.
Here’s a few other lessons learned on the way (completely subjective based only on my opinion):
- Eating real food, slow food, locally and seasonally is not nearly as difficult, expensive or time-consuming as I once feared. It’s a natural progression and something that gets easier every year.
- Meeting others and sharing experiences is the quickest accelerator in learning to eat more like our foreparents did.
- Our food system is in trouble. It’s important to know what’s happening within it and within your food supply.
- Eating is political and each meal is a vote. Many of my votes are aligned with my beliefs and ethics but I still make missteps. A 5% shift from large agriculture to small farming would force radical change. Every meal you make is a vote.
- Don’t trust labels. Better yet, try to buy food without them.
- There are so many resources, people, blogs and groups who can help you learn more.
- We need to encourage the changes we want to see.
- Writing daily forces me to learn something every day. That’s the magical reason ‘why’ I blog. Know why you’re writing or the motivation will be lost quickly.
- Know your audience. I still feel guilty when I admit that the main person I write for is me. I have no doubt that I search WellPreserved more than anyone else – just to find out how to do stuff I already did and forgot how to.
- Put yourself out there; fight against trying to make it perfect. I’m partially dyslexic and struggle with reading and writing. I’m far better at speaking than writing (and adore public speaking).
- You can’t please everybody. We’ve received a few tough comments this year and I’ve learned that I can’t possibly please everyone. Heck, I look back at some of the thoughts I had on food 3 years ago and am not exactly pleased with myself!
- The format is going to be challenging in the next little while. As blogging matures and becomes read by larger audiences, the pressures and temptations to bend ethics are mounting. There’s no single code of conduct and there’s more opportunity than ever for websites like this one to do things that traditional media would have considered unethical. As a writer, the only thing I have to offer is my integrity; but that’s just my view. Offers for secret payments or other ‘hidden’ incentives in exchange for posts are becoming more frequent in the blogosphere. I’m hopeful transparency will be the norm; for now there’s room for improvement. This could be an entire series of posts and perhaps it will be one day soon!
- Have friends that do it, share with them and learn from each other. There are many who are in this category formally and informally and I have learned a pile from each of them.
- Have fun. If it ain’t worth doing, it ain’t worth doing.
What would you add to the list?