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'The Pioneer Woman' talks about blogging family history at RootsTech conference

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6 2014 4:15 p.m. MST

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Award-winning blogger Ree Drummond, known to many as “The Pioneer Woman,” addressed thousands of RootsTech guests as a keynote speaker at the conference’s general session on Thursday morning.

She encouraged participants to use blogging as a way to record daily activities and events — even those who may feel they have nothing worth sharing.

“I started my blog on a whim, and I’m really glad I had that thought,” Drummond said. “It doesn’t have to be a serious undertaking; it can be fun. Tell your stories, no matter what they are.”

Drummond, who lives on an Oklahoma cattle ranch with her husband and four children, is a New York Times best-selling author and host of Food Network’s cooking show “The Pioneer Woman.”

She began blogging in May of 2006. Drummond uses her blog as a way to physically document the life of her family — a desire she has had since her marriage in 1996.

When Drummond got engaged to her now-husband, his mother gave Drummond a book filled with their family history.

“Something just clicked in my mind, and I voraciously read this book,” Drummond said. “I was fascinated by the characters.”

Drawing inspiration from the lives of her husband’s ancestors, Drummond eventually decided to try recording her own family’s history.

“Moments had always been in my mind,” Drummond said, “but when I started writing they ended up on the screen, and it was nice to have them all in one place.”

Drummond told her RootsTech audience that when she started out, she had little confidence in her abilities. She had read one blog in her entire life, and had no formal photography training. Through her blog, she chronicled life events such as haircuts, the crazy outfits her dog would wear, and what life was like on a ranch with small children.

“I wasn’t good at photography,” Drummond said. “I didn’t know anything about it. I had a little point-and-shoot camera and I always took pictures. I got a free blog and bought a ‘big-girl’ camera and occasionally got a good picture. Sometimes I cringe (at the old pictures), but the important thing is that I have them.”

Drummond said she fell in love with blogging because it allowed her to look at her family’s day and record things as she saw them. Likening blogs to journals and diaries, Drummond said she would choose blogging over any other documentation method.

She encouraged her audience to begin keeping family records right away, and not to procrastinate due to a lack of skills.

“You can’t wait until you are perfect at whatever medium you choose,” Drummond said.

Email: kguderian@deseretnews.com

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