The Important Lessons I have Learned about Myself as an Advocate

This July will mark the two-year anniversary of the beginning of what I considered to be my professional writing career. As most of you may or may not know, it all started with my desire to help my sister find answers, and resources after being diagnosed with a very serious, and life-altering neurological disease called cluster headaches.

On July 30, 2016, I began writing my blog, The Abler Blog: Equality For The Disabled. Just shy of two years of being online, and The Abler has grown from a blog, to have it’s very own social media presence. With the newest addition being a podcast called, The Many Faces Of The Abled. I have covered 18 various topics and have completed over 12 interviews all on various topics.

I am also a contributor for over 12 platforms. With all the work I have done in these last couple of years I have obviously learned some valuable lessons. Not just about the process and the great responsibility that comes to advocating about something you’re passionate about. But also the personal growth I have experienced and watched evolve within myself. The first thing I began to notice was my ability to risk hearing no. What I mean by that is if I see an opportunity I take it.

Whether it’s a new topic to research, or new interview possibility, and new chance to network with someone with or a possibility at new interview whatever it is that I think will benefit from having a light shine on it so others take notice I will take it. And if that door doesn’t open then that either means one of two things. One: The timing is off, and I need to wait it out or two: The opportunity may not be mine to take, but rather someone else’s. In order to have personal success when you’re advocating for someone or something bigger than yourself, you have to be a support system and cheerleader for those who are on your team. Regardless of how long they have been championing for whatever is they are passionate about we’re all in this together.

And if you call yourself an advocate, I think it’s important to Walk The Talk”. If you make it known that you’re here to promote and or help others, but take to the same public forum and abuse it for pettiness, and because you would rather be in the right, Then that in my opinion is not only extremely hypocritical, bus also the wrong message to the community, or cause you say you represent. So be cautious about the company you find yourself in. All it takes is one person to show you their true intentions. So pay attention and watch what people do and say around you.

Which brings me to my next point. Sometimes groups settings don’t always mesh together well. So If you get asked to work on a project that you support, but not necessarily feel it is the best fit for you at the time. Don’t be afraid to say,” thanks, for thinking of me, but I can’t take on any new commitments at this time.” You need balance in order to stay focused on your own work and goals. And spreading yourself too thin could and will hinder all of your hard work and progress. It’s never impossible to start over, but why take the unnecessary risk?

Lastly, do what works for you. The really cool thing about advocacy work and writing is that they’re both unique and different in their own ways. And because of that, we can set our own road to follow that will not only bring us results and success in our own right. But we will be gradually setting our own goals, and crushing them at our own speed. This is not a race where one loses just so someone else can win.

Advocacy work is a “job” where everyone one succeeds and wins, And if writing plays a big part in that then there isn’t a need to “compete” with one another. We all have the same goal in mind: To help others. And that should not fuel us to outdo one another, but rather fuel us to grow together. Spreading a message of unity and service.

About Author

Jessica Niziolek

Jessica is a writer and founder of the blog, The Abler. She's a disability advocate and freelance writer for several platforms. She's also a poet, and aspiring YA novelist.

Comments are closed.