Who do you write your blog for? The question came after one of my recent presentations about how healthcare professionals can use social media to connect people living with diabetes.
My flippant answer to that question is ‘Oh, me and my mum. And some weird guy in Romania who seems to be really interested in my life…..’
The easy question – which is also frequently asked of me is WHY I started a blog. The answer to that one is simple. I hoped it would help me connect with others sharing my story. Because every single time I told of one of my experiences at least one other person – and usually many more – said ‘oh, me too’.
It was exactly the same as when I heard others with diabetes speaking about their lives. I wanted to jump up and down and yell out to them that it was the same for me. (And if I’m being truthful, I actually did do that a couple of times!) These sorts of connections made me feel less alone.
I considered writing a blog an extension of a lot of the work I was already doing: being the ‘here’s-one-we-prepared-earlier’ case study at meetings and information sessions. This, however, would be writing it down. I did this while I was pregnant with our daughter – I kept a weekly online diary that was published on a diabetes site. It was therapeutic and reassuring for me. An ongoing blog would give me the chance to write about and examine my real life with diabetes, and hopefully connect and share with similar folk around the world.
People tell me they like the candid, raw and honest way I tell my story; they feel they can relate. I try to inject a little humour and sometimes that works, other times it falls flat. I have been told to tone things down (I had to stop telling my ‘I will hunt you and all your family down and hurt you all if you steal my pump’ story because my husband said that with my Italian heritage and (falsely) assumed mafia connections that people would get scared*).
I decided when I started writing my blog that there were certain things I would not write about. I would not share others’ stories and I would never, ever write about things told to me in confidence.
I occasionally write about my family and friends, but it is usually incidental to the real issue I’m writing about – sometimes it helps illustrate the experiences and give context.
But what you see is very much what you get. I am conscious that loved ones and people who actually know me and my family read this and sometimes that makes it difficult to write about the more challenging things I’m facing. I don’t want to worry people, but equally, I don’t want to sugar coat things either.
Everything I write, though, whether it is about a particular experience or my circumstances, it is all honest. Sometimes too honest. There have been times that I’ve written something and then the phone calls have started as friends and family check in with me to make sure I am okay.
So who do I write this blog for? I guess it’s actually the same reason as why I write this blog. Mostly – and selfishly – for myself. To connect and find support. And I’m really lucky, because that has been exactly what’s happened!
*I may have stopped telling the story, but that doesn’t make it any less true!
I’m Paris-dreaming at the moment. The gorgeous Belle du Berry and the rest of Paris Combo are providing the soundtrack. Happy Friday!