One of my students, Whitney Fee, sent me a Facebook message yesterday. She's working on a project for her broadcast journalism class about blogs and bloggers. She asked me four questions that made me think. Why exactly DO I blog?
Simple answer to that, Whitney. Catharsis. I blog to make things better. For relief. When I first found out I was gluten intolerant, almost a year ago, I didn't quite know how to cope. What would I eat? How would I feel? How would I ever get through this? In July, after we came back from a cruise and I first tasted gluten-free bread, I knew there were things out there I didn't know about, and the learning curve was steep. I hit Google and began to read.
So after reading and being touched by two blogs specifically -- Gluten Free Girl and The Gluten Free Goddess -- I thought I'd start my own blog. After all, my former students Julie, Joy, and Jenn were all blogging about babies and married life. They were enjoying it, so I thought, what the heck. I decided to use the platform to make my own life easier. At the time, I didn't see any blogs converting southern recipes to gluten free, so that is how I started. Every time I converted a recipe I'd known and loved, I wrote about it here.
As time passed by, I got some readers. I think the first one was Karen Blue. Then, I read Fresh Ginger, where I discovered Ginger of the North. Soon after I found Gluten Free Steve, who has since become my adopted lil bro in Denver. After I joined the Delphi Celiac List, I found Kate at Gluten Free Gobsmacked. In September (was it?) I found Ginger Lemon Girl Carrie, who is also a southern girl, even if she does eat sugar in her cornbread. Then I met Cassandra at Delphi, who started a blog, and Melanie of The Gluti Girls. Then there's also Alex of Transformed by Words. She offers deep words of encouragement and spiritual growth. Not long ago I met the GF Crockpot Lady, Steph. I even got to "know" Gluten Free Girl Shauna. In fact, she told me in an email she was pregnant months before she announced it on her blog, and I kept her secret.
I know I've got friends I've yet to meet. New people sign on every day. I welcome them and visit their blogs in return, and the circle continues to grow.
The list of my most frequented GF blogs is to the right of this post. I also list blogs of other friends who have ventuerd out there on the blogosphere. Yes, Whitney, I am older than most of the other bloggers I know. As for their educational level, I think I mostly care about their gluten-free education. To me, they're all my teachers. I aspire to offer them something valid in return.
How has blogging helped me? Well, I can make bread now because of Steph. And I got through my cancer scare because I could use this blog as a platform. I was surrounded by prayer and love through this blog. I am convinced God reads blogs every day. Cassandra makes me smile with the antics of her beautiful boys Carter and Braden, and Carrie, she just makes me smile every time I see her lemons on her masthead. Melanie, the best cookie baker in the Midwest, showed me what hospitality is . And Alex, well, Alex loves my name. She tells me -- and her readers -- that all the time. The other day, she mentioned me and Jeffrey in a lovely post. I really am transformed by knowing her.
The best part? Some of these bloggers have transcended blogdom and have become good friends. Steve, Kate and I have become especially close, and I'm thankful and grateful to them. They have enriched my GF life and my personal life. We aspire to meet some day soon. It is with them today I that I celebrate Gluten Freedom Day. Steve came up with that, and right now, I think he, Kate and I are the only celebrants. But it's important to US. I can live a life without gluten, but I can't dream of a life without their love and friendship.
How has blogging changed your life? Whether you blog about babies, politics, public relations, or anything else, Whitney would like to hear from you.
If you'd lbe willing to help a bright college student, email firstname.lastname@example.org and answer these questions for her, I told her I'd post this here and ask YOU what she asked me.
1. Why do you blog?
2. How did you get started?
3. Are most of your blogging friends younger and educated?
4. How has blogging helped you?
I urge you to share your knowledge with her. She's worth it.
Happy Gluten Freedom day, my friends,
and Much Love,