Farmer or Writer?

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It’s officially been a year since my book hit shelves. I’m really proud to have put out something that people anywhere can hold in their hands and immerse themselves in. It was a very difficult process for me that did not come very naturally, so I’m glad I made it through in one piece. During the process of writing the book, I was farming in the Catskills and running back to Brooklyn to be with Neil and photograph hive inspections to fill up the pages between chapters. As a first time author, I should have left myself more time and headspace to feel everything out as I went. Instead, I went balls-to-the-wall on all of my urban and rural farming endeavors (remember Hayseed’s? The year after we built the Homestead with the help of friends) and there are a few things I wish I could have done differently. I’m guilty of jumping on all opportunities for fear that they would not be there when the timing was “better”. Maybe not the best move but I thought I could handle it at the time. All in all, The Rooftop Beekeeper is a fine book and a great primer for new, aspiring urban beekeepers. I stand behind it. It’s a book I would have wanted for myself as a new beekeeper and it’s a really good feeling to have something like that to your name.

There are times where I wish I was out on the road doing promotion for the book and meeting readers, but I made a conscious choice to keep chipping away at the farm. If I am going to write anything worth paying attention to, I need to be out there in the world learning and filling up my heart and brain with as much experience-backed know-how as possible. I feel like it’s the right thing to do, though the desire to blog and social media it up in the hopes of selling lots of copies and getting future deals is very, very present as well.

I realize that I come on here a lot to say that I’m having a hard time with this or that and it’s no good. It’s not compelling writing. Who wants to read that? I certainly don’t. The simple fact is that 75% of the time, it’s just me here holding it down and so, posting a few pictures on Instagram on a nearly daily basis is about as much distraction from running a farm as I can manage right now. And that’s ok. I need to forgive myself for that. I am trying.

To be honest, I miss the stream of validation that comes from posting things on the internet with frequency but I’m beginning to like the person that I’m becoming now that I have gotten a bit of psychic distance from the blogosphere.  I have bad days and good days, days where I want to write and days where I feel like I have nothing to share, but I’m out and focused on my business and personal life. It’s as it should be. I take great pride in that I’m getting stronger and better at something that I used to admire others for doing so well.

So, I guess right now I just need to pick one thing and slay at it. Am I a farmer? A Blogger? An Author? I suppose I am technically all of those things, but if you were to ask the prickly little beast in my heart what it feels like it is, it would grumble something unintelligible and shout FARMER! with beady eyes ablaze. I want to be a great farmer. And right now I just feel like I’m an “eh” farmer.

So, you may not see any books from me for a long time, if ever (publishing seems somewhat unforgiving) and maybe I’ll never write another recipe post for as long as I live. There is one thing I can promise, and it’s that I will return and share in earnest, from the heart and when it feels like the appropriate time.

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