Turns out, for us, today is more than the first day of February. Today is the first day of our email newsletter, something we’ve hardly hinted at here on the blog before but that’s been in the works since the end of last year. A few of you noticed that we’ve had a signup button on the blog since December, and you’ve already subscribed. Hooray! The rest of you may or may not have any idea what I’m talking about. For that reason, we thought we’d launch the first issue not only by sending it to our charter subscribers’ inboxes, but also by posting the bulk of its content here. Going forward, this content will be strictly via email—there’s a signup button in the sidebar. If you like what you see, we hope you’ll subscribe.

And let us know if you have questions! Happy Friday! Happy February! Happy newsletter!


The Kind of Art We Make
or, the power of just being brave and starting already

Before I say anything else, I should probably say something about this newsletter. It’s our first–which makes it both exciting and terrifying–and we want you charter subscribers to know how much we appreciate your signing on. I would give each of you a cookie if I could.

Thank you.

The truth is, I’ve wanted to start a newsletter for months, but the reason I haven’t is the same reason I sometimes have writer’s block or don’t want to pick up a paintbrush or am hesitant to try a new recipe. It might be the same reason you’ve always wanted to start a blog but haven’t or, think it would be cool to try einkorn flour but avoid it instead:


Fear shows itself in all kinds of excuses and procrastinations–with newsletters, it was the voice saying, “It’s too hard,” or “Why bother?” But if Agatha Christie is right, that “the secret to getting ahead is getting started,” then the best thing to do with those excuses is ignore them. Getting started, fear or not, is exactly what I’m going to do. More in more in life, I’m seeing that this–the simply taking the step, opening the Word document, launching the website–is what separates the dreamers from the dreamer-doers.

You have to start.
You have to show up.
You have to put one foot in front of the other and do something.

One of my starts, this year, is this newsletter, which I’d like to send you once a month. I hope to fill these notes with inspirations, behind-the-scenes thoughts, upcoming news and opportunities for you to give feedback and respond–a sort of insider pack of content that lets you loyal readers in on what’s going on. It, like everything else I do, is a work in progress, so your ideas and thoughts are welcome, too.

But for now, today, in this first post, the newsletter is simply going to be this: a gentle nudge to start, for you.

Whatever the thing is that you’re wanting to try but waiting on: Why not stop waiting today? Why not book the appointment, send the email, pull out a paper and pen?

The beautiful thing about starting is that it isn’t conquering; it isn’t mastering; it isn’t figuring everything out. Starting is all about putting one foot out, into what you’re unsure of, launching out, and taking a step.

To the small things!

(Oh, and PS, speaking of starting: The watercolor header now up on the blog is the new February header at Food Loves Writing, starting today. Over the next year, it will be a regularly revolving header, reflecting a creative practice of picking up a paintbrush and, deciding to paint.)


Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Lindsey @ Pas de Deux

    Congratulations on this new endeavor! I look forward to receiving your monthly newsletter, just as I love your posts here each week. I especially love the new, rotating headers! My husband and I also are trying to make more time for our artistic pursuits this year, and your dedicated example is always a motivator for me.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thanks so much, Lindsey! Here’s to pursuing creativity together!

  2. Kathryn

    Gosh Shanna, is there anything you can’t do?! I loved your words of wisdom (and the beautiful February header).

    1. Shanna Mallon

      You’re so kind, Kathryn, especially when you speak those words to someone who’s often saying to her husband how she can’t do ANYTHING, ha! Your gracious presence in this space is always such a gift. Thank you.

  3. Jacqui

    Love, love, love. You’ve already inspired me to make this weekend really count, and to DO something, not just think about it. Also, that header! So looking forward to everything you have in store here. This space is one of my favorites.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      You are one of my favorites!

  4. Joanna

    Congratulations! Beautiful words, beautiful paintings…I can’t wait to sign up to get more of your musings.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thankful for you, friend.

  5. ileana

    So exciting! Love the new illustration for your header, by the way.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thank you!

  6. Gemma

    Congratulations, so exciting! I’m signing up now…

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thank you, Gemma. I appreciate that so much!

  7. Holly

    Your painted header! I love it. Green leaves in February—they are what everyone is longing for!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Right? The good news is our morning snowfall is mostly gone already.. and even if most of the grass is brown, I still see green leaves here and there. Spring is coming!

  8. sarah kate branine

    Loved reading the newsletter this morning! LOVE your watercolor paintings. Love. them. I want you to know that you’ve inspired me to start (and hopefully finish!) a really exciting, for me anyway, project in 2013. I’ll send you an email about it soon, but just know, I’m so grateful for your willingness to share what Christ is doing in your own life, challenging and encouraging others to do what we were created to do.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      I could say the exact same thing to you, Sarah—you’re inspired me in so many ways over the last year, including by getting me interested in watercolors! So thank you!

  9. Molly @WonderlandK

    Best wishes on the exciting new (ad)venture. Everyone’s lives seem to be so crowded with “things” so it’s always inspiring to me when I see someone brave enough to take on a new project like this.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thank you so much, Molly! Kind voices like yours definitely make pursuing a new venture less scary.

  10. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    This seems to be the perfect endeavour for you, and the start of other great things. I only know your `virtual self´, but many times I get the feeling you want to say so much more. It´s great to see talented people evolve, like with your headers, something that´s a fresh change nowadays when authenticity is so many times exchanged for numbers, as in pageviews. I´m looking forward to it Shanna!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Paula, There’s this constant tension in the blog world between wanting authenticity and wanting to be read, and I have to be honest that I feel it! I hope this place always stays a place of real, genuine inspiration and honestly. Glad to have you here.

  11. Jessie V


    1. Shanna Mallon

      Jessie! Guess who had homemade water kefir last night?! Loved it! Thanks again for the crystals!

      1. Jessie V

        YIPPEE!!! hopefully with lime juice – it’s SO yummy that way. life is good!

  12. Little Kitchie

    GREAT job on the first newsletter! I love how you wrote about fear and starting new things. Inspiring, as usual!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Aw, thanks, Marie!

  13. Jess

    Hooray! What a great step in a new, exciting direction! So glad you are offering this – another way to read your words!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thanks, Jess! : )

  14. Art & Lemons

    Well, I’m certainly glad you jumped in and started a newsletter. Lovely!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thanks, Nikki! : )

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