Wow!! So this afternoon I heard a ping go off on my phone, and was shocked to see on my WordPress App that thanks to a wonderful blogger, I was nominated for this by a complete stranger (Broken Down Body)! Wow! I am honoured and shocked and deep down really very chuffed. ….Well, she isn’t a complete stranger, she has been one of my followers for a while now (thanks Ren!)… she is also a fellow Chronic Illness and Eeds champ, and like me (I think anyway) she keeps it real. So if you want a different perspective from another Eeds gal, then head on over and check her out…
Anyway, so this nomination has a bunch of criteria (see the bottom of this) and here goes:
- How I started my blog: … well, I have been blogging for about 5 years now, (somewhere else and under a pen name), but nearly a year ago when I was diagnosed with mah Eeds, it was such an overwhelming time, with so many overwhelming feelings, the information was so vast and complicated that it felt like I was trying to drink out of a firehose, and suddenly everything about my health and my children’s health that had been such a massive issue in our lives, made sense… Suddenly my brain was working at a million miles an hour and I needed to get all these thoughts and processes onto paper (screen) to sort it, share it with family and loved ones, and keep track of it all. It was primarily for me, but it was also about anyone who was even vaguely interested in me or my family. And this was the way that made sense for me. It has been an incredible year with all kinds of triumphs and losses and dramas and hurts (both physical and emotional) and one of the massive ups was that I found myself so heard, welcomed and supported by complete strangers… strangers who were walking similar (or sometimes even eerily identical) paths to mine. Some who further down the road than I was, and others who were way behind me. So this blogging journey is very different to my Art blogging and my pen name blogging, but it is one that is vital to my emotional (and sometimes even physical) sanity and strength. It also gives me a platform to voice the answers to the many questions that I get asked a lot, without having to constantly repeat myself. It gives somewhere that I can point people to, so that should they want to, they can hear and understand the answers.
- Advice to new bloggers: Hmmm… that’s a hard one, as I am not sure that I am in any position to give advice. But I am very happy to share what I have personally learnt from other bloggers:
- 1: Be yourself. There are many people out there who are successful bloggers who create an image that is rosy, perfect and so on, and yes some of them do that very well. But for the most part, from what I have seen, the majority of successful bloggers are real and transparent and don’t have any airs or graces.
- 2: Choose your audience and stick to it. Sadly, you can’t please everyone, and you can’t cover all topics. For me my audience was myself and my family, but as it turns out, the greatest group of followers by far are complete strangers walking a similar journey. This third group are now my greatest audience and in many ways I therefore write for them. My wording is often towards my family and friends, but my fellow spoonies also struggle with sharing their worlds with their family and friends and so we learn from each other in how we do that… (I hope that that even makes sense).
- 3: Choose your perspective. I have a friend who is going through an ugly divorce. It is her first divorce (and hopefully for her, her only!), and she is blogging about it. It isn’t getting very far and that hurts her deeply. We chatted about it and came to the conclusion that she was wrongly pitching herself as an expert on divorce. She isn’t an expert at all. We read through many successful blogs, and one of the things that I noticed was that people speak from one of a few different perspectives. Those who (like the girl in 27 dresses), has been a bridesmaid countless times, can blog from the perspective of an expert. She has the credentials behind her. But someone who is a bridesmaid for the first time appears to find more success in coming from the perspective of someone on a journey who is inviting others to go along in it with her. Someone who has travelled extensively can blog as an expert, but not someone taking their first plane trip. And if you aren’t sure which one is you, … then go with the option of inviting people on your journey. Few people can get away with writing as an expert, handing out advice, unless they have extensive background expertise (even a seasoned traveller appears to struggle to be an expert when they go to somewhere that they haven’t been to before, yet pitches themselves as the expert).
- 4: Write what you know about, not what you think you know about. This is Kara, and she has this disclaimer at the bottom of her “About” page: “I’m a professional patient, and I’m well on my way to my very own honorary medical degree“. She makes this claim somewhat tongue in cheek, but when you read her blog it becomes abundantly clear that has earned this claim! She has a bunch of chronic illness challenges, and like many of us on this journey she has had to educate herself on her own body, health, challenges and so on, and is passionately active about finding things that work…. for her. She never tells anyone else what they should do, and is very open about her blog being about her. She is an expert, but she still writes from the perspective of taking people with her on her journey rather than doling out advice, and she knows about everything that she writes about.
- Who do I nominate (who I believe deserve to be recognised?) … well, seeing as both Kara and Ren have already been nominated…. and so has The Hippy Geek who is another great “Eeds Read” and I want to nominate people who I really think deserve it, here are a couple who I didn’t have to think twice about, but aren’t Eeds related:
- synssculpeyblog who is also a polymer clay artist, and…
- Ruth Johnston who is a young mum struggling with ME/CFS.
Thanks again so much for my nomination !!
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Write a post and display the award.
3. Share in your post a brief history of how your blog started.
4. Give advice to new bloggers.
5. Nominate other bloggers you feel deserve the award.
6. Let each blogger know that you have nominated them.