When I started this blog about the foods I was eating as a paleo diet aficionado, I knew I had a lot to learn. While I felt confident I could happily create meals that my friends and I would enjoy, I was aware there were a lot I don’t know about basic cooking principles.
During the past four months as a paleo food blogger, I have started learn more about classic culinary theory, which is great. But, what I have found is that the lessons I have learned that are not related to food have been even more valuable. I’m hopeful that you will find them useful too.
1) Relax. Most mistakes are temporary and no one is paying attention anyways. I’ll lead with this one because it probably has the biggest potential to affect my life. I am a pretty contentious person who doesn’t like to fail. If I wanted to analyze myself – which I don’t especially – I might even say I sometimes don’t attempt things where the path to success isn’t at least 98 percent clear.
This means the idea of publishing a post that isn’t perfect totally stresses me out. I literally feel sick to my stomach when I make a mistake when tweeting.
But with working and working out and cooking and blogging and wanting to see my husband and friends and occasionally sleep a bit – I make mistakes. Each time, I immediately feel regret and anxiety. But then, I’ve noticed — nothing terrible happens.
Life goes on, pretty much exactly the same as before. The long-term effects are minimal if any. In fact, chances are no one else even notices because they are too busy worrying about their own relationship, or workouts or goals or lack of sleep. This has been a really good lesson for me to learn — and I am reminded of this lesson each time I make a new mistake.
2) I love to write—but I write very slowly. I have always enjoyed the writing I have done for work and for school. But I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy writing this blog. I love massaging the words, trying to arrange on paper the swirling mess of thoughts in my head.
It’s rewarding, but it’s slow work. It’s crazy how long it can take me to write a post that doesn’t ramble and ramble on and on (and if you think they DO ramble, you should read them before I edit. Oh boy!) There’s certainly wisdom in the quote, “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”
3) Photographs look SO much better in natural light. When I started this blog, I had lots of experience in cooking simple paleo meals – but almost no experience with taking photographs. I had heard that natural light was better – but I had no idea how much better.
A lot better! When I can arrange to take a picture outside during the day, the food looks so much more appealing than the ones I have to take inside at night. It’s like day and – well, fake light.
4) People like awesome things. I have been touched by the responses to my “Things that are awesome” Wednesday series. I have heard nice things from family, friends and readers on these posts. I’m happy that people like them. Maybe the world needs more reflections on awesomeness.
5) There are a lot of paleo bloggers — but that’s no reason not to start your own paleo blog. I was vaguely aware that there were a lot of people who chronicle their paleo adventures online. But I had no idea how many.
In fact, if I had known the vastness of the paleosphere, I would have snapped my computer shut right there. And that would have been sad because I would have never found out how much I enjoyed writing and never would have learned any of the lessons above.