As part of your advocacy activities, you may want to consider starting a blog dedicated to your journey. Whether it’s sharing your story, connecting with like-minded individuals, or contributing your ideas, blogging can be a meaningful way to document and share your experiences as an individual diagnosed with breast cancer. It also allows you to keep track of the various impacts of a breast cancer diagnosis. Although this guideline on blog writing focuses on creating a blog, the guidelines can also be followed if you are simply writing a single blog post and submitting it for publication through an already established blog.
Whether you already have a blog or are contemplating launching one, below are a few tips and ideas that you may find helpful.
Depending on the topics your posts touch on, you may identify a breast cancer issue with proposed solutions, statistics and other elements of advocacy in some posts, but not others. To address this, feel free to use the ‘About Me’ section of your blog to address the items outlined in the ”Communicating Your Story” worksheet. Here, you can identify the overall reason for creating your blog, outline the various issues your posts might address, and state what you hope to get out of your blog (solutions and changes that you would like to see). Your call-to-action can be as simple as asking readers to sign an online petition or as involved as asking people to join a lobbying group with you.
When starting a blog, don’t try to make it perfect or be overly critical of yourself, your writing, or the way your blog looks. The idea is to get started and become familiar with telling your story, your writing, and the platform you are using - allow yourself to let go and see where your blogging journey takes you.
Find your voice, and let your personality come through. Every person’s expression is unique, and your website is a space to create and share your story in the exact way that you want. If you don’t know where to start, bookmark blogs and websites that you like and make a note of the writers’ styles and overall approaches then find your unique style and voice from this. You can visit the ‘Stories’ category of CBCN’s Our Voices Blog, for ideas and inspiration on topics and styles that breast cancer patients use to tell their story.
If possible, try to include visuals. Are you an aspiring photographer? Has your son or daughter snapped a funny picture of you? Have you found an image with a quote that precisely describes how you feel? Images evoke emotions and enrich text-based content. Check out Unsplash or Pexels for inspiration. Both sites allow you to use their photos for free. While crediting the source is not enforced, it is a great idea to do so.
Those reading your posts may comment and ask you questions, be sure to respond to them. You may also consider sharing your posts to your social media accounts. Don’t forget to invite your friends, family or followers to share, “like” and comment on your posts (both on your social media, if you share them there, and directly on your blog posts).