Why I Keep Blogging

One of the many surprises about writing a blog is that I just never know when a post will take off – or not. I was a bit surprised by the reaction to my recent post “When Bloggers Stop Blogging”. I didn’t really anticipate much of a reaction to that one; it was just one of those posts I had to write. 

Since then, I’ve been thinking about the reasons why I continue blogging. These reasons are not the same as why I started blogging. That’s a post for another day.

Writing a blog takes a fair amount of time and energy. It’s work.

So why do I keep at it?

The short answer is this:  I keep on blogging because at this point in time, I can’t imagine not blogging. It’s really that simple.

Of course as a blogger, short answers often aren’t enough, so…

I write this blog to honor and remember my mother. I write to honor my friend Rachel. I write to honor others lost to this wretched disease, some whom I have known and many more I have not. I write because in some small way I want to be here for those friends of mine presently living with metastatic breast cancer. I don’t want to leave them behind just because I’m presently NED. I write for the “newbies” entering into this maze that is cancer, always hopeful that when they read the ramblings from someone who’s been there it might help just a little. I write because I want to talk about cancer, grief and loss and this is a safe place for me (and you) to do that. I write because I believe we need to talk about such things. I write because readers and commenters matter to me, a lot.

Blogging is also my primary vehicle for breast cancer advocacy and opinionating (Is that a word? If not, it should be!) on any topic I care about. I keep blogging because I want to and I guess I still have more to say!

Who knew?

Blogs come and blogs go. This is as it should be. It has been suggested to me a couple of times (though just a couple) that perhaps it’s time for me to let it go, to turn the page, to write about other things. (Actually, I can and do write about others things too.)

I don’t believe another person can possibly know when the time has come for another blogger to move on, and suggesting that someone should move on – from whatever it might be – isn’t really appropriate. What’s right for one person may or may not be right for someone else.

For me it’s just not time yet. I know this in my heart. Will it be at some point? Of course.

There are a lot of cancer blogs out there. There are a lot of breast cancer blogs. Sadly, there will undoubtedly continue to be more.

Every blogger speaks from a somewhat different vantage point. Everyone’s voice is uniquely her own. Some of us are newbies and some of have a bit of experience under our blogger’s belt. We are a diverse yet similar bunch. Everyone’s cancer resume is a little bit different.

There is much to learn from one another and much support to offer and garner. There is a wonderful sense of community. It’s a safe place and I like it here.

I don’t want to give it up.

Not yet.

I plan to stay a while.

What about you?

Why do (or did) you write a blog?

Why do you read blogs and how many do you read on a regular basis?


29 thoughts to “Why I Keep Blogging”

  1. I blog and write for the same reason you do. I can’t not do it. It helps me sort things out. It helps me get things off my chest. And I think it might help others.

    I started the blog before I was diagnosed, and I still write about many other topics.

    I also use it as a kind of bulletin board for family and friends. I’m not a famous blogger, but I’m constantly amazed to find out from all kinds of people, with all kinds of connections to me, that they follow my blog.

    I want to demystify death, aging, illness, depression, fear, and less-than-perfect family lives. So many people feel so alone, so abnormal. They think they need to hide, and hide from, the dark things. I believe you can’t have a full life without darkness. If I take some risks on taboo topics, then maybe others will feel less alone, less weird, more lovable–and happier.

    1. Amy, I’m glad you take risks and write about the taboo topics. I’m sure you’re helping a lot of people. In some ways those are the things people need to read and talk about the most. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for your comment on my blog Nancy. There are so many of us that seem to share these same challenges after we finish treatment. For us, cancer will forever be a huge part of our lives. For our doctors, we are no longer cancer patients and they move their attention to those who are still needing medical assistance.

    We need a new type of medical professional. A position specifically set up to assist survivors with their ongoing needs. Not just medical, but physical and psychological.

    1. Jennifer, You’re very welcome. I like the way you think. I agree that there is a need for the kind of position you mention, or at the very least, better follow-up from oncologists.

  3. That’s the thing about writing and blogging–it helps you stay in touch with your heart. And your heart is saying keep writing. Write on Nancy!

    I am still a blogging newbie, but the process has taught me a lot, helped me reflect and gain insights, and I believe has also improved my writing. Sure, it takes time and effort, but it gives me focus and it allows me to put life’s experiences in a healthier perspective. Your blog is realistic, practical, heartfelt. Thanks!

    When I stop learning and growing as a blogger, maybe it will be time to stop or take a break. But I have come nowhere near that place yet, over 400 posts into this.

    1. Lisa, I guess we writers have to write no matter what. For now, my blog is a good venue for me to reflect, learn, share, advocate and just continue to grow. I don’t know how long I’ll hang around, but I’ll stay a while yet. I’m glad you plan to as well. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  4. Someone said to me the other day My blog was filled with Gloom & Doom and this is not the place they want to be in. So I began to think. Sometimes I’m not in a Happy place and additionally I don’t reveal a lot about myself. It had me thinking because we blog use other Social Medias does that mean that we have to reveal all details of our lives in order to appease some? In order to make ourselves more credible as bloggers? I am going through some very difficult times in my personal life. Will it help me by revealing all the inner tumultuous details going on currently or the reader becoming a voyuer should I give that part of me up? I am wrestling with this. I wrote what I felt I needed to say. Is it enough or too little? Blogging is an excellent way of expression ..Have I expressed enough? I am at a crossroad Nancy…Love Alli XX

    1. Alli, I’m sorry that you are going through a difficult time. I think you should always write what you feel comfortable writing. What you share is up to you. As for the doom and gloom, well sometimes that’s what we need to share. Reading a blog is always a choice, so I wouldn’t worry too much about what others say. Only you know what’s appropriate for you to share. As you said, blogging is an excellent way to express yourself. I hope you keep at it. We need your honest voice, Alli. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I started my blog because I needed to talk about my cancer, my mother’s cancer and her death. Now, it’s not about that as much as it is about my everyday life. Cancer is still mentioned but it’s not an every day. The thing is, I’ve made virtual friends and I like the little world I’ve built out here.

    1. Mae, I know what you mean about that little world. It is kind of nice isn’t it? I’ll check out your blog soon. Thank you for commenting.

  6. This is a question I find endlessly fascinating Nancy and thanks for sharing your reasons for continuing to blog. It’s certainly true that our motivation to blog as cancer patients changes as time passes. What I can see is that those who continue to blog are those for whom self-advocacy has transformed into advocacy for others. Without this passion to see change, we could not continue. Keep up the great work.

    1. Marie, I know you’ve been thinking about this question too. I agree that a huge part of what continues to motivate me to keep going is the advocacy component. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope you keep at it for a long time to come.

  7. Timely post, as was the one before about it,which I read only just now for the same reason I started questioning why I blog. The end of Feb., I went back to work fulltime, 40 hrs a week. I still fight fatigue and have limited time. I don’t keep up with others’ blogs as I used to and even my own blog, or when I do, I’m aware that the best quality posts were the ones before the job. Well, mostly.

    In truth, I love blogging for the creative expression, but as in any creative expression, it needs to be consumed. No one wants to put in several hours of making a dinner that no one shows up to eat. So when the numbers are low, I question my use of my time or if it means anything to anyone. I need it to mean something to someone besides me; otherwise, there’s no point. However, I love the blogging community, of which I’m now a part. That was the most meaningful surprise of blogging.

    1. Eileen, It is work and it is time-consuming. I know what you mean about the need for “consumption”. I hope you do keep blogging, Eileen. I really enjoy your writing a lot. Your blog first and foremost is a means of self-expression, but I know your voice matters to others too. I love the blogging community too. Thanks for being a big part of it.

  8. Great topic Nancy. I too have reflected on it. Since I moved from my job in a breast cancer charity to working independently the blog has morphed into something different. So not only about breast cancer but wider advocacy about health and social care. Sometimes however the cancer activist in me comes the fore, through a news story or something that happened. I’m trying just to go with my own flow and see where it takes me. But what I’d do know is that blogging has re engaged me with writing and I love it!
    Being part of this breast cancer community has been so important to me, especially as I have transitioned from my job recently. A community I remain with whatever life throws at us. Thank you. Xxx

    1. Audrey, You touched on another important aspect there, Audrey. Blogging has re-engaged me with writing too and I’m very pleased about that. Your blog has morphed into something different, I like that. We evolve, so of course our blogs do too. Thanks for sharing your perspectives. I’m so glad you’re part of this community, Audrey. Hope the job’s going well.

  9. I love this post, Nancy! Your voice is so needed in the world, and I am glad that I follow you so faithfully. 🙂

    Why do I blog? I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, and I can’t not write, as other people have said. Blogging helps hone our writing skills, and you are so right: it is work.

    I try to get a message out to the world, to educate others, to tell others my story, and mostly I blog to be a part of a community.

    Blogging has been challenging timewise. I just finished teaching an evening class, for example, and it’s so hard to find the time in my busy schedule. However, I’ve been posting at least once a week for awhile now, and I consider that a great accomplishment for someone who was/can be a sporadic writer.

    Keep blogging, Nancy!

    1. Beth, Thank you so much for your kind comments and for being such a faithful reader of my blog. I think we blog for many of the same reasons and I’m so glad you’re still at it too! I need to get on over to your blog and read your latest postings! I always look forward to them. Thanks again for your continuing support, Beth. It means a lot.

  10. Don’t you ever stop blogging dear Nancy!! your blog was one of the first I read, that made me feel I was not alone and showed me that the breast cancer conversation, was way deeper then it seemed at the beginning of this road.

  11. Back when I was blogging I loved it too! I loved the feeling of knowing I was helping others, and I love how much I grew as a writer. Then one day, well, actually, it was one ‘challenge’ – you know, the blogging challenges that come up – the a-z blogging challenge to be exact, and I started to feel like – IDK, like there wasn’t really anything left for me to blog about that I hadn’t already said. So for me, that showed me that is time to retire my blog. But you know what? I STILL love my old blog, and I still refer to it, and it still gets a lot of visits (not as much as it used to, of course!). And you’re right, it’s really no one else’s business on how long you should blog for. That is entirely up to you. But I do know this, BRCA bloggers help people. We change lives, sometimes even save them (for real!). What YOU do, Nancy, makes a difference. So you just keep on, keeping on.

    1. Teri, I remember that challenge – maybe that’s why I don’t usually take part in them! Ha. I miss your blog, Teri, and return to it at times when I’m writing about BRCA issues. It’s a wonderful resource. Remember, you could always return to blogging… thanks so much for commenting and for the kind words.

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