Wow, 2019 went by in quite a blur! As we close out the year, and the decade, Allison and I were looking back at the road this blog has taken, we’ve been blogging since 2011 and have currently published 638 posts (including this one). It’s gone from a simple blog that Allison wrote to one we run together, we’ve had times of consistency and times where we didn’t publish for months, but we’d always come back eventually. We make videos and take a ton of photos now, and we have even baked or cooked things, specifically for the blog. This year has really changed our perspective on being creative, using it as an outlet for expression.
With the end of the decade upon us, we wanted to bring up 10 of our favorite blog posts from the almost 10 years we’ve been doing this. And give a brief history of the blog.
#10 – First Post. Ever (June 7, 2011)
Allison’s first post, using a free blogger blog she set up. It’s a short post but what I like about it was that Allison just DID it. No planning meeting, or talking about it for 6 weeks while coming up with a domain name, she just made an account and started writing. Which if you want to start something, follow her example. JUST DO IT, or start doing it. Now that I’m thinking about it, she started this before we got married! This blog is older than our marriage!
#9 – Way Way Way WAY Behind… (February 21, 2012)
So this one might feel like a rand stream of conscious blog, with some mundane details of our lives from back in 2012. I agree, but here’s why I love it. In the first paragraph, Allison mentions the leadership retreat we went to, that weekend would be the starting point for us to start serving at Nations Church Los Angeles. It’s crazy to think that there was a time in our lives where we could sleep till 10 am and then just not go to church. Serving has just become part of our lives, that weekend with the leadership team changed our lives infinitely for the better. Thanks, Pastor Phil and Mel for making that happen!
#8 – Stuff my Husband Cooks (May 16 , 2012)
This is it, our first of many cooking/baking themed posts. I think I may need to revisit this recipe in the future, I think Olivia and Meghan would love the pizza muffins! Around this time, we moved the blog from being a blogger site to a WordPress site and added our own domain name fridgegrowngarlic.com. The name came from an incident where I left a head of garlic in the fridge for too long and it started sprouting. It’s a little gross, but we thought it was a funny story.
#7 – It’s A New Season (April 3, 2013)
This is the post where Allison announced that she had been accepted into the page program at Paramount Pictures. It represents the start of the journey of hard work and networking that would lead her to be a valued member of the recruitment team at Paramount, and finally a full-time job! I was so proud of her because she worked so hard and excelled in her time there!
#6 – Hey Myke? Cook Me Something (Guest Post) – Spinach Rigatoni with Magic Bacon (January 23, 2014)
I’m pretty sure this was my first blog post on our blog, as you can tell, I was very fond of section headings and witty (to me at least) titles and rambling sentences. Around this time we landed on a new name and URL that we would keep until 2018. Allisons-eye.com.
#5 – Myke and Allison Adventures: Granada Hills Grubfest (June 3, 2014)
Guys, this was our first attempt at a Vlog. We had just gotten a new camera a Samsung NX300, which I didn’t really know how to use to its full potential. This was so fun to make, we spent an evening down at this little food truck festival that happens every week in Granada Hills by our apartment in LA. Enjoy our first attempt at vlogging.
#4 – New Name – New Look (June 19, 2018)
A bit of a milestone for the blog, we landed on what we think will be our final name, Clements Chronicles. It’s also the first post after we uprooted from Los Angeles and make the trek up to Sacramento. It’s important because we started to see this as not just Allison’s blog, but our blog with both of us sharing the writing/filming/editing duties. It moved from being an Allison side project to something we are working on together. In a season where we are juggling a job, and two kids, it’s important to have things that you work on together.
#3 – 5 Tips for Surviving Unemployment (September 9, 2019)
Quite possibly our most-read article is this guide that I wrote more for myself than anyone else. It was a pep talk to get me out of my funk of being jobless for 11 months. If you happen to be going through something similar, I highly recommend watching and reading it!
#2 – Return to Apple Hill (September 30, 2019)
A marathon of a post, but I received some wonderful feedback on both my writing and the content of the post. It’s one of the posts, I’m most proud of.
#1 – One Year Postpartum (December 13, 2019)
This is one of my favorite articles Allison has ever written, her willingness to be so open and vulnerable were amazing to see. It’s also great to see how she has progressed as a writer and as a person over the years. She is strong, loves deeply, and is the perfect companion for this wildlife we live.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade of blogging. It’s this, with any creative endeavor, it probably won’t make money. Those that start a creative thing and have that thing turn into something that provides for their family and allows them to do it full time are very rare. If you were to start an Instagram, youtube, blog, website, Etsy store, whatever, I can tell you, the statistical likelihood of it turning into something sustainable is very small.
Creating for the sake of creating is worth it. It’s worth publishing something that only 5 people read, it’s worth spending several hours filming and editing a video no one watches. I know that there will always be a part of you that’s disappointed because you wanted people to like what you make. But in the end, at least for us, if one person liked something we made, that’s good enough, because we enjoy the process of creating, more than the result of creating.
If you’re wanting to start something creative, here’s some advice from some that have been doing it for a while.
- Don’t worry about finding your niche. When we started, we had no clue what our niche was. We just wrote and made what we wanted, if you look back at our posts, they are all over the place, and that’s ok. It took us 8 years to settle on family vlog / cooking / inspirational marathon posts. Just make what you want and eventually you will find an audience.
- Make terrible content. When you start, you’re going to be bad at it. Really bad. The internet will absolutely tell you how bad you are. Find the constructive criticism there and learn from it. It will also help you practice, you don’t get good at something unless you do it badly for a very long time.
- Keep doing it. Even if you get off schedule or fall behind on posting, (I think there are at least 30-40 posts in our archive that essentially just say “sorry for not posting”) just keep doing it. You never know, where it might take you, and what opportunities might come along.
- Have fun with it. Don’t take it to seriously, and remember, you started this thing because you enjoy it.