That’s how long my current blog has been running.
Of course, there have been a few hiatuses during that time. Like the months when morning sickness was so severe I couldn’t write. Or seasons when all my energies went into writing books or buying soda fountains…
But my blog has remained a constant in my life since the October day in 2010 when I sat at my tiny kitchen island while my baby slept and opened an account on Blogspot.
In those days, blogging was still cutting edge and I was good at riding the waves of technology. First I mastered Blogspot, then WordPress, then Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram, then Pinterest, then Periscope (remember that one??), then Youtube, then podcasting.
And then, I decided there was a limit to how many social platforms I could stomach.
We used to call ourselves bloggers, but not anymore. Now it’s “influencer,” or “thought leader,” or “social media personality.”
When someone asks what I do for a living, I never know how to answer. But I digress…
Instagram Reels and TikTok are all the rage at the moment, but I’ve had a hard time feeling excited about either one. I can’t help but feel like a cantankerous Grandma as I watch the young whippersnappers dancing and shaking and lip-synching to the latest viral sound.
Good for them. But that’s not for me.
And yet, my strange affinity for the Internet keeps me from leaving it entirely.
My family got our first computer when I was a pre-teen. It was a beast of a machine that could barely be carried by one person. Its ancient iteration of Windows froze up constantly and the state-of-the-art dot matrix printer devoured paper like nobody’s business.
But on that dinosaur of a device, I started my very first blog.
No, not The Prairie Homestead. That would come later. This blog was the teenage ramblings of a girl obsessed with horses.
Drawn by some unknown force, I spent hours locked in our computer room typing my thoughts to the world.
Nothing about blogging was automatic back then, but that was part of the appeal. Everything was built from scratch.
I poured over HTML tutorials.
I figured how to use FTP to upload all my files to the web.
I fumbled through graphic design on an archaic precursor to Photoshop.
It was the wild, wild west.
And I freaking loved it.
I didn’t tell my (few) friends about my blog because it was too hard to explain. (“You’re doing what on the Internet??”) So it was a secret I mostly kept to myself and the six other teenage girls I befriended online who also had horse-themed blogs.
Back then, it wasn’t called “content creation,” it was simply writing.
I closed down my horse blog when I left for college, but as a young mom miles from civilization, I found myself craving the catharsis of writing once again. That’s when I started The Prairie Homestead.
And the writing turned into a business. And products. And then a “media platform.” The more I threw myself into entrepreneurship, the more I loved it. The photography, the marketing, the launches, the community building, the algorithms– I poured all my focus into becoming the best I could be. And I still love it. But lately, I’ve felt like something is missing.
I’ve found myself craving the old days, where I created content just because I wanted to create it. Where I didn’t have to be a pro photographer, or videographer, or dancer, just to put a thought on the internet.
Coming Full Circle
So once again, I find myself in the same place I was 2000. And then 2010. And now, 2022.
I need to write.
Right now, more than ever, I’m craving deep, meaningful content. I want to strip out the noise.
Everyone is talking about homesteading right now. That’s great. But it’s loud. I feel like I’ve rehashed so many of these same topics so many times (on the blog, on the Youtube channel, on the podcast) I don’t know what else to say about them. However, I still have things to say. But I want to say them in my own way.
So I’m starting a blog. Yep, another one.
I don’t know how often I’ll post here. I’m not promising a daily or even a weekly cadence. I’ll write when the spirit moves. There won’t be snazzy, staged photos, flashing GIFs, or fancy, embedded videos.
Some of the topics may have nothing to do with homesteading. Or maybe they’ll have everything to do with it. I don’t know. We’ll see.
When I do post, I think it’ll be worth reading. That’s the hope anyway. The original Prairie Homestead blog is still active and my team and I put out regular homesteading tutorials, recipes, and how-tos over there. But here, the writing here will be less practical, and more prose.
Of course, you’ll still be able to find me on my podcast and occasionally on Youtube. But this space will be more thoughtful and more intimate.
I’ll tell you more about the driving force that brought me to this point in the next post.
In the mean time, if you want to subscribe, you can do so here.
Nope, I don’t have a fancy “lead magnet” to entice you. But if you type your email address into the box, I’ll send you the full-text blog posts right to your inbox whenever they are published. That way, you won’t miss any of them.
Here’s to simplicity, cutting out the noise, and getting to the good stuff.
More to come soon, my friends.
Thank you for this. All of this. I truly believe this is what a lot of us moms and old fashioned minded women need and crave as well. I do not want to know the latest makeup trend or how skinny you can get from a tea or whatever I wanna learn and grow as a homemaker, wife and mom. I want to soak in useful information and tackle my everyday with it. I have learned so much from you and you don’t even know I exist lol. But that’s ok! That is why you are here to teach and bring light to what matters in life and family and that we don’t have to own a huge piece of land to be a homesteader it’s what we have and make useful. Social media is great but then a dark and gloomy place as well. Thank you for this and I am eager for your blog
Jill Winger says
Thanks for being here, BethAnn! And yes to useful information! <3
Welcome back home. Blogging seemed like a home years ago. I have often thought of rebooting mine. But for now…I’ll visit you at home.?
My smiling face was turned into a question mark…sorry.
Mads Jorgensen says
Looking forward to more from you, I listened to your podcast for more than a year know, almost all of them, I live in Iceland and really like your harsh clima stuff.
Gina Bingham says
I’ve justified watching too many hours of reels just to gain a few good up-cycled ideas….to the detriment of my super flexible keyboarding “work” fingers, now stiffening while only my thumbs do all the work. Maybe I had to get it out of my system, during this new retirement, so I’m up on trendy things with my granddaughter, but it’s honestly mind-numbing boring in a very short time. Even when I enjoy watching other lives, sharing their gardening and homesteading successes, I know I’m never going to raise pigs, or geese. I live in the middle of a huge city right now. And if I do get the small country hideaway someday, it will be only a small garden, and grandbabies. So yes, I’m all in!! You’re not just ahead of the curve… you’re making it. What can we do to help?
I’ve had my blog since 2008, lost of nice friends who went down the rabbit hole never to be seen again. I’ve always hoped there would be a resurgence. I like writing too, And being creative with my blog, it’s a nice outlet for creatives who want more than comment click like subscribe. It’s bit more intimate and self fulfilling.
Jessica Kirsch says
I don’t even have words for how much I love this. Blogs, real blogs, made me who I am today. Okay, that’s awfully corny, but it’s kind of true. As a young mom, I read blogs on how to parents, how to cook, how to be healthier. I read blogs about homesteading and raising animals, when we still lived in a tiny little apartment. Blogs taught me that babies can be born at home and that doctors don’t know everything.
I also am overwhelmed by the “noise” online today. And I look forward to reading your thoughts, the good old fashioned way!
Thanks for this.
Jill Winger says
SAME Jessica! Blogs are the whole reason I am who I am today– they taught me about whole foods, how to cook, how to question, EVERYTHING! I miss that. 🙂 Thanks for being here.
I’m looking forward to your new blog. I’ve learned alot from you, the 2 that stand out the most are learning how to make sourdough and dandelion salve. I’m still making both of them today. Good luck with your new adventure.
Carole West says
I love this, you explained so clearly why I got tired of “niche” blogging. So, in 2020 I retired my blog and shut it down without much notice. I left most of social media too, just for a break and it was good. Part of that decision was to help my husband with a project he was starting but it had so much more to do with watching my creativity slip away. Producing content that just became part of a ” loud noise” was not natural and I really missed the joy of writing from the heart, not that I wasn’t before but I think you can relate that writing for “SEO” to get clicks is mechanical. It’s just not good writing in my opinion. My break was positive, and I have really missed writing, so I recently started a new blog and I’m having a blast because it’s all been very organic. I’m looking forward to reading more from you on this space, I started reading back when you were doing blog hops and just wanted to encourage you to keep sharing your heart. Carole West
Donna Howarth says
Looking forward to the new blog. God bless the broken road that leads you back home. Thank you sharing all your knowledge and thoughts with us.
Sarah Allison says
Jill, I have been wishing for old school blogs again! I am so signing up right now.
Looking forward to connecting in prose,
Dawn Goodness says
I do agree with you about some of the hoopla about sometimes nothing. I get caught up in the day to day repetition of blah blah blah. Oh my word! Looking forward to your email(s)
I currently follow the life and times of an Alaskan family that used to be on TV. It is fun to hear from time to time
Follow your heart, make decisions for you as a person.
Jenn Lanier says
This really resonates with me. It’s a refreshing thought to get back to more meaningful sources of inspiration with less fluff. You have done and continue to share amazing things! Thank you for your inspiring enthusiasm for growing goodness in life!
Mandy of Sparrow Hill Homestead, currently being suffocated by cucumbers from an over-zealous garden plot says
Jill, I could not love this idea more! I, too, am so tired of the way the internet now works. I had a blog, but grew tired of being told my keywords wouldn’t drive traffic to my site. I didn’t care. I just wanted to write, but Word Press destroyed my initial love for sharing. I’ve even written homesteading/gardening articles that someone else on an editing team added all of the traffic-driving info for because I simply won’t write in order to gain views. How clever is it to re-state the same ideal 20 different ways in the opening paragraph just so some bot will pick up on it? Nope. I can’t wait to read your thoughts. Thank you for doing this for those of us who long for a real person’s perspective again.
Carrie Roer says
I just want to say a quick WAY TO GO. I’ve been trying to make my way in the homestead-content-creation world the last couple of years, but really… how many how-to tutorials does the internet need these days? What I ENJOY writing is the contemplative stuff. Less practical, more prose (as you said).
So thank you for pushing in this direction. I’m excited to follow and see where it takes you (and I’m encouraged to do the same).
Kalie Mais says
These comments right here describe my feelings exactly! I started this crazy homesteading thing 11 years ago when I found Jill’s blog. And lately I’ve missed just going to the blog for the scoop like I used to do in the old days. I’ve signed off social media and have gone back to following blogs because I actually enjoy the content not because it’s in my face. So thank you Jill for being you. Because I swear we are always so much on the same page! Proud follower for 11 years!
Kristi Honas says
All of these comments here describe my feelings as well! I started gardening, frugal living and learning all about homesteading from you Jill. So, glad you’re coming back to the blog writing. I love you just being you! God Bless!
Amen to cutting out the noise and just “being”. That’s where living, meaning and beauty are. Hopefully more will come full circle and appreciate the life they have; without competing loudly and creating disturbances, lol. You did not do that in your journey through your business growth by any means, but you get what I’m saying about many of today’s “influencers” and those that are engrossed in stimulating themselves with each thing that comes out for their consumption.
I’m so glad you started this blog! I too have been actually blogging since around 1994. My first blog was a homeschooling blog where I created content for young mom’s to teach their children that didn’t fit into the school book type classroom. My daughter was adhd when they didn’t even know what that was. She was also a very stubborn child. I thought I was a terrible teacher but my blog helped me realize I was a wonderful and very dedicated teacher. I was able to graduate her with honors and help a lot of other mom do the same. When I found this blog my heart just leaped! Old style blogging at it’s finest is back again! All of us old old bloggers should take the leap re-start the blogs and follow along on each other’s blogs and enjoy blogging like it used to be. I’m in! My old blog was Fernwoodfarms.net I will start it back up soon. She’s been deleted not by me, but by the company that did her hosting. A mistake on their part but a very sad one indeed. I am excited to see everyone’s words of wisdom, clarity, and just beautiful writing. Happy writing everyone!