Updated November 2012
I've been writing this blog since late 2009.
It's followed me through an engagement, wedding, the discovery that I love food, and the subsequent development of my cooking skills and the sophistication of my palate.
I started carlyklock as an online journal - mostly of my relationship, my pups, and my adventures in the kitchen. I didn't really have a goal in mind when I started hitting "publish", I just had something to say and for some reason felt compelled to put it out there.
Gradually, my focus shifted to food and I found myself a bonafide food blogger by mid-2011. I spent most of my time outside of work (I work full-time in marketing) reading other food blogs, cooking, photographing our meals (both at home and at restaurants), and creating and sharing recipes. I even ventured to Nashville for a food blogger conference with fellow food bloggers I'd cultivated relationships with online.
And then I stopped writing, for an entire year. From December 2011 - November 2012, I didn't publish one single post. There are a lot of factors that caused that to happen, but it really boils down to this: I'd taken this blog from a hobby to a 2nd career and I decided to re-prioritize it.
It began to consume me. I looked at everything in my life through that lens, wondering if what I was doing was worth sharing - if it wasn't, I should be doing something else; how would I caption this exact moment that I'm about to instagram?; taking note of anecdotal commentary I could use in my next post. Everything I did was about creating content to gain more readers. I valued the friendships I created online thanks to my blog, but I didn't have the time to reciprocate.
My sense of self-worth became synonymous with the amount of comments I'd receive on my posts, the number of likes I'd accumulated on Facebook, whether or not my recipes would get pinned multiple times, if I'd be accepted into the inner circle of successful, cool food bloggers. Yes, the school cafeteria social scene extends even to the virtual blogosphere.
It was then that I decided to walk away. I'd gotten in too deep and needed & wanted to refocus on my original career and my family. Refocus from the screen to the real life that was right in front of me.
During my year-long sabbatical, I became a mother. We found out we were expecting in late January 2012, and in the wee hours of the morning on October 9th we welcomed our daughter Lorelei into this world.
My favorite part of this blog has always been the journal aspect of it - I love being able to go back and read how I felt and what I thought at a particular moment in time. Memories fade over time, and if I hadn't written about our engagement just a few days after it happened, for example, all those details would be lost. Now, as a mother, remembering all those in-the-moment details has become even more important to me.
Yes, I could just write this journal and keep it private, but the number one thing I've learned since becoming a mother is that the only way to find your way is to swap your knowledge with other mothers. I want to share what I've learned and hopefully hear what you have to say, too. If you have a minute.
To my fellow bloggers: Everything is open for interpretation. Please interpret my journey as an homage to what you do and not the degradation of it.