story-of-fibro-geek
Today I’ve decided to share the story of how this little blog on the interweb came to be. I always love reading the stories of why other bloggers started their blogs. I admittedly find it really fascinating so I would encourage all bloggers reading this to share their own story. I’m going to go back to the beginning and start from when I first started out on the web…

What the majority of people reading this won’t know is that I have always had a website in one form or another since about the age of 11. Throwback to a time when AOL messenger was all the rage, you heard this noise every time you logged onto the internet and your mum would constantly get annoyed at you for blocking the phone line.

Here’s an embarrassing admission for you. When I was younger I wasn’t only obsessed with my own furry pets (I had dogs, birds, rats, fish, hamsters… you name it!), I was also obsessed with the virtual kind too. I religiously played the PC game Petz. I was quite frankly addicted and spent all of my spare time playing it!

I set up my own website on Geocities relating to this game. It was nowhere near the success levels of websites today but there was a little community of fellow 10-14 year olds who shared a passion for this game and frequented my site. We’re talking weekly Petz shows, Petz adoptions (because deleting bytes of data was akin to murder!) and messing around with hex editing to (badly) make my own clothes and breeds, which I shared with others. Cringe.

Of course, I grew out of all of that and the website ended up being deleted. I consequently started up my very own LiveJournal back when I didn’t even know blogging was a thing. I had always been one for writing things down and I figured why not do it digitally. I then moved on to having my own domain and web hosting, which I’m pretty sure was my 17th birthday present.

At this point, the LiveJournal was deleted (which I am mostly thankful for but a part of me does think it would have been hilarious to read back over!). I had that domain for a year and ran a personal blog and forum. This was really just for my friends and I; we would spend all day at school together and then chat away on the forum when we got home (plus on MSN messenger of course!).

I also dabbled in creating website layouts and tried (and failed) to sell them. I used to be quite a whizz with photoshop, HTML & CSS but most of these skills have long been lost!! I also used to make silly cartoons using flash. I am sure if YouTube was around in those days I would have been all over it sharing my daft animations.


When I went to university I decided that I didn’t have the money to be paying for domain names and hosting so I stopped blogging. I went back to good old-fashioned writing things down. I didn’t really do anything website related for a whole year.

I then had an idea to start up an equine classifieds website. One that was quite niche; advertising horses for loan and share. I ran that website from 2009-2013 and it was even featured in a few major publications. I confess I didn’t really invest much in it and it pretty much ran itself organically.

I am sure someone else could have done a whole lot more with it than I ever did. I also started a blog for myself to document my own horse’s health issues (who knew I would then go on to have my own problems that I would blog about!). Sadly my horse passed away in 2010 and by 2013 I had fallen out of love with running the classifieds website.

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2013 and, being the geek that I am, I took to the internet to research the condition. I came across many blogs. Some were brilliant, like Counting My Spoons, but equally many were incredibly depressing!! People obviously use their blogs as a cathartic outlet, which is fine but I personally do not enjoy reading negative post after negative post; it brings me down.

I made the decision that I wanted to live as positively as possible with this illness and that I would track my progress through a blog. I had already paid for web hosting and thought I would put it to use (seeing as I made the decision to stop running my equestrian site).

I bought the domain Fibro Geek and began posting in September 2013. I can’t say I am particularly great at coming up with names and Fibro Geek just seemed to fit. I have to confess I am not hugely enthused by the name but I can’t think of anything I like better!

I kind of started Fibro Geek in secret, which sounds a bit ridiculous given it’s a blog published on the internet! I always wrote my posts as though I was speaking to other people (I find it an easier writing style to adopt) but I didn’t write it thinking people would actually read it.

To be very cliche, my blog was an outlet for me. I told my Mum that I had a blog (though not the name) and my husband knew about it. That was it. When people actually started to read my little blog I was amazed! When I started to get positive feedback about it I was blown away.

My Mum came across this blog by googling and trying to find my photography blog. Apparently, it made her cry to read about how fibro was affecting me- sorry Mum! A few friends know about it but that’s it. I don’t know why but it still makes me cringe thinking about people I know reading my blog.

I started to get more serious about this little blog last year and it has continued to grow since then. It is still a tiny drop in the ocean in the world of blogging and I continue to be amazed that anyone reads it.

So I also want to say thank you to each and every one of you who visits to read my content. It’s great to know that something that’s a hobby and passion for me is something you enjoy too. It makes my day knowing that something I write can help others in a similar situation.

Are you a blogger? What’s your blogging story?

Author

Hello, I'm Donna. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2013 and started this blog shortly after. After my health declined significantly the following year, I decided to become my own advocate and searched for answers. It took two years but, in 2016, I finally discovered I had Lyme Disease. On February Stars, I share my personal journey back to better health; discussing what has helped me and the mistakes I've made along the way. I also cover topics on self-improvement, managing symptoms and living life to the fullest with chronic illness.

6 Comments

  1. Sally Norrington-Stacey Reply

    Hi, exactly the same reason I have come out of all the fibro sites now, all solo depressing. There is a need for such sites, but not for me.

    I have found you. Thanks! Interesting article! I have often thought about starting my own blog as an artist with fibro. I will give it some more thought.

    • Hi Sally, I agree with you. I do think they will be helpful to the people writing them to an extent and others will of course be able to relate. It’s just not how I choose to live my life. I’d rather not be miserable. I don’t have a choice about having fibro but I do have a choice regarding how I handle living with it. You should. I would encourage anyone to blog. It can be so helpful. I’m publishing a blog post next week called “should you start a blog”, you may find it interesting 🙂

  2. Loved reading this Donna! It’s amazing to get an insight into how you came to write your blog. I love that it is such a positive space and feel incredibly lucky to have found it for that very reason. I didn’t tell anyone I knew about my blog initially either but it has sort of organically got to the point where they now know. I completely understand cringing at thinking of them reading it! Never let that stop you writing though- it is helping too many people (myself included) for that!

    PS the idea of your little Petz community is adorable!

    • Thank you so much for your comments Faye, they mean a lot 🙂 I am so glad to have found your blog too as it’s been so helpful to me. I hope you are feeling as well as possible x …. I’m also quite tempted to see if I can find my petz games lol!

  3. Like you I’ve been on the internet sharing myself since the first day I had a computer in front of me. For me that was 1997. It took me not more than a couple of months of looking at crappy websites before I decided I could do at least that good and started learning the ropes. I don’t think I started blogging until around 2000, I’m not even sure where it was. I ran so many different websites by that point and had a business building and managing online forums and websites. Then in 2003 I moved back to AL and local friends ere all on LiveJournal so I jumped on there and started blogging there.I don’t really remember which of my blogger blogs came first, if it was my couponing blog or my Fibro blog. I had them both for some time before I changed my diet and moved away from couponing. When I got sick it just made sense to start another blog focused just on what was going on with my health, rather than fill my personal LJ with it or put it on my couponing blog.

    I’m so glad you’ve stuck around and your blog has continued to grow. I so often find your posts inspirational and have to share them. It seems others feel the same way.

    • I imagine you have seen so much change in the world of the internet and blogging since those early days. Thank you for your kind words Julie. I am glad you set up your blog too and was very thankful to find it!

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.