Why cancer blogging is easier that just plain blogging

The stats for this site are pretty static – that is, they sit somewhere between 50 and 100 hits per day. Hits jump when I’m participating in a MOOC, in part because I’m meeting and interacting with new people, and in part because I’m posting more frequently.

When I was diagnosed with cancer back in June, I immediately began cancer blogging (at http://bcbecky.com). Actually, I waited a few days, and debated about how cancer blogging might affect future career opportunities – but then I also felt an overwhelming need to be writing about what was happening to me. I needed to blog. What was interesting was just how quickly my blog became popular in comparison to this blog and my travel blog (http://goingeast.ca/blog).

There are a couple of things about cancer blogging – first off, there is no shortage of things to say. I rarely feel like I don’t have something to blog about. I can always talk about how I’m feeling that day, but also, there are enough stupid journalists who post insensitive things to easily make for a blog post. One of my highest hit count posts was a response to the New York Times article on preventative bilateral mastectomies. Plus, I can repeat myself all I want on my cancer blog and just blame it on chemo brain! When I go back and read older posts, I’m amazed at how often I describe the same procedures over and over. The second significant difference is that I have an instant audience. Friends and family (and friends of friends and friends of family members) want to know how I’m doing. The blog gives them that. Then there are others who have cancer – they too are interested in my cancer blog – my blog helps them better understand what is happening to them. So my hit counts on my cancer blog very quickly approached 100/day and consistently stays over that mark.

As a blogger, I’ve learned that cancer blogging has given me an much wider platform than my academic blog. My travel blog had a large audience when I was actively travelling, but the audience for that blog has tapered, as it has been a few years since we did our big trip and blogged regularly. It might be time to turn that blog into a book (on my life’s to do list).

So, I shall be keeping up with the cancer blogging, and this blog, and my travel blog … hopefully the two non-cancer blogs will get a little more attention in 2015.

One response

  1. scottx5 Avatar

    Good points. The need is important to note–sometimes you have to talk the fear and pain right out of you and that process also makes for compelling reading. No apologies for being stressed or “broken” and vulnerable needed here. One thing I think helps your blogs Rebecca are the sensibilities that travel writers have for new experience, even so far as being overwhelmed by the unexpected. My “normal” writing feels defensive at times like I’m not qualified and I even feel it sometimes WITH having cancer because a missing chunk of colon is nowhere near as traumatic as disfigured or missing breasts or or other horrible outcomes. Except this isn’t a contest, it’s about honest feelings and helping each other.

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