Today is Day 1 of a 365-day project I start with this Farmer-ish blog. I want to try something different. I am going to be honest. I struggle with social media, and struggling with social media is not an asset when you are trying to run and market a new journal. Nevertheless, I struggle greatly.
It’s hard to fully define the struggle, though I have thought deeply about this for years. Part of my struggle is that I am just so curious. I can’t help but read and click and explore. I study human behaviors in groups and forums. Far too much of it is heartbreaking. And this leads me to the second part of my struggle—I am an empath. One time, I read a post about rescued duck who had been used as a soccer ball by a family in a park. I mean, who does that to an animal? I had trouble sleeping that night and thought obsessively about that poor duck for days. Recently, I started reading about animal rescues in the Ukraine. I have spent more time than I can say crying on my keyboard. Yet I struggle to look away. The magical portal with all the information and all the stories in all the world lures me.
Even before I started Farmer-ish, I was working as a freelance writer and struggling with social media. I wanted something different but didn’t know what that “something different” might look like. I have recently researched other options. I have read all of the blog posts about what works on social media. You have to be authentic (people like that). You’re supposed to do it every day (this doesn’t work when you’re hiding from Facebook). I have read and read and read. Some people give up on the whole thing, this exhausting system of constantly “building your brand.” Some people try newsletters. Some try different kinds of social media. Some have had success.
After searching my soul, I have a plan.
For the next year, starting today, May 10, 2022 (the day after my 47th birthday), I am going to write, every single day, something farmer-ish for the Farmer-ish blog. My main goal will be to tell the animal stories of my life. I want the world (or perhaps just the handful of people who will read this blog) to know these animals and see what I see and experience. I used to doubt myself and my connection to animals, but the older I get and the more research I read, the more I believe my experiences are real—and worthy of sharing.
So join me, if you will.
I am going to tell you stories about my quirky chicken, Juliet, who doesn’t fit in with the rest of the flock and trades eggs for treats. I am going to tell you stories about a rooster named Rooster, who is reserved and thoughtful and seems to have an unusual capacity for language. I am going to tell you about our ducks and how, every night before bed, I bring them peas in a white bowl and then we play a game. I am going to tell you stories about the Eastern Phoebes who have built a nest on our back deck.
In the middle of my animal stories, I will also share details of our famer-ish life. I’ll share seasonal recipes and tips on growing, cooking, and storing your own food. I’ll share stories about what my husband is doing in the garden. I’ll share about the things I make—from jam to quilts to bread to candles.
Sometimes, I’ll write a whole essay. Sometimes, I may only be able to share a quote from a book I have read or am reading. It won’t be polished. There will surely be typos.
But I am putting this goal into writing and hope to keep it. For the next year, I am going to write something here every single day.
In the end, maybe I’ll have a book. Maybe I’ll just have some writing worthy of reflection. Maybe I’ll find a way to establish a presence on social media (because blogs are a kind of social media after all) that feels honest and good for me—and maybe this process will keep my curious self away from the Facebook posts that keep me awake at night. And, maybe, you will sometimes feel compelled to comment.
If you are reading this, thank you for going on this journey with me—on Day 1 of 365.