"Who are these bloggers? They’re not trained editors at Vogue magazine. There are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of what really good editors have created and done. Bloggers create a kind of a popularity but they are not the experts. We have to understand that.” ~ Martha Stewart
I was not bothered as much by what she said as with the disrespectful tone she used. I have been a creative blogger for over five years, and over the course of those years, I have personally met and come to know hundreds of creative bloggers. They are my friends. They have my admiration, respect, and undying devotion. I love them for who they are.
So Martha, you ask "Who are these bloggers?" This is how I see them:
These bloggers are women who are creative, hardworking and passionate about their work. They spend countless hours writing up tutorials not because they are trying to sell a product, but because they want to share their ideas with the readers that they love.
These bloggers don't have a trained staff of professional cameramen taking pictures of their projects. Most of them have no photography training. They are working with the best camera they can afford, making backdrops out of wrapping paper, old wood, or whatever else they can find. If they don't have natural light indoors, they stand outside, often times in the dead of winter, so they can create beautiful photographs of their creations.
These bloggers don't have paid assistants that test out their projects until they get them "just right." They work alone, and they work hard. Sometimes they fail, but they don't let that stop them. They try again. And again. And sometimes again. They learn from their mistakes, and share that knowledge with others. They realize that they are not perfect, but that there can be beauty in imperfection.
These bloggers don't have paid staff to purchase their supplies, stage their photos, and clean up their messes. Instead, they have small budgets, diapers to change, laundry to do, husbands to support, children to teach, and houses to clean. And yet amid the chaos of life, they still find time to create amazing projects to share with other women just like them.
These bloggers haven't been trained in the culinary arts. They take casseroles to friends in need, volunteer for bake sales, take homemade soup to church potlucks, and make classroom treats for every holiday on the calendar. They make meals for their loved ones day in and day out; not because it pads their pocketbooks, but because it fills their hearts.
These bloggers support each other, and their community of readers. When one falls, the others reach out to help her stand again. They help women dealing with infertility, wayward children, depression, financial difficulties, cancer, and a host of other challenges, often times while carrying the same burden themselves. They do not do this because it is a good "PR" move, or because it is a tax ride-off. They do it because they are good people who want to help others.
I don't know what constitutes your definition of an expert Martha, but I do know what constitutes mine.
And in my book, these bloggers are all experts at one thing.
Everyday women like me.
They have inspired me to do things I never dreamed of doing.
Because of these bloggers, I overcame my fear of power tools and can now install beadboard, make shelves, and cut baseboards.
I feel confident in my ability to paint my own house, re-finish furniture, and make home repairs.
I can now take a thrift store piece of "junk", and turn it into a piece of art.
I can decorate my home without spending a fortune.
All because these bloggers had the courage to try something new, and the desire to share their new-found knowledge with others. They inspire millions of women around the globe every single day.
These bloggers have helped me become a better person. I'll take that kind of an expert any day.