Why I Blog

Through my years of blogging I occasionally have the need to process why I blog. 

Follow up posts:


Something you may not know about me is that for a decade I haven't earned any money.

Nada, nothing, zilch. And not because my hubby is some big shot executive earning the big bucks - ha! We have managed to do this because of God's provision (free housing for 6 months during a time when Damien was earning very little) and a lot of frugal (not cheap) decisions. But this post is not about how our family of 5 has lived on one modest income for 10 years. It's about blogging... eventually.


First a little history

10 years ago I was an university student in my last year of an education degree. I was also a wife and homemaker, pregnant with our first child.

That last term of school was intense. I was "working" full time as an (unpaid) student teacher. We moved that spring, in the final weeks of my practicum. I graduated in April, nested for a month and then welcomed our first born Celine in May.

We had no intention that I would work outside the home when we had babies and little ones. But someday I figured I might do something to earn a little extra...

Someday never came because we moved to the United States when Celine was one year old. We have been here for over 8 years and for that whole time only Damien has had a work visa.

I am not legally allowed to earn money.

We are in the process of applying for permanent residency (go figure, Canadians immigrating to the US!). When we are granted that, our lawyer says it could be another three years, I will finally be able to earn money. Money, like the stuff you need for groceries, the mortgage, and the occasional vacation.

Finding my own path

What does this have to do with blogging?

Although I can't earn money right now, someday I will. And I'm hoping (don't laugh I have a fragile ego) I'll be able to sell/trade/barter my creative skills in exchange for things our family needs and wants.

Things like art and music lessons or a trip to France - a mama can dream can't she?

Dare I even say it? That someone will value my writing and photography (and who knows what else) enough to exchange something for it.

There I said it. I want to go somewhere with photography and writing.

Right now the most logical place to start is with my blog, the easiest means of self publishing. But because I can't sell (remember I can't earn $) my experience or skills as homeschooler, photographer or writer I get satisfaction simply in knowing that people are visiting my blog.

Hopefully they are inspired, encouraged or challenged about something I wrote. Maybe they'll even start to eat more local vegetables, enjoy an afternoon outdoors with their children, re-think homeschooling, plant a little garden, go on a family hike, show kindness to a neighbor, pursue a creative life.

Creating and sharing an authentic (I have bad days too) lovely family life is my message and I'll be honest - I want people to read it.

I don't earn anything from people visiting this blog or clicking on links (in case you're wondering) but I get immense gratification just knowing people are reading.

To be sure, I'm not the only camera wielding mama who is hoping to unleash her creative genius on the blogging world. There is nothing like linking your way through the blogosphere to make you feel like a really little fish in a really big pond. That's ok.

This blog which started 4 years ago as a way to keep extended family in the loop has now grown into a creative outlet for me. A venture that someday may add value to our family.

Some mamas quilt, scrapbook or paint. I take photos and blog.

Thanks for joining on the journey.

Do you have a blog with a similar purpose? A creative outlet to share your take on life with the world? Please share a link in the comments (ps. You don't have to be a mama). 

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

  • Jamie

    Jamie on Nov. 12, 2008, 7:06 p.m.

    I'm not a mamma (yet) but I do blog for a creative outlet too. Blogging makes me feel like I'm part of something. And when I see people are actually reading my blog too...it feels like a payoff for sure.

    I really enjoy reading your blog and checking out your photos. Keep up the great work!


  • Shawna

    Shawna on Nov. 12, 2008, 7:38 p.m.

    My blog is partially to keep in touch with my family, partially to document Bella's childhood since I don't scrapbook, but mostly it's a creative outlet and a photography learning experience. Some day I hope to take pictures of subjects other than my daughter. :O)


  • Fern @ Life on the Balcony

    Fern @ Life on the Balcony on Nov. 12, 2008, 8:34 p.m.

    I don't think that's crazy at all. Bloggig is a great way to establish your credibility on a subject. I'd love it if I could earn a living designing container gardens for people (I blog about container gardening) but I don't really know if someone would pay me (or barter) to do that. But if a magazine noticed my blog, and I got to write "real" articles, that would be okay too!


  • Kirsten

    Kirsten on Nov. 13, 2008, 6:56 p.m.

    I think that's a fantastic reason for blogging! I do it for pretty much the same reason...creative outlet, updating friends and family, and to do something for me. I hope to someday make a little book for our family with it. Chronicle our life as it was...I guess I should start posting more often! hehe


  • Anonymous

    Anonymous on Nov. 13, 2008, 9:55 p.m.

    Your blog is absolutely fantastic. Always has been. Much like your families lives, aspiring hippies like myself draw a tremendous amount of inspiration from your photographs, experiences and your writing technique too!! i blog mostly because i am bored, because i need to rant (and on the internet the audience is more than welcome and free to ignore me), because frankly the internet, like a lot of technology, scares me, and because a couple of family members and old friends check up on us that way. Confession - i like blogging. . . so much for quazi-amish!!


  • spread your wings

    spread your wings on Nov. 17, 2008, 4:07 p.m.

    I can appreciate what you've said. I am new to blogging - only 3 months or so - but it has provided such a needed outlet for me. I started my blog (our blog) as a way of keeping in touch with my daughter who just started college. It is our way of expressing ourselves and sharing a bit of our new life with each other and yes, also as a way of sharing our creative talents with the blogging community. We keep our blog pretty simple but I so enjoy linking through to the other bloggers that have so much more to share and express. I am amazed, daily, by the talent and inspirational thoughts that I see here. I have found that I enjoy blogging WAY more than I ever anticipated - I look forward each morning to reading what people have to say and I am rewarded by the many kind and sincere comments that others leave on our blog. It means more than I know how to express.


  • Annie

    Annie on Dec. 14, 2009, 6:27 p.m.

    It is so nice to read a bit about you. Thank you for sharing. I too blog as an outlet. It is so cathartic for me. I started last spring and am so happy I did. I love the sense of community it has created in my life. I love checking in on people and getting inspired by others.



  • Erika

    Erika on May 12, 2010, 2:27 a.m.

    I recently found your blog and am so inspired and thoroughly enjoying reading it. You are fantastic writer and photographer. Go for your dreams! Your example will inspire your children. I've been recently reading a lot of homeschooling blogs and when I bumped into yours I instantly exhaled and felt at peace. Your blog has a wonderful feeling of tranquility and inspiration.

    I will definitely be back!

    Warm regards, Erika http://mudspice.wordpress.com


  • Holly

    Holly on Nov. 20, 2010, 12:36 p.m.

    Renee, Your perspective really resonates with me. I, too, started a blog to stay in touch with a distant family but also because I've always been better about expressing myself through writing. I hoped that by putting all my thoughts/concerns/hopes/dreams down somewhere more permanent than my swirling mind I might gain better perspective on why exactly I do what I do.
    I've only just begun to explore your blog but I so very much like what I see. I would invite you to visit my blog when you get a moment or two. Thanks for writing.


  • queen of string

    queen of string on Feb. 11, 2011, 10:43 p.m.

    I find myself in a situation with similarities to yours. I sold my own business and moved to Canada with my son, so I could be with my long lost high school sweet heart. We are now married and I must wait to see if Canada will allow him to sponsor us and grant us permanent residence. It is hard to feel unwanted in a country and to not be allowed to work when you always have and want to. I am about to start blogging to stay sane. I try to be frugal and enjoy homemaking and simple activities, so contribute that way. Maybe I should look at bartering some skills too.


  • Catherine Forest

    Catherine Forest on July 25, 2011, 1:21 a.m.

    Hi Renee, I just found your through Francesca (Fuoriborgo). She suggested I get in touch with you (or at least visit your blog) since I am planning on writing a book on raw food for families in French. Actually, are you French? You might find this pretty funny, but to me, you look Québécoise... Anyways, I have been going through your blog and just loving what you are writing. I am an homeschooling mom of 3 too, gardener, ex-farmer, photographer, writer, crafter, cook (and uncook!) taking the next step towards our dream (the farm and the self-sufficient lifestyle was the first dream, it was great, but oh so demanding!), which is to travel as a family. Let's keep in touch!


  • Emmie

    Emmie on Aug. 23, 2012, 1:15 a.m.

    I love your blog, and I just ordered your book and gobbled it up!

    Thank you for sharing your life and inspiring others. The book was wonderful and very validating for me.


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