Each week we are highlighting a different Chronic Illness Bloggers’ member as our ‘Blogger of the Week‘. As well as getting to know each other better, we hope that you enjoy this series and that you find the interviews with each member to be insightful and helpful.
This week our blogger of the week is Leslie of Getting Closer To Myself.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in April 2008, at the age of 22. I have a master’s degree and PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree in health advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
Getting Closer To Myself – learning to live, love, and adapt to life with chronic illness. My blog shares my story of living with multiple chronic illnesses.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I have been blogging since April 2008, a week after I received my official diagnosis. I started it as a way to communicate with family and friends about my health situation so that I wasn’t constantly having to say the same things over and over again. However, it has become so much more than that. I have met amazing people who have helped me to realize that I am not alone in the struggle of living with a chronic illness at a young age.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
About once per week. When I first started, I posted constantly, but over the years, I’ve become more focused. Unfortunately, other things have happened in my life that have prevented me from posting as often as I would like.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Absolutely. Blogging has introduced me to amazing people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It also helped to guide me towards my true passion in life, which is advocating for patients with chronic illnesses. It has also opened up many doors for me, allowing me to travel to conferences and share my story with the world.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
It is important to blog about chronic illness, not only to help improve the experience of other patients, but also to educate the general public about illnesses that most often people who do not have the illnesses are unable to understand.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Be you – I have always prided myself in being open and honest about my story. I think that’s one of the best ways to attract and keep readers.
2. Speak your truth – I always post my truth. While other people might disagree, I tell my stories based on my views of them.
3. Reach out to others – Don’t just blog in a bubble. Reach out to other bloggers. Read other peoples’ blogs. You never know when you might make a friend or be inspired by someone else’s story.