Finding A Way and the Blog Hop

Once again it is time for Nancy’s 2021 Summer Blogging Challenge . This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about one another, discover new blogs, and share more about my own writing process. My approach to Nancy’s questions is much lighter than last year. You’ll see what I mean.

Who are you?

Somedays I don’t know. I see a familiar stranger in the mirror. Who I feel I am seems to change often. My appearance doesn’t seem stable. We are so much more than our appearance. Who I am isn’t based on what I do (or did). It was easy to tie my identity to my career as a teacher, but what remains now that I’ve been retired for five years?

Am I a writer? Amateur photographer? Professional patient? International mystery spy? Oops . . . it’s in your best interest to forget that last one.

Quite simply, I’m me.  

 

This is how I remember myself in better days.

I love pajamas. I make really good brownies. I hate cleaning. I am not fond of chipmunks or ground squirrels (a lot like a chipmunk but bigger with different markings).

Lately, I’ve thought of myself as a depressed optimist.

I spent my career teaching and am lucky I got to do what I loved for so long. Second graders will always hold a special place in my heart.

I’ve always been a reader and a writer. I love relaxing with a good book. I bounce between a couple of writing ideas at a time. I write a blog on living with cancer while living well that you are reading now! Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2012, I’ve blogged weekly about my thoughts and experiences for the last three years.

A lot of my time is spent focused on my health. 2021 has been harder for me than 2020. Every month I’ve had something that’s presented a problem for me. Hair falling out. A hospital stay. Repeated surgeries. Failed treatments. I am someone who tries hard and is hard on myself when something doesn’t work out. It seems the rest of the world slowly reemerged from the lockdown of COVID and embraced the year more positively than I have.

What’s been your biggest blogging roadblock this year and did you come up with a way to get around it?

I haven’t felt blocked in terms of content and ideas. Material usually presents itself. I’m not sure if that will continue.

A bigger roadblock is exposure. I want to reach more people, but I haven’t garnered as many followers as I hoped I would. I feel established, but I don’t do a lot of promoting.

No, I haven’t found a way to get around it and maybe it isn’t necessary. Being able to share and have people read what I write is a privilege for me. I’ve tried to toot my horn with a Facebook page catered to my blog and cancer content. You can follow that here. What I’ve found is when people don’t have a personal connection from their own experience or through a loved one, it’s too heavy. Photos of puppies and kittens get more attention.

So, basically, I need to figure out how to use puppies and kittens to attract followers.

What’s something you accomplished with your blog this year that you’re proud of?

Spelling.

Try fam-trastuzumab-deruxtecan. It’s both hard to say and spell. The brand name Enhertu is much shorter. Nailing some of these drug names is an accomplishment. How about a cancer spelling bee?

On a more serious note, I’ve continued to publish consistently. I’ve included narratives to share my experiences as a patient. I’ve written more poetry to express myself. Letting some vulnerability show up through my words has been another revealing step for me.

More readers are responding to my mid-week posts where I share a thought-provoking quote. I’ve honestly thought about phasing this out at the end of the year. I felt it hasn’t been very successful at times. I am reassessing what to do with my Wednesday Words posts.

Here is a sample from Wednesday Words. Do I keep sharing these pearls of wisdom?

What are a couple of your best blogging tips?

Blogging gratuities are never expected but always appreciated. I have PayPal and Venmo.

Am I kidding?

Send me some money and find out.

Or you can follow my blog. Those are the only choices.

As a writer, my biggest tip is to write what you want. It’s more authentic that way. Sincere writing circles me back to that first question about who I am. Some of my favorite pieces haven’t racked up the views or comments I had hoped they would, whereas a post on writing and stories is still surprisingly well read. You never know how something will go over which is why it’s important the writer likes it. When my heart shows up through my words, I believe I make a stronger connection with readers.

How do you handle negative feedback or comments?

Everyone loves what I write. Wink, wink. I have received comments offering different perspectives from time to time, but nothing I would call overtly negative. I confess I wouldn’t like negative feedback, but I think it’s best to think of it as constructive criticism and turn it into a learning opportunity. Growth can come from these discussions. Or I can delete them and grow that way.

Share a link to a favorite post you’ve written recently that you want more people to read.

One is such a lonely number. Two is better. Three’s company.

I often return to Love Letter to My Future Self when I need a feel good boost.

Cancer Haiku shares big ideas about cancer in a few words.

A Day of Surgery gives a glimpse into the more medical side of my life.

Thank you, Nancy, for your summer blogging challenge. It’s an awesome opportunity to discover new blogs and share mine. I also love reading my fellow bloggers’ responses to your questions. I hope many others will check them out at Nancy’s Point. Click on the link below to access other blogs in the hop.

Enjoy these dwindling days of summer weather.

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Author: Kristie Konsoer

I've been living well with metastatic breast cancer since 2012. This blog is a place where I can share thoughts and ideas on cancer, how I feel perceptions of cancer must change, and how I am finding a way to live with strength, hope, meaning, resiliency, humor, and hopefully a little wisdom.

16 thoughts on “Finding A Way and the Blog Hop”

  1. I love your blog. I love your humor you know that…we share a we’ll misdiagnosed dry wry wit that doesn’t always go over. And I love you, too.

    One thing you point out that I can completely relate to: the posts I think are going to get a lot of attention get little; and the ones I think are okay receive far better readership.

    I’m fond of saying no one can predict taste – in anything. But you’re right – speaking authentically and your truth will always be more sincere than trying to please anyone.

    Perhaps poetry is slightly different for me as it’s important to make it understandable and relatable. But I suppose that would go for all posts, (and as I write my comment I realized how silly it is to apply that to only poetry).

    Your blog hop is extremely personal and well done as always. And you’re an excellent speller but you also have an excellent foundation in catching typos etc from teaching. I read my blog posts aloud to try and catch everything but something happens to my formatting when transferring from my writing app to WordPress at times especially poetry, that creates a whole new situation. I am a sticky for verb tense agreement as well as parallel prepositional phrases. Grammar is my big bugaboo. Spellcheck does not know how to spell Piqray, or any of the drug generic names for cancer. It also changes words to memorable typos in my popular novella text messages. Those could become mini blog posts on their own.

    Keep writing. It took five years before I could look at my traffic and see I’d reached a goal of 50,000 unique hits with an average reading time of two minutes. Each year like clockwork my hits double and I’m on target for 100k this year. Six and a half years into this beast of a project that I’d never dreamed would precipitate precious friendships and help many to not feel so alone with their cancer – my goal was to help one person. You do more good than you probably imagine. And you’re far more likable than I am!
    💕💕💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, Ilene, you help many. I need to reread what I wrote and see how personal it is. I meant for it to be less serious while still answering Nancy’s questions and think I achieved that goal.

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  2. Hi Kristie,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses. Love your wit and humor.

    I know what you mean about wanting more readers and all that. I don’t know any blogger who doesn’t want that. Readers are gems, for sure. My dream for years has been that I’d have a post go viral. Just one. I’m still waiting. 🙂

    You are very consistent in your posting. That’s super important. You’re reaching more people than you realize. So, keep at it. Keep writing your truths.

    Thank you for participating. Happy blog hopping! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No one has sent me money yet. So odd. 😉 I will get new followers but my stats don’t change much. I’m grateful for the groups of regular readers I have and their interest in my life.

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  3. Hi Kristie,
    I really agree with your advice about writing what you want to write and being authentic in that way. I typically write about research and try to weave in my own experiences where relevant. But even in writing about research, I feel it’s important to choose topics I truly care about in the hope that they will resonate with others too.
    It’s so hard to expand readership. My stats aren’t large either, but still it’s humbling to see that people from all over the world are reading posts on my blog. Lately that’s given me more motivation than the numbers per se.
    Thanks for all that you do, and keep on writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Lisa. I agree it’s exciting to see readers across continents. Writing is so much more than the numbers. We must continue to write about what we care about. It will resonate with the right audience. Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One of my fave blogs and bloggers. So many times I mutter me too or hell yeah! Thank you for helping me navigate my feelings on this journey. ❤️❤️❤️ I loathe cleaning too….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hi, nice to meet you through Nancy’s blog hop. Enhertu is def a jumble to spell. The new mTNBC wonder drug Trodelvy is also trying hard – its generic is sacituzumab govitecan-hziy (though they’re dropping hziy. I mean good! How were we supposed to pronounce that?!)

    Like

  6. Kristie,

    Blogging gratuities? Oh my goodness I cracked up when I read that!! Thank you for making me laugh this morning. I really enjoyed reading your responses to Nancy’s Blog Hop. I too can relate to the challenge of audience and community building when our blog topics can be of the more serious nature! I enjoyed getting to know you better by reading your post. Thanks for writing!

    Like

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