I am very pleased to announce I have been nominated for the Encouraging Thunder Award. This award recognises bloggers who are inspiring and encouraging to their readers. It is always humbling and blessing to be recognised for your efforts and I cannot express how surprised and pleased I was to receive this nomination.
The blogger who nominated me is Gentlementalannie.com (what a cute name!) and you can follow the hyperlink to her page.
As part of my nomination I will share a brief story of how and why I started my blog, as well as some of the design influences. I will also mention my best advice for new bloggers.
How and why I started blogging
I have always been a storyteller, both orally and in text. I was forever being told that ‘I should write that down’ and to ‘make a memoir of my life’.
As I started to tally up all the illnesses that had happened to me, at the tender age of 19, I thought to myself how ideal it might be to track it online for others facing the same kind of questions and dilemmas as I was. It occurred to both my parents and I that the access to support for youth chronic illnesses, meeting methods and information sharing relevant to young adults with physically and mentally debilitating health issues was poor. It was sparse. It was in shambles. It took all of our time and energy to go to all the places and collect the relevant knowledge.
I started This Lupus Life to share my story, my experiences and my knowledge. As I have progressed admittedly my posting has become more therapeutic for me and less about sharing information for you. I find that interesting in its own way.
The page was initially named ‘Nitya Nata’ which is sanskrit for Eternally Dancing as I feel like I am dancing through my life like a leaf on the wind.
The dandelion image is iconic for me. The symbolism is that it is such an unobtrusive growth. They are everywhere and they just keep spreading. They are unwanted and unplanned. Many people rarely notice they are there, but the ones that take note, seem to encounter them a lot.
Now re-read that last thinking about the symptoms and impact of a chronic illness. Feel the irony with me as you read it a third time imagining I am speaking not of dandelions, but of lesions.
Predictor, thy name is Jessie.
Even my business card, which shows the header image on one side and a green silhouette of the seeds blowing in the wind is symbolic as modern society appears to experience more autoimmune diseases or chronic illnesses than those of future generations. I may be wrong but that is what I feel. The seeds indicate the spreading of the illnesses.
Yellow is for positivity.
Green is for nature and health. Again, you need to question if this is irony.
My best advice for new bloggers, or writers of any preference are two pieces of wisdom I hold dearest to my own heart that I collected from two of the best writers I know.
The first is Trudi Canavan. When asked what she would say is most important about writing, authenticity or accuracy, she said something similar to what I will paraphrase here:
If you cannot write well in respect to grammar, fluency, accuracy, that is no need to be deterred. A great writer is made through feeling. Any story will be felt and understood if you mean what you put into words. Write what you feel, and the reader will respond to that genuine level of engagement.
The second piece of advice is from Stephen King. Again I am paraphrasing so I apologise if I marr his words or destroy them in translation:
A good writer should spend [something like] four hours every day reading and write [either] 1000 [or]2000 words every day.
The first advice is what prompts me into the ease of writing and caused me to carry a notebook everywhere for all my thoughts. The second is the reason my grades have skyrocketed up to high D and low HD averages at university. Assignments are no longer last minute or looming sentences over my head, but joyful research experiences and completed at least a fortnight before their due dates.
Gentle Kindness (not just because this is my nominator, but also because I love the reads)
Unfortunately, I’ve not had much time to find or follow many of my regulars, and these are the only ones I can genuinely say I keep up with at present. It’s bad form and I am sorry. Please forgive me.