Serendipity? Hard Work? Or a Little of Both?


About three years ago, at what felt like the exact moment the publishing world imploded, a new magazine showed up on shelves here in Oregon: 1859 Oregon’s Magazine. I was immediately smitten and have been a faithful reader ever since. I love that they cover our whole state. I’m inspired by their stories about people – worthy of reading whether you live in this state or not. And when most magazines are struggling to stay in business, 1859 is moving from 4 issues a year to 6 issues a year starting this summer.

In January, when I wrote my writing goals for 2012, I typed the first one as:

  1. Query to get published in at least one regional glossy starting with 1859.

I am a fan of setting goals each year. Not lofty ones like “get in shape” or “organize the entire house including the garage.” No. I prefer small, step-by-step goals that I can realistically accomplish. One regional glossy this year, that seemed manageable.

I also believe that the most important part of my 2012 mantra: Be present. Trust the process – your own process. And keep moving forward. is the part that says, Keep moving forward.

Meaning for me, someone who wants to continually improve her writing and have it published, I have to write.

It seems so basic, doesn’t it? But honestly, for years, decades even, I thought about writing…a lot. I’d read these amazing books and think, “I could do that.” I only wrote when the moment moved me and filed it away. But, I didn’t sit in the chair and do the hard work of writing every day. And I definitely didn’t take the next, more frightening step, of showing my writing to the public at large.

But in order to be a writer, you have to write. Even on the days when it’s all clichéd crap, which many days it is.

A few years ago, I grew tired of thinking about writing. I was sick of listening to myself, “For crying out loud, quit talking about it and start doing it. What example are you setting for your kids? Your daughter?” which is when I started with my yearly, attainable goals. That first year spawned this blog with the goal of writing regularly and putting it out there. Since then, I have done many things, to “keep moving forward.” Some took more courage than others but all took the hard work of simply writing…every day. (Ok, maybe not on the weekends.)

In March, I received a phone call from the Editor at 1859 asking if I’d be interested in “interviewing” to be their new Home Grown Chef. They had seen my blog and really liked what I was doing here. I would be responsible for writing a food column, submitting an original recipe, possibly photographs, cooking in an on-line video, and writing a monthly blog post. After a few phone calls, some emails, and cartwheeling through the house, I was hired as 1859’s Home Grown Chef.

I am thrilled to be a part of this publication. My first blog post is already up on their website. You can check it out here.

My first column and recipe will be in the July/August issue, which I believe comes out sometime in June.

I’m telling you this story not to be boastful (although, I am darned excited,) but to possibly inspire you in some small way to start doing whatever it is you’ve been “thinking about” for months, years…or decades. Who knows where it will lead. Just keep moving forward.


  1. Woo to the hoo! That’s perfect for you. So cool. Congratulations!

  2. Woohoo, Carrie!! So proud, so proud. And so glad to be introduced to this magazine….very cool. Keep on keepin’ on. You’re doing amazing things. Looking forward to sharing New England farm markets with you in July.

  3. Julie Pitcher says:

    Congratulations, Carrie!

  4. Great post, Carrie! I, too, am a firm believer in writing goals and telling the universe exactly what you want. I could tell you stories!

    I had blast photographing you for the story and I can’t wait to see the final spread!


    • I can’t wait to see the final spread as well. Such fun working with you, you talented gal!!

  5. Now I’ll have to re-up my subscription. your success is a direct result of your hard work and awesomeness. congratulations.

  6. Pam Ballo says:

    Carrie this is FANTASTIC! Incredible work and kudos to you for getting clear and continuing to move. That is definitely the key and your raw talent combined with your passion and drive create a perfect recipe 😉

  7. What wonderful news! My vote is for hard work. I’m so glad that I can read your posts online. Congrats!

  8. Laurie Walker says:

    Congratulations, Carrie! I’ve so enjoyed your blog – you are incredibly talented. Good for you for jumping in and sharing with the rest of us. Can’t wait to pick-up my first issue of 1859. Embarrassed to say I haven’t heard of it…but am certain I’ll be a regular reader now.

    • Carrie says:

      Thanks, Laurie! I’ll be checkin’ to make sure you go out and buy yourself a copy of 1859. 🙂

  9. Nicole says:

    Carrie, that is fantastic! It also happens to be my new favorite magazine, I look forward to reading your story!

  10. Kathleen says:

    Carrie, this is so cool! You seem so surprised with yourself, but I am not surprised at all…you have a gift and a way about you that needs to be shared with and enjoyed by others. It is great to see your audience grow. I love that magazine as well – not only do I enjoy each copy, I save them!
    Thank you for being a beacon and reminder to follow our passions and listen to that little voice that keeps tugging at us.

    • Carrie says:

      Kathleen, you always have such a thoughtful way with words. Thank you, my friend…

  11. Christy says:

    Looking forward to reading more inspirations from Ms. Carrie Minns! Congratulations!!!

  12. Oh Carrie! Thank you for sharing your success with us! I am so, so very proud of you! But more importantly I love that you saw a glimpse of your future and walked toward it. You are a blessing. Woo hoo!

  13. PapaBeat says:

    That’s my little girl. Really proud of all you do.

  14. I am so proud of you sister! Your are inspiration personified!

  15. Congratulations! And thank you for the information on this magazine, as a former Oregonian I would love to read it. I really agree with you goal mantra, especially “keep moving forward”, and “trust the process”, there will be set backs along that way, which really are great learning experiences, and a part of the process.

  16. Jen Nurse says:

    Ah, so proud of you! I get teary every time I read one of your posts & marvel at the irony of both of us ending up in the food world. I’m going to start reading the magazine (even though I’m in S.F.!) XO Jen

    • Carrie says:

      Jen!! I was just boasting about “my dear friend who is a pastry chef in SF” to my 12-year-old a day or so ago. He was quite impressed. What does that say about us that we’ve both ended up with food as our focus? Thank you for letting me know you were here. Miss you!! xo

  17. Janelle says:

    What a perfect job for you! You’ll be great!

  18. Robyn | Add a Pinch says:

    Congratulations!!!! This is perfect for you!

  19. Christy Raedeke says:

    Carrie, that is fantastic news! You are a great fit for 1859. I’ll go check you out on their blog right now. Hearty congratulations!

  20. Wendy K says:

    Congratulations, Carrie! What fabulous news.

    • Carrie says:

      Thanks, Wendy! And I think this would be the perfect magazine for you to subscribe to now to prep you for your return to Portland. 🙂

  21. Congratulations, Carrie! Love the post!

  22. Carrie! I am so so excited for you! Not surprising at all. You are so talented.

  23. Your neighnors to the north are super proud of you too! Come up nd re-visit Seattle soon! Hugs ~ Lora (P.S. I started a new job too. Check out my website if you get a moment.)

    • Carrie says:

      Thank you, thank you, Lora! And congrats to you and your new biz, Can’t wait to check out your site!

  24. Congrats from a long-time reader! I think the new year’s post on your son’s swimming experience is my very favorite thing you have written. And it has nothing to do with a recipe – which was why I started visiting in the first place!

    • Carrie says:

      Hi Kel, Thank you so much for letting me know you were here and that you’ve been a long-time reader…hopefully the writing has improved since you started reading. 🙂 Glad to know you liked the swimming piece. I rather liked that one myself…. 🙂

  25. Jennifer Sigl says:

    Congratulations!!! You are such a rock star! I think I”m going to have to subscribe…:) And…you totally deserve it – you are very talented my friend. A wonderful example you are setting for your children – hard work and persistence pays off!

  26. I’m so happy for you. Yeah! Perseverance has paid off! 🙂

  27. Hi Carrie, wow you are inspiring. Congratulations! Just keep moving forward. Attainable goals. Write every day. I will have to check back here to be inspired again, thank you.

  28. Congratulations, Carrie! Such a well deserved success on your writing journey xx

    • Thanks, Helen! And thank you for your fabulous example of what can happen with a lot of hard work….you published author you!!

  29. Katherine Burns says:

    Congratulations Carrie! I love that magazine. Enjoy your next adventure!

  30. Congrats! I love hearing about people’s successes. You are right to do cartwheels – I would too! 🙂 Good luck and enjoy the adventure.

    • Thanks, Jessica, although good thing no one was around to actually see me do the cartwheels.

  31. Carrie! I know I told you this in person (which is always better!) but congratulations! Can’t wait to see you on those glossy pages… 😉

    • Thanks, friend!! I can’t wait to see you on-stage talking about raisin’ chickens!! Only a few more weeks….

  32. Carrie – we are so lucky to have you on the 1859 team! You and your writing will be such an amazing addition to the magazine and you embody everything 1859 stands for. Thank you for sharing your amazing talents with us. Heather 🙂

  33. Hi Carrie – our mutual friend Alyson D. suggested I check out your blog. I love it! Like you, I’ve been thinking for years about becoming a published writer but have always allowed other things to take priority. I always had an “excuse.” I’ve just started a blog about my journey with breast cancer and it’s been tremendously therapeutic as well as gratifying personally.

    Congrats to you on a successful blog and on your new adventure with 1859! Here’s to doing what we’ve always dreamed of… finally!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Terri! I sure adore that Alyson D. And right back at you with a “Cheers!!” to your fight against the crappy $#%&*(@#*&$ cancer!! All good thoughts and prayers headed your way. xo