blog about breast cancer and loss. She provides the inspiration for many of my posts, here and in the oncology nursing articles I write. This time she has asked a dozen questions for a blogging challenge to share with readers and other bloggers. If you're new to this blog you can learn a little more about me and my blog.
Here are the questions and answers:
1. How long have you been blogging (or reading blogs)?
I started blogging in January 2008. I've been reading blogs since before that, but my decision to finally run Badwater after dreaming of it for years got me going on this blog, and I haven't stopped blogging since.
2. How has your blog changed?
It has changed from the main topic being running ultras to a variety of things I'm passionate about. I still blog about ultras, but I don't compete or race as often as I used to. For me it's more about getting out and enjoying being outdoors and moving, and the spiritual, mental, and physical benefits (probably in that order, too!) I get from it. I write a lot about nurse advocacy and healthcare, cancer, as well as politics and my own thought processes while I'm out there moving forward on my feet. I like speaking my mind and every so often I've pissed someone off with what I write, which tells me I'm doing it well.
3. What is your biggest blogging challenge/frustration?
Having enough time and energy to write the posts when so much of what I do for work involves writing. It's hard sometimes to want to write for fun, and often I want to write something, but I can't bring myself to sit on my butt for any more hours.
4. What is your favorite post that you’ve written (or read)?
My favorite posts that I've written have to be the series I wrote about Badwater- my first time running it, my second time running it as a double, and my experiences on the medical team and what I learned. Also, the "So ya think ya want to run Badwater" has been the most viewed post. As far as reading blogposts, the old classic from Larry Gassan about people whining at ultras has to be my favorite all time post- it's funny and timeless.
5. What are your goals for your blog?
To convey what goes on in my mind when I get out there and do long miles on my feet. To show the thought processes that result from running ultras, and how they support my mental and spiritual health, and creativity. And I hope it shows other people that it's okay to be different and think differently from the mainstream.
6. How many blogs do you read on a regular basis?
Wow. I couldn't even count them, but my favorite blogs range in content from healthcare, cancer, politics, news and current events, nursing, food, and miscellaneous interesting topics I find randomly. I read at least several blogposts a day.
7. How do you determine what to share and what not to share; in other words, do you have blog boundaries? (or comment boundaries)
I have to be careful when it comes to healthcare and cancer, just to protect the privacy of people, and I don't want to post anything embarrassing to someone when it comes to any topic. But I don't hold my feelings back.
8. When things get hard, what keeps you blogging?
Knowing there are readers who have stuck with me and do read my posts. A lot of times they comment to me personally via email or in person if they live nearby, or on Facebook, instead of in the comment section, so I know they are reading. And there are followers out there who I find out about- who don't list themselves as followers in the Google sense of the word. Sometimes it can take me months to finally catch up on a topic, but I do get around to it. While I was writing my book that was the hardest time to keep blogging, since the book was published, I have been better about keeping up with the blog.
9. What is your biggest Cancer Land pet peeve today, right now, this minute?
People who treat cancer like it's a race or sporting event. When they tell a person with cancer "you got this!" or "keep fighting" or the other cliches from CancerLand. Who are they to say these things? I know they mean well, but they sound so stupid. Like a cheerleader with pink pom-poms. How do they know the person has "got this"? How do they know "fighting" is going to help? It's like they have this back channel to a divine power who assures them that their friend with cancer is going to be okay? I am sure the person's family and oncologist would like to know that too... I hear it so often, it just gets really tiresome. That's one of the things I wish they would read my book for- to understand that there are better ways to support people with cancer, and to learn something real and useful about cancer before they are faced with it, in themselves or someone close to them, so they can be part of the solution, instead of exacerbating the problem and giving false hope because it makes them feel better about their own fears.
That probably sounds judgmental and harsh but that's how I experience that social phenomenon.
10. What one piece of advice would you offer to a new blogger?
Do it, write what you want, don't worry how you sound. Your readers will find you and you'll attract a following. Just keep at it. If people don't like it, they don't have to read it.
11. Share something most people do not know about you. A secret sort of thing.
When I'm not out running, my favorite thing to do is be home with my dogs and just hanging out. I'd rather do that than be around other people.
12. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Playing with my dogs and scratching their bellies, gardening, cooking, hanging out with Dennis (my husband) and photographing scenery and landscapes, in hopes that someday I'll get motivated to paint in pastels again.