About Me and My Bumpy Road to Blogging
Seven years ago, I was in the corporate world and hating every minute of it. A job I once enjoyed had turned into a stressful grind that took me away from the things I was really passionate about. Like everyone else, I had unfulfilled dreams. I wanted to spend time with my kids. I wanted to do all those self-reliance projects I read about. I wanted to write books. I wanted to have a farm. I wanted to be a nomad and go experience all the places that I only was able to read about.
I guess it all boiled down to this: I wanted to be independent.
Instead, I spent my days grinding my teeth and pretending like I actually wanted to be at the office.
Like most stories of dramatic change, it starts out sad. But hang in there. It gets way better.
It took death to rock my world and inspire me to change everything.
First, my beloved father died. One of the last conversations we had turned out to be the lesson that eventually changed my life.
“You know I love you, right?” he asked from his hospital bed.
“Yes, of course. You’ve never ever made me think otherwise,” I reassured him. He’d been asking me this continuously, wanting to be sure I knew this vital fact.
“Girl, tell me, what are you going to do with your life?” he demanded.
I replied, “I’m going to be a writer, Dad.”
And it really hurt when he shook his head, “No you’re not. Writers write. You just talk about writing. If you want to be a writer, you have to write.”
The next day he was gone.
I was devastated, but I made the funeral arrangements and helped my mother get her bearings. Then, I went back home with my kids, dreading my return to a job I was beginning to despise.
Personal economic disaster
This happened as the automotive industry was collapsing. To keep myself employed, I was forced to survive on significantly lower pay for more work as others were let go. My financial situation began to unravel. I’d spent more money than I was making traveling back and forth from Canada to the southern US during my dad’s terminal illness. But sometimes, you lose your handle on things like money during difficult times.
As a result, first, I lost my house to foreclosure.
Then, I had to return my car because I couldn’t make the payments.
Everything in my “normal” 9-5 life was utterly falling apart.
And then, just a few months later, things got even worse.
My children’s dad died. Suddenly. Shockingly. Gone at the age of 40.
My poor girls were reeling at the loss of their daddy. The only thing I wanted to do was to be there for them. I couldn’t fathom the thought of sending them to a babysitter or worse yet leaving them home alone to fend for themselves, while I busted my tail making ends meet.
In one year, the whole world was different.
And we had to change with it.
I took a leap of faith because “writers write.”
In what probably sounds like the most ridiculous idea ever, given my flat broke circumstances, I left my full-time job.
I accepted a severance package from the company (who was downsizing anyway), cashed in a small retirement fund, and set about to live a different life. When I say small, I mean about $6000. And remember, we had no car, no home, nothing but a tiny rental.
But I wanted to try everything.
I wanted adventures and experiments.
I had been a prepper – not in the doomsday-filter-your-pee-and-drink it sort – but of the type who keeps a well-stocked pantry, grows some veggies, and practiced self-reliant skills. My preps had seen us through the most challenging year of our life. We really wouldn’t have survived without them. I wanted to embrace all of those ideals that preppers set up for themselves just to see what it was all about.
- I wanted to live in a remote area off the grid.
- I wanted to raise my own food.
- I wanted to learn all of the skills that seemed so simple when I read about them.
I didn’t know how to do any of it. But I knew with every fiber of my being I was going to wholeheartedly embrace the chance to try.
But that wasn’t all.
I wanted to put my own special twist on the preparedness market.
I saw way too many unhealthy, unfit people planning to live off highly processed, chemical-laden food while tidying up using toxic cleaning products. I had been a long-time proponent of a healthy, organic lifestyle and I wanted to find a way to combine my passions: prepping, frugality, nutrition, and health.
You don’t change your life by being timid.
I had enough money put aside to sustain the family for a very frugal year. (Did I mention VERY?) I decided to stop putting things off until the perfect time. There’s never a perfect time. I was going to move someplace dirt cheap and go for it. If I failed, I was just going to have to come back to the city, tail between my legs.
So ever since, I’ve been doing cool and unusual things that I probably have little business doing.
First, I packed my oldest girl off to college and took off with the youngest to spend a year living in a cabin with sporadic electricity in Central Ontario.
I got more adventure than I’d bargained for.
I learned that I didn’t know diddly.
For example, I had to learn to keep a fire going in the woodstove or, quite literally, die. When you’ve never built a fire in your life, this is harder than you might imagine. When there is no other heat source and the temperature dips to negative 54 degrees, it honestly is a matter of life and death.
During one exceptionally memorable storm, we got snowed in by a 7-foot drift and had to climb out the window of the house. (Thankfully, by this point, I was a fire-building pro.)
Then, to finance my own writing gigs, I spent three years working from home for an alternative media company, where I got to indulge my news junkie side every single day and get paid for it. I didn’t get paid much – but just enough to keep my dreams alive.
We headed back to the United States.
After that, I got to move to California to be closer to the headquarters of that company. (And to be warm. Blessedly warm.) My fledgling blog, where I wrote about both successes and failures, was building an audience. Apparently, lots of folks were looking for newsy, health-related prepping information.
I got the opportunity as a total farming newbie to spend two years homesteading in Northern California, where my office was my front porch.
There, I killed a bunch of vegetables, managed to nurture some to harvest, and learned to raise animals, including chickens, ducks, goats, and even an injured baby fawn we had found in the woods.
I caught a huge break 3 years into my blogging career and was able to leave my job and focus only on my business.
While my oldest daughter completed her degree in Canada, I homeschooled my youngest in the US. Life was so good that during her last year of homeschool high school, my intrepid kid and I went on a 7-week road trip around the perimeter of the USA to learn geography and history.
Why was my blog a success when many others aren’t?
Well, I’d like to say it’s my Pulitzer-prize-deserving mad writing skills and rapier-sharp wit, but it’s probably the following.
- Curiosity. I’ll try things I’m totally unqualified to do and then write about the experience.
- Admitting failure. I’m not a guru, and I totally admit it when my experiments fail. Then I try it again until I get it right.
- Reality. I’m not one of those Pinterest-perfect bloggers that you want to throat punch. I screw up. My house gets messy. My kids interrupt sometimes. Things just plain go wrong because that is life.
- DIY health. I like to make healthful living an affordable option.
- Frugality. I’m not going to tell people they need a $7000 generator to survive. Heck, I don’t have one either.
- Humor. Although sometimes my kids tell me otherwise, I try to be funny. Preparedness doesn’t have to be grim and doomy. Honestly, unless you’re writing in perhaps the funeral home industry, I think you can always be funny.
And, most of all, I just have to write. I can’t NOT write. Writing is who I am. Writers write. (Thanks, Dad <3 )
What are we up to now?
Today, I’m a coffee-swigging, gun-toting mom with a penchant for trying new things. I no longer do freelance work. I write for my blogs, churn out a book a year, research products for my website Preppers Market, aggregate some news here, and publish the Cheapskate’s Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly newsletter loaded with frugality tips.
I have a motley assortment of rescued dogs and cats, and sometimes a revolving number of chickens. Generally speaking, I like animals better than many humans. I’ve unlocked Introvert Level 1000.
Our current grand adventure is doing some in-town living in Virginia while my precocious youngest daughter starts college at the age of 16. Next stop? Nobody knows! (But it’s going to be warm. -54 degrees ruined me for cold weather.)
I enjoy cooking, hiking, shooting guns, exploring, and reading. Sometimes, I watch Netflix into the wee hours of the night, even when I know better. I’m a total
hermit introvert and I usually forget to charge my phone.
Where to find me:
I’m probably wherever the coffee is…oh, you meant online.
My websites are:
- The Organic Prepper (where I write about preparedness, health, frugality, and food. I also write about current events in relation to preparedness.)
- Preppers Daily News (This is where I post all the headlines that I found interesting but didn’t have time to write about)
- Preppers Market, a store for preppers that focuses on the best emergency supplies on the market today, specifically chosen by me, for you.
- The Lost Art of Blogging, where I share the lessons I’ve learned after 6 years in this industry.
I’m the author of five books:
- How to Survive a Dozen Disasters (coming soon!)
- The Pantry Primer: How to Build a Whole Foods Pantry on a Half Price Budget
- The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide
- The Prepper’s Canning Guide
- Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas (and a Debt-Free New Year)
You can find more information about my books here.
My articles are widely republished throughout alternative media, and I am a frequent guest on radio shows and podcasts. You can find more information about interviews and appearances here. I’m a regular on the Power Hour with Dr. Joanne Conaway. On Wednesdays, you can catch my weekly show, News You Need to Know.
If you need to email me, you can reach me at daisyluther 2 at gmail dot com.
Want me to help you start a successful blog, too? Go here to learn about how to schedule a consultation.
You can find me:
- Making snarky comments on Twitter
- Saying politically incorrect things and posting pictures of my pets on Facebook
- Innocently inciting the wrath of someone who wants to be offended on my Organic Prepper Facebook page, regardless of my attempts to behave myself.
- On Pinterest, not only can you find my vast collection of preparedness pins, but you can witness my weird obsession with doorknockers, vintage typewriters, and libraries.
- I don’t understand Google Plus and will likely never post there.
- LinkedIn seems pretty stuffy so I’m not there either.
If you’d like to interview me, you can find my media page here.
The information found on this website is protected by a Creative Commons copyright. That means that you are welcome to republish any content in part or in full in a digital format, but you must leave all links intact and provide full credit to the author with a link back to this website.
You can contact me at daisyluther 2 at gmail dot com.