Today is the first day of #DBlogWeek. The topic for today is 'Message Monday', which basically poses the big question: "Why?" Why do we blog? Why do I blog? What is the purpose, what brings me to my laptop every so often to write a post for the diabetes community?
When I started this blog in March 2013, it was not long after I had joined Twitter for the first time in August 2012. The Great Britain Diabetes Online Community otherwise known as #GBDOC, were one of the first diabetes-related Twitter accounts that I engaged in, and from there it opened up a whole new world to me, a world of diabetes advocacy and D-Bloggers from both the UK and the US. It was fascinating, I loved that there were so many people being pro-active and doing something about their diagnosis with diabetes, using it to raise awareness and make their voices heard. One of my first blog posts I wrote was not on my own blog, but for the #GBDOC's website, so I suppose you could say I have them to thank for igniting the spark that made me create my blog!
I soon realised my blog was a brilliant outlet for me, I found myself logging onto my laptop when I wanted to rant about something, I went to my blog when I had something diabetes-related to get off of my chest. I told myself I was going to keep it up, and I did, I religiously blogged especially for the first year and a half and I really dedicated that time to getting my blog out there and getting people to read it. Through Twitter and Facebook, I then discovered a whole bunch of brilliant people, who also have diabetes and who read my blog and who encourage me to keep it up. I discovered 'diabuddies', 'd-friends' and other diabetes lingo! So not only was my blog a creative outlet for me to rant, not only was it therapeutic for me to post on it, but it became a way to connect with other people living with Type 1 Diabetes, and share stories and experiences, and support one another.
My blog was the reason Diabetes UK knew about me and invited me to speak in Parliament for them in June 2013, it then opened up a whole other world of public speaking, something I never knew that I have a little bit of a knack for, I had a new found confidence in myself through it all and before I knew it I was speaking in Parliament again in 2014, this time for JDRF. People thanked me for standing up and being a voice for them, people congratulated me on doing what I do, advocacy and being an ambassador for this disease was something that I enjoyed, and I continue to raise awareness for Type 1 Diabetes through this blog.
I love my blog, it's one of my biggest achievements and the fact that it reached over 10,000 views in the first few months alone had me beaming with pride, to be at over 70,000 views 3 years later leaves me without a doubt that this is something I want to continue to do. It has even sparked my desire to go into Social Media and editorial careers. I get to look back on my years of life with Type 1 Diabetes and I enjoy reading old blog posts about good or bad diabetes moments, to see how far I've come, to gain motivation, to find inspiration, to document the highs and lows of a life with diabetes, to get myself back on track when I've fallen out of routine and to show myself I can do it.
So why am I here? For a number of reasons actually, to be an advocate, to help myself through diabetes, to connect with other people who live with diabetes and to continue being part of a wonderful online community.