Time for Growth & Change

Changes | These Things I Love

In the upcoming weeks and months you’re going to notice some changes around here. If you’re a regular reader/visitor you might have already noticed that things were pretty quiet during the months of April and May – and by now, most of June. (I’ll explain more on why that was a bit later.) I hope you’ll forgive a long-winded post as I explain what’s changing and why. If you’re just eager to see what’s what then scroll down towards the bottom for a quick breakdown of what’s changing and what’s staying the same.

Let’s talk first a bit about change.

Nobody really likes change. I feel like change has always been a part of my DNA though. Growing up we moved around a lot. Once I got married, we moved around a lot. We were always doing something new and different that completely changed our focus or what we spent our time, money and energy on. Being settled in our home, with a business, and into real life has been a bit of a departure for me. Sometimes I rebel over it and feel the need to spread my wings and do something crazy. That’s usually when I take on a big freelance gig and then regret it almost immediately, grudgingly get the job done and vow to never do it again. Lather, rinse, repeat. I think I’ve outgrown that in the past couple of years though.

One thing I doubt I’ll ever outgrow is blogging. I love blogging. I think I’ve been writing blog posts for the past decade or longer. There’s something satisfying about putting your thoughts and ideas out there, even if you never expect others to read it.

The problem with having a niche blog like this one – especially after it’s become somewhat popular (huge thank you to everyone for being so supportive!) – is that it can sometimes become what defines you as a person. Since it’s inception in 2009 this blog has been about sharing my gluten-free and vegan recipes. It was never intended to be a really big blog. I was simply using a blog as a way to curate recipes while I lived abroad. Of course, the entrepreneur in me couldn’t say no when it started to take off and so I kept building this blog into a nice little business. It’s a business that I am very proud of.

The growth of this business in the past 5 years has been nothing short of humbling. It was hugely unexpected and I can be honest in saying I wasn’t prepared for it. I didn’t think long-term and I just went with it. That’s the cool – and scary – thing about growing though, you sometimes can’t predict where you’re going to go with something and a plan doesn’t always come first.

You know what I said about how it can become what defines you as a person? It’s true. I let my blog become who I was and what I was about to everyone, both online and offline. I was Megan – The Gluten Free Vegan. I was a food blogger. To some, I was the person who only had internet friends. That’s not true, I have a lot of great real-life friends, but I was spending a lot of time on the internet with my invisible friends. People would text me to ask questions about food. (I never mind that, by the way!) Friends would be intimidated to invite us over because they thought I was some sort of foodie who would critique their meal.

Now here’s where the radio-silence in April and May comes in. The month of March was a particularly busy month for me both personally and professionally. On the blog-business front, I had just wrapped up producing my newest e-book, had filmed a cooking segment for a local morning show, prepared and showed up to teach a cooking class (that no one came to!!), and had a couple catering gigs. (This was in addition to the regular work I do for our plumbing and heating business.) I was exhausted at the end of the month but I tried to find satisfaction in all that I had accomplished. In a moment of utter honesty and clarity I realized that I wasn’t satisfied. I was burnt out and didn’t feel like I had anything to show for how exhausted and sapped I was. I shared a couple recipes in early April that I had ready to go and then decided to press ‘Pause’. I cancelled any upcoming cooking classes, I withdrew from contributing to magazines and newspapers with recipes and articles, I declined new catering requests and I didn’t take a single food photograph for the entire month of April.

I ended up getting sick during that month off in April which laid me out for nearly three weeks. I had a lot of time to rest and contemplate where I was at with my business and personal life. The break was worth it.

Once May 1 rolled around I felt mostly re-energized and renewed but I also was aware that something was different. I didn’t want to be a food blogger anymore. Gasp! It’s not that I don’t want to ever create recipes anymore. I think that would be virtually impossible. It’s what I do and I love to do it. I just want to do more, say more, and be more. I don’t want people to always connect me and food. I know that sounds silly, but I really and truly believe that there are some people who only want to talk to me about food because they don’t think I want to talk about anything different. Trust me. I talk A LOT and I have A LOT of opinions on A LOT of different topics.

I am tired of being Megan – The Gluten Free Vegan. I am Megan Lust. I am a creative individual and I do more than just cook and eat. Is that allowed? I hope so.

Here’s what is going to change on my little corner of the internet.

The blog name and URL. Of course, being that this used to be a strictly food blog about gluten-free and vegan recipes, the name TheGlutenFreeVegan.com made sense. Now that I’m spreading my wings it makes less sense. I’m thrilled to announce that this website will now be named “These Things I Love”. I will explain more about how I chose this new name in a later post. This change won’t be official until later this summer but you may start to see some little things here and there get updated and refreshed. There won’t be much in the way of new content until the official re-launch. I hope you can be patient with me. Once it’s officially switched over I’ll let you all know so you can see the new look and feel and get an idea of what’s really in store with These Things I Love. (Don’t worry, if you have this site bookmarked via TheGlutenFreeVegan.com you’ll still find this site but you’ll notice the URL will appear as TheseThingsILove.com.)

More lifestyle posts which will include things like travel, gardening, makeup, fashion, fitness, and household management. This is the biggest change you’ll see. If you’ve read this entire post up to now I think you’ll agree it makes sense.

More variety in the types of posts such as more video blogs, photo-only posts. I’ve been struggling with doing these types of posts with a strictly food blog for the past couple of years. Now that I’ve decided to expand into more topics and areas of interest I am looking forward to making more videos while I’m out and about and experiencing life.

More contributors to talk about different things that I might not be a complete expert on. Though I like to pretend that I’m a know-it-all, I’m really not. I’m going to be calling on some of my good friends and colleagues to help me expand the type of content I’m sharing here. You can still expect to see me posting about 95% of the time or more. But if you see a new face sharing some expertise here, I hope you’ll be as welcoming and open to what they have to say too.

Here’s what’s going to stay the same.

Old recipe posts. There will still be a ton of recipes here. All the old recipes that were posted by Megan – The Gluten Free Vegan will still be here. None of the old content is going away.

New recipe posts. I am still going to be a fiend in the kitchen and I intend on sharing all of those recipes with you here too. There will be recipes to appeal to all types of diets and they will be clearly marked as gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, etc. where applicable.

Megan. I am still me. I haven’t changed. The bonus is you’ll get to see more of me in a whole different context both inside and outside of the kitchen. I hope you don’t get too sick of me.

Well that’s it. Enough rambling from me. I sincerely hope that you will all join me on this exciting new journey and will enjoy the change of scenery.

Much Love,

Megan

 

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9 Responses to “Time for Growth & Change”

  1. June 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Megan,

    Totally understand! Sometimes you just have to walk away for awhile :) And changing it up can be a great thing!

  2. Lisa
    June 13, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Good for you! Change is good :) Embracing it is the best part!

  3. Tiina
    June 13, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    I’m in! I look forward to seeing the new posts.

  4. June 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I am a new reader – it sounds like you’re ready to create something more creative… so exciting! I look forward to what you create :)

  5. June 13, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    I was having some of these very same feelings and conflicts. Opening up my platform to something broader with The Nourished Mana, which allows me to express all the parts of me and not just the foodie in me has been so good for my spirit! And the reaction has been wonderful so far. I hope this new change give you the same sense of renewed joy for your work!

  6. June 14, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    Hi Megan.
    I just recently found your blog and really love it, but I can also relate to how you feel.
    As a small blogger myself I feel like my blog can be all over the place sometimes and I get caught up in having to have a ‘niche’ .. but than, kind of like what has happened to you.. I remember it’s MY BLOG.. it’s me.. so I can whatever I like.
    Blessings to you as you take this next step, I know I’ll be looking forward to seeing some new sides, thoughts, and ideas from you :-)

  7. June 21, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and comments!

  8. June 23, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Looking forward to new stories and more Megan!

  9. Michelle
    July 2, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    I understand :) I will continue to visit and I am sure we’ll all enjoy the new site. Good for you, listening to your heart!

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