Garden writer Chris Eirschele describes how her passion for gardening was planted, and how it sprouted and blossomed into a gardening blog and a career as a freelance writer. She blogs all thing garden, and can help us learn how to stay passionate about what we love.
“What keeps me passionate about gardening is the variety of topics I write about on my garden blog and on other sites,” says Chris. “What also drives me is the need to learn how to be a professional writer. I usually find myself among writers who have been publishing their work for decades. I feel I am always catching up to be worthy of being published among them.”
Many gardening blogs are planted, but few are nurtured to fruition. How did Chris do it? Here, she shares how her passion for gardening developed, and how she earns a living as a freelance garden blogger and writer. I hope her story inspires you to follow your own passions, whether you’re enchanted by blogging or gardening,
By the way – the image of the Nostalgic Bicycle Iron Plant Stand isn’t one of Chris’ garden creations! I needed a pretty image and it reminds me of a garden, so I included it in this post about starting a gardening blog.
How Do Gardening Blogs Grow?
My questions about passionate gardening and garden blogs are in bold; Chris’ answers are in her own words.
When did your passion for garden blogging develop? Gardening and writing arrived on my doorstep years apart, and each with quite a few diversions. I became a gardener in my mid 20s although I was influenced by gardeners from the time I was born. Hence my ebook, Garden Truths From My Family’s Stories. I became a professional garden writer in 2006, after I left college and moved to Ohio.
Do you ever get bored with writing about gardens? No, I cannot say I am bored with my gardening blogs or writing. I came to garden writing (and writing as a career) late in life. I had two or three different career jobs before this. My writing projects have been a series of different goals, different publishers and in, both, print and electronic form. My first project is the one I am still working on, at the slowest pace and finishing remains elusive to me: it is a cozy mystery fiction that takes place in a greenhouse where dogs and cats live.
Do you write for different garden blogs and websites? I wrote garden pieces, but then took a bit of a turn into garden/travel for a year with BucketTripper. The publisher wanted first person stories, it was a challenge but I liked it. I no longer write garden articles there, but the editorial experience was instructive. My fiction book is still in the works, not forgotten at all, though I have begun to internalize my thoughts on it and talk less and less about it.
If you’re starting a garden blog but need blogging tips, read What is a Good Blog? 10 Tips From the Best Bloggers.
How is your gardening and your writing intertwined? Before my writing, my gardening had evolved from home gardener to Extension Master Gardener to horticultural student and then to garden writer. To understand my writing is to understanding my gardening. I moved around a lot during my adult life and for that my gardens moved around too, or were left behind and then I started over at the next home. Now, I am writing for Decoded Plants and Decoded Parenting.
What do garden bloggers need to know? I consider networking a person’s number one asset, no matter what he/she does in life. It has been a tool in my gardening blogging and writing that has repaid itself over and over again. But I have been wrong about a couple of publisher choices I have made, and my one Achilles’ heel is learning when to stop writing or turn down an opportunity.
If gardening blogs are your passion but you want to branch out into freelance writing, read How to Transition From Blogger to Freelance Writer.
What would surprise people to learn about gardening? My gardens are more test labs than they would ever be potential photo spreads for Fine Gardening (she says with a laugh!). My dad was like that, so I am confident some of his attitudes about plants rubbed off on to me. I like pretties and colors but even more I like to try out plants (which works very well when you move from the northerner Midwest to the low desert in the Southwest.) I am a sucker for trial gardens. My husband is flustered by this because he still thinks a gardener should buy a plant once and it should live forever. Sshhh, don’t tell him that does not happen to even the most experienced gardening blogger.
What about garden writing? I am a brand writer, a gardening blogger and, for a time, a travel writer. I write, therefore, I must garden and I must travel to gardens. Well, maybe not so much the traveling, but I have lucked out with some opportunities. I have been told my writing is breezy and that I am very good at finding “the” story. As much as I know about gardening, I also know there is always more about plants to learn. Even the most established garden blogs and writers should assume nothing.
How passionate are you about gardening? I used to say I could talk about plants all day long, and I figured I could write about them all day, too. It is not exactly like that. Life can get in the way. In that way, being a freelance garden blogger is just like any other kind of work. Blogging and gardening and being a freelance garden writer requires balance.
What would surprise people to learn about gardening blogs? For some reason, when people hear I am a writer, the subject of pajamas comes up. But pajamas and dogs, with whom I have lived my entire adult life, do not mix!
Chris Eirschele is a freelance garden writer who writes on how to grow plants, stories in the garden and wherever garden paths lead. Her work has been published in publications such as Missouri Gardener, Milwaukee Magazine, Over the Back Fence and Greenhouse Grower. Her garden articles have also been published in the Mulch, BucketTripper, Decoded Parenting, and Decoded Plants. Chris writes at her garden blog Stay Gardening. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has been a member of the Garden Writers Association since 2006.
If you’re interested in freelance writing as a career, read How Writing Careers Happen.
And if you have any questions on garden blogs, gardening, or writing, please ask below! Or follow Chris’ links to her blogs and sites