Happy 5th Birthday, Culture Cookies!

4 Jun

Culture Cookies turned 5 last week! Every time WordPress sends another “Happy Anniversary” notification, I reflect on what this blog means to me. I’ve written before about why I started the blog – today I’d like to talk about why I keep it going.

Writing feels like exercise for my brain. There are so many things I find interesting in this world, and I get an itch to write about them. That’s why this blog’s content is such a grab-bag: it maps to things I find interesting, and that’s a huge category of topics to explore. So one day you’ll find a blog post about trucker web forums, another day you’ll find a defense of hobbies, and another day you’ll find an analysis of $4 toast. Last year I thought about creating a more refined content strategy – but decided against it. Because I like having a place to write whatever’s on my mind.

I’ve always loved to write, but my favorite forms have changed over time. When I was in elementary school, I dreamed of becoming a poet. As I got older that morphed into wanting to write fiction. My college experience was filled with literary analysis and cultural research; I learned that I loved to write about society and human behavior. I took a fiction writing class in college and realized fiction wasn’t where my heart fell anymore. Research papers and cultural critiques were feeling more my speed, after all.

In retrospect, it makes sense. I’ve always been intrigued by human behavior, how we think, why we do what we do. I’ve always loved telling stories that help people look at a topic in a new way. And I’ve always been a researcher, getting totally sucked into whatever topic is on my mind. Today, I’m lucky to work in a field that merges research and writing. And yet there’s still a need for this blog. No matter what, I’ll want a personal outlet for writing. Whenever I hit “publish” on a Culture Cookies post, it feels so darn good. It feels like I got a burgeoning idea out of my brain and into the world.

I keep a “draft roll’ of potential blog topics, and it’s always getting longer. When something piques my curiosity, it goes onto the list. If you ever see me furiously scribbling something on paper or tapping away at a note on my phone, I’m probably saving ideas for future blog posts.

And so on we go, to another year. What will this year bring? My “next in line” drafts give a quick preview: a post about food marketing, one about social media pictures, one about “real people.” And that’s only a few of my drafts!

Besides this post, I celebrated a second way, too: I baked my blog cake! Ok, fine, I just wanted an excuse to make strawberry cupcakes. The cupcakes came out great – you can find them over on my baking blog, Sugarsmith (see what I did there?)

Upwards and onwards, dear readers!

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