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I think one of my favourite things about venturing outside of my journalism circle is finding people who aren’t trained and are trying to blog regardless. By no means am I trying to say you need a degree in order to write, but in some situations it helps. I couldn’t imagine writing this out right now without a purpose in mind, and for some people, that purpose doesn’t need a piece of paper beforehand.

Take my friend Mara. We went to the same high school, and largely lost contact after graduation. Four years later, I find her going to my university to finish her Master’s degree to become a register dietician and we catch up. Not only do I find out she’s the very definition of a food nerd, she also has a blog – Elemental Custard – where she makes tasty things, like the cupcakes above.

What was cool was hearing about where she wants to take site; she wants to combine both her love of food and her scientific knowledge in order to make something truly unique. I honestly haven’t seen a good fusion of food porn and the chemistry that makes it all taste good; that’s what intrigues me about it.

It’s also pretty fun to just talk out the process of making something like this work. I’ve been writing for close to seven years now, and it feels like I’m only just now making steps to taking writing seriously. I haven’t had a huge following during that whole time, but that’s mainly because I didn’t have time to devote to a singular product; it always felt that school, work or life just got in the way. Having that time is something I’m exploring now, and having stability behind something you can truly do for fun is saccharine.

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We made pretzels. They were awesome.

In that way, I want to help other people because it gives me perspective on what I’m doing. I like being able to say “here’s what I’ve seen works for a lot of people”, but I feel a little bit reserved doing so because I’m not exactly crushing traffic numbers myself.

But Mara’s inspiring me to just go for things without worrying about the consequences too much, because she genuinely enjoys baking, and wants to share that with you. She isn’t afraid of trying something a bit different from traditional “foodie” fare, and that takes guts. It’s admirable, and people who want to try the same thing should.

We need more variety in blogs, and people willing to take chances. It makes for a better reading list, and for better motivation to just simply try.

You should follow Elemental Custard on Facebook, and check out her site.