Tag Archives: Blogging

Happy 6th Birthday, Culture Cookies!

29 May

It’s that time of year again: my blog birthday! I love that WordPress sends an alert, because it’s truly a reason to celebrate. Six years is a pretty long time to keep up any sort of personal project, don’t you think? Especially when you’re not monetizing it ūüėČ

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Just feels fitting to give this post a cake. Even if it’s only a picture of cake.

I started this blog as a personal outlet for things I loved to do, but wasn’t getting out of my job at the time. Back then, I was a management consultant and my days mainly consisted of spreadsheets, process flows and PowerPoint slides. I missed writing essays, and¬†decided to start a blog so I could¬†write about anything on my mind.

This blog has carried me through so much since then: a cross-country move,¬†several apartments, job swaps, relationships. I ran into one of my loyal readers the other day¬†(Hi Mary-Lynn!) and we¬†chatted¬†about how I post less frequently than I used to. That’s partly because of my second blog, which¬†often steals my attention away from this one. But it’s also because my relationship to this blog shifts over time, depending on what’s happening in my life. Like any hobby, its role fluctuates depending on what I’m doing and how I’m feeling.

Culture Cookies began as a¬†space for commentary and long-form writing. Then I shifted into¬†a brand strategy job, and spent my days thinking about consumer behavior. I’d read trend reports, conduct consumer research and think about how brands should express themselves. That meant marketing and behavior were always on my mind, so many of my posts ended up touching on consumer psychology, social commentary and brands. Even though the blog synced somewhat with what I did at work, it was still an outlet for long-form writing since most of my “official” work still ended up in PowerPoint slides.

Now here we are, May 2017, and suddenly: writing¬†is¬†my job. I get to write for work, day in, day out.¬†But¬†while I do see lots of¬†data (I’m a business writer!), and I do often write about consumer behavior, my daily work¬†doesn’t focus on spotting behavioral patterns anymore. ¬†And I do think that has had an impact on this blog. In the past six months or so, I’ve written much more personal reflection than¬†social strategy or marketing analysis. It makes sense: switching jobs last fall marked a big change in my life, a change that prompted lots of self-reflection. So naturally, the blog evolved again.

But as I told Mary-Lynn the other day, I miss the old Culture Cookies. I enjoy writing personal essays, and don’t plan to stop, but I do want to beef back up the other parts of this blog that I’ve sort of abandoned for the past ten months. Consider this my blog birthday pledge: I¬†pledge to reboot my marketing talk and behavioral commentary. It’s time to turn more of my scheming scribbles into actual posts.¬†I already have a couple of drafts in the works, and promise to share them in the next few weeks.

As always, thanks for reading. Hope to see you back here soon!

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 Рyou can find them over on my baking blog, Sugarsmith (see what I did there?)

Upwards and onwards, dear readers!

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