All, Because of the Internet
I feel so lucky to be following the homesteading dream at this time in history. We are all lucky! I have an international design and agricultural research station right in my living room. Thanks to the web I am able to make a living from this farm. I can contact publishers about books, magazines about freelance, clients about logos, and customers about lamb, pork, and fleeces. I can talk to blog and book readers, build my readership, and learn more about their stories and farms through social media. I have arranged for chicks to be delivered (ordered online) and just launched an eBook which over 120 people have downloaded from Amazon already to enjoy. Amazing. All of because of the internet.
I’m so very grateful for this double-edged sword. Cold Antler Farm wouldn’t be possible without it. Long before I ever had my first book deal I was writing about my adventures in newbie-homesteading on various blogs. And I sold my first book to Storey after going to their website (from an Idaho farmhouse with dial-up) and reading the requirements for a book proposal. I wrote one up that weekend, had an editor friend at my office proof it, and then mailed it with a designed logo for my book idea on the package. They contacted me about a week later. All, of because of the internet.
As much as us homesteaders like to accept the Luddite ideals and simple living - I can’t say enough good things about the technology I use every day. I like being alive at the privileged and lucky time in history to pick and choose what I want to use, gadget wise. I don't want to use a cell phone, but I have this 7-year-old iMac in my living room and it’s where I can watch movies and TV shows, play games, design logos, and write books. It’s where I sit a few hours a day working. And I love that my twitter is always open to keep up with the news, quips, politics and stories of the people I follow.
Twitter connections have proven to be the most amazing professional leads, in my experience. And because of it I have reached out to people I would never get to talk to without it. The NY Times piece from last month started as a DM on twitter by the writer. I’ve met so many amazing authors there and have been invited out to their homes and events. All, because of the internet.
As much of a pain in the ass as technology can be, it’s worth it to me. To know there are people who care about the farm. To know there are people who know me better than they might know their own cousins? Just because I am able to be honest here about this One Woman Farm? Amazing.
I have made lifelong friendships over this blog. I have championed and shared 6 books. I started out in a rented farmhouse on the other side of this continent, and now I am on my own piece of land I own and am fighting to keep. I don’t know how much time I have left here. Last month was rough and the farm is threatened. But there is still hope. I don’t know if tomorrow I'll sell a book or get a foreclosure notice in the mail. Things are never boring, that's for sure.
I do know that because of this farm I have been able to love every day of my life here, even when scared or anxious. I’ve been able to photograph and document the ups and down of a feral life and even pay off 20% of this little house and land, as a single woman. This farm has given my life meaning, community, and a reason to get up and fight.
Sometimes people tell me that they felt they could also farm or get their own piece of land because they saw me do it. That is the highest compliment I could possibly ever get. To know someone else took a stab at their dream because they cultivated enough courage from this place to see it in themselves? That is more successful to me then keeping an address or a dark horse. And it’s all because of the internet.
Cold Antler Farm is free to read. If you feel the writing was worth a dollar, click here for a voluntary donation. It really does help keep the lights on.