Thoughts and Changes
I wanted to lead in to the new year with this post, but I realized I still needed some time to think things through and get some perspective. I’ve been writing this blog since 2011 (holy moly!), and I enjoy every moment of writing for you all and creating delicious vegan recipes that you can make for your family and friends. However, a lot has changed over the last few years, as it likely has for most people, and lately it’s been more like going through the motions with the blog rather than truly enjoying it.
I can’t say what’s changed, because I don’t even really know or understand why I’m not excited about it anymore. Perhaps I’m just in a rut, but maybe it’s just run it’s course. Now, I’m not going to shut down the blog completely, I will still be sharing any worthy recipes I create with you all and will pop in from time-to-time to chat about cruelty-free living, but for the most part I’m going to stop posting regularly.
The blog isn’t the only casualty of my re-focusing. This decision came on the heels of my decision to reduce my number of freelance clients and to start seriously thinking about school again (Ph. D.). I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I realized I needed to cut out the things that weren’t bringing me as much happiness as I felt they should, and to really focus on those things that do.
Funnily enough, I think part of what prompted me to make this decision was actually related to vegan cooking. We moved over the summer, and I haphazardly put my kitchen items away. A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a cookie recipe and I happened upon a drawer with all of my vegan cookbooks in it. As I looked through the stack (which is sort of embarrassingly huge), I realized I had at least four cookbooks that I hadn’t even cracked the cover on.
Shame on me. I am not a minimalist by any means, but I also don’t believe in having things around the house that aren’t being used in one way or another. So there I was, a huge stack of cookbooks I hadn’t opened, and many more that had only been looked at once or twice before. As I silently promised myself that I’d get to them this year, I soon realized that I might not ever even have a chance to cook out of them since most of my free time in the kitchen is spent creating new recipes. While I do occasionally post cookbook or recipe reviews, I know you guys like my original recipe posts the most, and I wouldn’t want to give you tons of content that you aren’t finding useful.
I thought on it some more, because I am great at staying busy and making time where there doesn’t seem to be any, but wasn’t that why I cut back on my clients? So that I could actually not be so busy all the time? Busy isn’t cool, though I sort of always thought it was. Being busy simply means that I have less time for my family and for me than I should, and I didn’t want to let that continue on.
I’ve not yet hit 30, and honestly, I live quite a pampered life for someone who hasn’t crossed that threshold yet, but I don’t want these bad habits to follow me the rest of my life. I’m not saying that anyone who stays busy has a bad habit, but it is a bad habit for me, and just like when I quite smoking and when I went vegan, I had to realize it was a bad habit and then do everything I could to change it around.
I want to spend time making other people’s recipes. I want to actually use my Pinterest boards and make some of those things. Digital clutter is just as bad as physical clutter, and I have tons of both. What good is the creativity of others if we don’t actually take notice and try it out every once in a while?
That notion got me thinking about the recipes I post – are people just bookmarking them or pinning them only to come back to them later and then to forget about them? Odds are it’s likely for many of my readers. And that’s ok! There’s so much of everything out there – recipes, reviews, blogs, etc – that it’s hard to actually pick one thing and do it.
So, even though I won’t be posting regularly (or maybe not at all, we’ll see), I urge you to pick some recipes (mine or anyone else’s) and actually make them – step-by-step. Make time on a weeknight to make something you’ve never made before or whip up a bunch of your favorite cookbook author’s recipes over the weekend.
Whatever you do, make sure you take the time to actually do, don’t just watch or think.
For all of you who’ve been with me, for any amount of time, thank you so much for reading and trying out my sometimes crazy recipes. I truly appreciate it and everything this blog has done for me. It’s been a creative release as well as a network-builder. I’ve met so many amazing people through this blog that I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise. I’m grateful for all of the opportunities this blog has afforded me and I look forward to seeing what the next chapter of my life holds.
On a side note, I’ve been writing a lot lately, and since it’s something I do for both work and play, I’m likely going to start writing a little blog about various writing topics. I haven’t quite decided on it yet, but if it’s something that gets me excited and has purpose, then I’m going to jump on it. I’ll keep you posted! Until then, if you’d like to keep up with me, check me out on Twitter.
Ashley a.k.a. The Unintentional Vegan