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Meet the blogger celebrating life and growing younger on the inside…

When and why did you start blogging?
In May 2008 we discovered that our six-week old baby had congenital cataracts and micropthalmia, which means he was blind and the prognosis wasn’t good. Love, prayer and concern poured into our lives from friends, family and strangers on pretty much every continent of the world. My sister suggested I start a blog – the easiest way to keep people updated in terms of doctors’ decisions, surgery dates etc. Writing has always been my catharsis – until I’ve written about something I know that I haven’t come to terms with it, and so blogging was an outlet that brought healing and perspective.

It got quite a reaction. I realised that God was using my blog to encourage people and draw them to himself. I was amazed, excited and humbled to see how he was using the internet to spread our story and to minister to people I’d never met and probably never would meet, from all over the world. I realised he was also using my blog to minister to some of our closest friends and family. I felt more and more compelled to blog. I became a lot more intentional about it. I loved it.

Just before our second son was born, I started a new blog, Celebrating Life, archiving the antics of our boys, and then in September 2011, when I realised there was more on my heart I started Growing Younger on the Inside.

What has surprised you most about being part of the blogosphere?
I’ve been surprised by how much people respond to honesty and vulnerability. How blogging creates magical accessibility between strangers and friends, places near and remote. How even “famous” bloggers (big names with lots of followers) have been willing to interact with me now and then in the blogosphere.

When do you find time to blog? Do you aim to blog a certain number of posts a week?
In an ideal world I would blog every day. (In an ideal world I would also get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.) I try to post at least once a week if I can. Usually my writing happens late at night when the boys are asleep, the house is quiet and my husband Murray keeps the tea coming…

What advice do you have to women wanting to start/build up a blog readership?
Be specific. Make sure you know what you’re passionate about and what you want to say. Be real. Practise. Your writing must be excellent and worth your readers’ time.

DALENE’S TOP 10 BLOGS:

(In no particular order)

Jaci Mun Gavin

Brian Louw

Bruce Collins

Jon Acuff

Tamara Lunardo

Jeff Goins (did his online blogging course – brilliant)

Tom Hamilton

Jamie Wright

Shae Bloem

Clint Archer

This article appeared in the Sep/Oct issue of Radiant on page 55.

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