Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thanks for Reading!

Arrrgh! I reacted to my allergy shot again! I don't know why because my doctor brought down the dosage. He'll bring it down again next week. Seven hours after the shot, my arm is still sore, weak and numb.

I've really gotten into blogging! I'm trying not to write too much like I do in my diary, in which my entries are mostly mundane. Thank you to my new blogging friends and my personal friends for reading! It means a lot to me. I really hope this blog will help people, especially those who are new to the experience of having health or disability issues or are having trouble navigating the medical world. I don't quite know how to reach out to those people besides adding a link to my blog when I comment on Facebook discussions and others' blog posts. When I add a link somewhere I feel like I'm spamming people who might roll their eyes when they see it and think I only commented to advertise my blog. Really, I never comment unless a post moves me or I have something I really want to say. I started wondering about what motivates bloggers to read and comment when I found out that some people said they voted for my "Best Health Blog" nomination on the Bloggers' Choice Awards (Yes, I nominated myself) and then asked me to vote for theirs! Did they even read my blog?

I still feel sleazy for nominating myself and subsequently posting my award page in my blog... I promise I don't care about the award; I only want to increase my readership and make more blogger friends! This nomination site alone may bring some people to me.

I used to say I preferred not write for an audience, but several years ago during an assignment for my Theories of Writing class, I realized that I AM the audience. I write what I want to read. And I LOVE memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, letters -- all of it. It's always special to read something I can relate to, but I also enjoy reading life stories by people who I cannot relate to it all. The personal story brings life to statistics and can give a voice to a cause that doesn't have one. I love it because shares the emotional, day-to-day impact of issues.

These are my favourite published books of life writing:

ANYTHING by Emily Carr, but my favourite is her diary called Hundreds and Thousands in which she details her insecurities as an artist

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, a book about McCourt's impoverished childhood in Ireland during the Depression

Lucky by Alice Sebold, a memoir about the impact of Sebold's rape on her choices in life and what she had to do to put her rapist behind bars.

Incorrigible by Velma Demerson, another memoir by a white woman who was imprisoned in Canada for marrying a Chinese man.

In an Iron Glove by Claire Martin, a memoir about a girl who was abused by her father all throughout her childhood in Quebec in the 1920s.

And I love the bits of nature writing I've read from Henry David Thoreau's Walden and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim on Tinker Creek.

I'm also most attracted to fiction that's written in first person narrative.

I haven't been reading much since I got sick because my weakened eye muscles make reading uncomfortable (uncomfortable like reading while you're drunk) and I'm trying to figure out what to read next. I have so much! I still write in my diary and in here, but for ages that's been about it. I kind of miss writing essays for school, but that's mostly because I didn't have to write academic pieces. I certainly won't have to do any academic writing in college!

In my classes, I almost always got to create a topic to write about. I had little direction when I started out with only Professional Writing and I'd really enjoyed a social science foundations course which also doubled as a required course for Health and Society, so I applied to major in that one too! Of 50,000 students, I was the only person at York with that combination of majors. Sometimes I felt a bit of pressure after I told people I was majoring in Professional Writing degree because people would ask me to review their essays. I liked to think I had some authority on writing.

Anyway, I wrote many assignments in both majors about the kinds of things I write in here, but I don't feel that any of them really captured my feelings or explained them properly. I've strongly considered writing my own memoir one day and I feel like this blog is preparing me for that. This blog has helped me learn to share my feelings about everything and so have discussions in person, especially when people say they've read my blog. I used to put down blogs because I didn't think writing in one would be a good way to get people's serious attention. Now I see that anyone on the internet can find my blog and comment on it easily. My life here in writing is so much more accessible here than it would be in a book. I just have to figure out how to get more people to read it! I HAVE always wanted to be a bit famous after all...


  1. Fascinating post. Let's see what can be done about getting it read widely, shall we?! I have an idea...

  2. Second thoughts on how to get an audience - the more slightly outlandish, but kind, comments you leave on other's blogs, the more people are likely to get curious, and come by to see who wrote them.
    I've just emailed Hilary at who does a Post Of The Week most Wednesdays, to see if she'll give you a 'shout out'. In blogger's jargon this means a link to your blog, and an easy way for people to find you and pop by. Good Luck.

  3. Thanks for the "fascinating" comment and your efforts to increase my readership! It's so lovely to have people who believe in me. I'd never thought about linking anyone else but myself! How selfish of me... Hahaha

    I'm still not sure if I like this post, actually. I'm a bit self conscious of it, probably because I wrote ABOUT literature and writing. I tend not to feel I have anything of value to say about those things. But I think anyone who has a degree in anything understands the pressure to be an authority on their major, or to use what they've learned in a meaningful way. Perhaps this pressure contributes to this quarter life crisis a lot of us seem to experience!

  4. There's nothing wrong with this post, I found it interesting. You echo thoughts that many have but not everyone dares to share. That's what makes writers different, no?
    It seems to be a choice a lot of bloggers have to make at some point - I know I did. Do I worry about who will read this and what they will think of me? Or do I write from the heart, for me.
    I found the posts from the heart got the best response every time.

    I think it's great you have a degree in writing - I'm quite jealous. I'm trying to write a novel and I don't have a clue what I'm doing! So please, write about writing! Share your experiences! Even if it's "Haha, everyone thinks I know what I'm talking about but actually I don't."
    ...In fact, especially then... it would be great for my ego ;-)

    I wanted to make a point here... oh yes. The blog is also a fantastic way to keep track of things for when you do decide to write your memoirs. So keep writing, and we'll keep reading (although sometimes I get a little behind, I catch up eventually)

  5. I wouldn't worry that you don't know what you're doing. I think you do! You don't need a writing degree to write well. I've found that simply reading and writing have helped me more than my classes... When did you start your novel? I'm sure i will write one someday!

    I hadn't thought about writing about writing in here, but it's a good idea! I wouldn't give advice, but it would be neat to write about my frustrations and other stuff! Maybe you should write about your writing journey too!

  6. Congrats on POTW mention from Hilary

  7. Thanks Daryl! It took me a few minutes to figure out what you meant. Haha. I discovered blogger links!