Well, all the hard work baring my soul about facial disfigurement has been worth it. I have been moved by the positive reaction: those who have shared or liked my blog, and those who have connected with me on Facebook and Twitter especially. I have been gratified by your response and encouragement.

So, the news that Hickey’s World has been longlisted in the Health & Wellbeing category of Blog Awards Ireland 2015 is amazing. I feel very humbled. Of course a long list means exactly what it says, nevertheless I’m thrilled. All that time sitting gazing at my laptop wondering what to write about next was worth the agony. No matter if this is as far as I get, I’m just happy to bask in the moment!

I write so that I can raise awareness of facial disfigurement. By opening up about the subject I hope to make life a little easier for others like myself with a disfigurement, and hope that they can learn from my mistakes. There’s an enormous sense of satisfaction from writing a blog. Even if the one I put my heart and soul into doesn’t quite take off in terms of views or a reaction, there’s always hope that the next one will. And that’s what keeps me going. That time when one connects with people is incredibly gratifying.

Apart from the blog producing a high volume of responses, they have also meant many radio interviews, from the John Murray Show, to Joe Duffy’s Liveline, Matt Cooper’s The Last Word, 96FM’s Opinion Line with PJ Coogan, etc. My first TV appearance came recently on TV3’s Ireland AM with Sinead Desmond, but none of these would have happened had I not started that blog. Most importantly, I have connected with many new friends on Facebook and Twitter especially, and my life has been enriched for that.

The nomination is just the impetus I need to keep writing – not that I needed a whole lot! I get such a kick out of pressing that ‘Publish’ button and wondering what the response will be. I guess that’s what all bloggers feel, but it never diminishes no matter how many blogs I write.

I took a summer break from writing the book, but the rest has done me good and I’ll be back writing next week. I’ll also continue blogging. Thanks for all your support and please keep spreading the word that facial disfigurement should not be an obstacle to leading a productive and happy life.