On August 24, 2010, I hit the Publish button on my first blog post. I still remember the combination of excitement and fear as the post went live. I had so many questions about jumping into social media.
Would anyone actually read my posts? Does anyone really want information on injuries, treatment and prevention for sports and exercise? Since I wouldn’t be writing traditional journal articles but instead communicating in basic language with the public, would my work be dismissed by members of the academic medical community?
The answer to the last question would take a post all by itself. Maybe for #600.
At first, very few people read my posts. Through the end of that first month, I only had about 200 unique visitors. It would have been easy to quit since I already work a full-time job as an orthopaedic surgeon. Why spend another 30 to 50 hours per week writing articles, recording podcast episodes, and doing radio, TV and newspaper interviews?
The first, and by far the most important, reason is you. I’ve “met” so many amazing content creators online. There are so many people out there who share their knowledge (both healthcare-related and not) one post, podcast episode, or tweetchat at a time. I am also amazed by the number of people who support my work by commenting on it, retweeting it, and sharing it with their own audiences. Through creating and sharing valuable information, we are building a vibrant online community of healthcare providers and patients.
The second reason I continue to participate in sharing knowledge in the online community is that I enjoy this. A lot. People ask how I find time to do it. My response is always the same: If you truly enjoy doing something, you’ll find the time. I enjoy writing. I like planning and recording my show. I love talking about sports injuries in radio and television interviews.
My list of article and podcast topic ideas continues to grow. Fortunately my opportunities are slowly increasing with it. Many people ask me where I see my writing taking me in the future. My answer is that I’m open to new avenues of sharing information and educating patients. Maybe I’ll write for other publications or websites. Maybe I’ll transition the podcast into a radio show. Maybe I’ll write a book. Who knows? The possibilities are endless, and I definitely plan to keep devoting time to this aspect of my life.
After 500 posts, I can say that I remain passionate about what I do, and I am fueled by the interactions I have with my readers. I truly appreciate those of you who email to thank me for answering your questions about injuries you suffered in sports. Or who thank me for writing about injuries in cheerleading because you feel no one takes cheerleaders seriously. Or who share my thoughts on athletic trainers because you feel no one understands how hard you work. Thank you, to all of you.
As we continue to learn from and support each other, I can only hope that the information I share helps you in some way. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to inform – and hopefully to entertain – you. I’m looking forward to the next 500 posts!