Love Letter to My Blog on the Occasion of Our 7th Blogiversary!

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Congratulations!

The Story

In the early 90’s I left my home in Mill Valley in Marin Co., and made my way up to the tiny town of Little River, on the coast of Mendocino Co. I simply wanted to “go to the country and get a dog.” So I did. Here I am with Moxie, my first Border Collie, whom I adored, in the woods, on our two acres, in front of our garage and guest cabin and our first little flower plot. Color us happy!

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And there I planted a garden, the first in a long while, and this simple act became the inception of what was to become my book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden. The path to publication involved more than one agent, more than one artist, more than one proposal, a sale and a deadline, and, a variety of other plans, and unexpected turns in the road, including a complete rewrite, and, finally, the decision to self-publish, as, ultimately the plan that worked involved my being able and willing to assemble the team of people who would get me across the finish line. Whew! It was, stunningly, an over twenty year process. When it was at last time to consider the marketing, I rang an agent in the City, an old trusted colleague of mine, updating him and asking for his input. “You need to start a blog,” he said. “What?” I replied, surprised. “I don’t have a book, yet. It’s not finished!” “Doesn’t matter,” he said. “You need a platform.” Apparently being a book publicist for over three decades was no longer enough. Things were changing. “Put on overalls,” he said. (Like that was going to happen.) “Put yourself out there. Now.” Huh. This was completely counterintuitive to my publicity beliefs, but I saw he was right. I took his advice, in my own style–I managed a hat–

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— and began my blog, eventually finding the site Blotanical, a gathering of over 2500 gardening bloggers around the world, where Plant Whatever Brings You Joy became the #1 Most Popular Blog for over one year, was ranking in the Top Ten and Top Twenty Most Popular Gardening Blog lists, and was attracting a worldwide audience of over 40,000 people each month. It was on and through this blog that I met and developed friendships with gardening bloggers who to this day are a very treasured part of my life. Lifelong friendships have been formed, and I hold this network as one of the most precious gifts with which I am blessed.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Plant Whatever Brings You Joy did not just open up the door to meeting like minded gardening lovers around the world. It also served as the vehicle for two amazing social media events–first The Scarf Initiative, [for full story explore The Scarf Initiative category in right column] and later, I made a decision to use the blog as a focal point for helping to save the animals in the Tripoli Zoo in the middle of the Libyan revolution. Yes, seriously. It’s called Plant Whatever Brings You JOY. And as readers have learned over and over again, the book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy embraces a wide range of joyful topics, that might well have stemmed from a lesson learned in the garden, but the intention, always, was to apply those blessed lessons in our everyday lives. The tagline for this blog is Heart + Meaning =Joy. Each individual must define for himself or herself what has heart and meaning, that will ultimately lead to abundant joy.

I am deeply grateful this blog has for the last seven years been a place of inspiration to so many–myself included. Maintaining it has always motivated me to learn something new, to go on field trips to explore a new place I might share, to document the life in my garden, as a careful nature lover and observer, to share my favorite recipes. I have always turned away “advertising opportunities” and kept the blog as a sacred place, an oasis, where folks might come and be uplifted. And where they might be inspired. And where they might learn. I’ve included reviews of books I’ve appreciated. I’ve shared my photographs, sending them out into the world where many have a life of their own, moving around the globe unhindered. “It’s just light,” I have told folks. “If I’ve captured something that people want to send along and share, well, good.”

“Stuff your eyes with wonder.” ~Ray Bradbury

I am so grateful for these last seven years, and what has come forth, and I look forward to continued exchanges with you, dearest readers. Thank you for your comments, your readership, your subscriptions, your own blogs, your loyalty and love.

Recently I put together a board on Pinterest that is, essentially, a tribute to this blog and to the publishing of my book, and its journey as it continues to find readers around the world. Did I think I’d still be writing this blog after seven years, and promoting my book after four? It never really crossed my mind. But the path is still beckoning, and as the meme says, “Don’t quit before the miracle!” Can’t wait to see what happens next. Thank you for being with me on this journey! You are each so appreciated, more than you could possibly know.

Love and garden blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

Postscript! Whoever leaves a comment on this Blogiversary Post–or my FB link– might be winning a copy of Plant Whatever Brings You Joy! On September 21st I will put all the names in a hat–and draw out the name of the winner. I will contact that person privately asking for an address where I might mail you your copy! Good luck! 🙂

Sunday, September 21st: The winner of the 7th Blogiversary Book Contest in Nell Campbell! Congratulations, Nell!

12 Responses to “Love Letter to My Blog on the Occasion of Our 7th Blogiversary!”

  1. Congratulations on a long run of successful blogging and on your Book.

    So many things have changed — Blotanical limped to a near halt and has not revived that I know of. I think Diana would let us know. Bloggers do not visit the way we used to; it’s all Social Media now.

    Planting seeds is still bringing me great joy.

  2. Thanks, Nell Campbell! And welcome. Yes, it certainly has changed, and it’s common for blogging friends to leave comments on FB, not on my blog, which I understand and accept and do myself! I post far less on my blog, but I still remain loyal to the form, even as it changes. Thanks for visiting! Kathryn xoox

  3. Congratulations, mom!! What beauty you’ve brought forth in these seven years. So many wonderful journeys, adventures and rich and alluring loveliness. Just like your wonderful book.

    The blogging world really isn’t the same, so your continued gifts of posts is all the more appreciated!

    Love you.
    Antonia
    xoxox

  4. Congratulations Kathryn on creating your blog and keeping it alive and healthy for 7 years! What a huge accomplishment! May your blog have many more years and many more happy readers.

  5. Thanks, dearest Antonia! Your love and support are one of the greatest blessings of my life! So fun to share our blogging adventure together! Love, Mom xoxo

  6. Aww, thanks, Leslie! I appreciate the blessing you’ve just sent out in this direction. I will hold it in my heart and spin it back out into the world. Promise. Love, Kathryn xoxo

  7. Kathryn, from that first day I heard you speak in the little courtyard at the Weinberger’s bookstore in Sonoma, I have enjoyed, been intrigued & learned from you; through one of my favorite-ever books (“Plant Whatever Brings You Joy..”) and then onto your blogs.

    BIG HAT’s OFF to you for the example of perseverance you’ve showed in getting your creation out there in the world.

    With deepest appreciation,
    ~Marlene (Alves)

  8. Oh, Marlene, how kind! Thank you so much! I’ve so enjoyed meeting you and feeling your support ever since, yes, that lovely afternoon at my booksigning at Readers Books in Sonoma! Very fortunate! You are a treasure! Kathryn xoxo

  9. I am so excited!

  10. Lovely, Nell! Enjoy! Kathryn xoxo

  11. My book is here!

    Thank you. I have to decide whether to finish in the greenhouse or read now.

  12. Nell, what I hear most often is that my book ends up “next to my bed.” 🙂 Take your time reading it and enjoy at your leisure. Kathryn xoxo <3

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