The Lessons I’ve Learned as a Columnist

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by Tito Oye |

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I have been writing for Bionews, the publisher of Sickle Cell Disease News, for over a year now. This experience has been amazing, to say the least.

When I was first contacted about becoming a columnist, I was skeptical. I questioned whether I would be good enough and consistent enough as a writer. I even wondered if it was a legitimate opportunity or spam! Despite all this skepticism, I agreed to a role as a columnist, and I haven’t looked back.

I have learned so much from my time here, and I have (virtually) met so many amazing people from all over the globe and from different walks of life.

One of the main lessons I have learned is that everyone has something to teach. Other Bionews columnists have taught me a great deal. Just as I want the world to learn more about sickle cell disease, I need to do my bit to ensure I am as educated as possible about conditions that do not directly affect me.

With that in mind, I have spent a fair bit of time browsing different columns. So far, my favorites are “The Girl Who Cried Wolf,” in which Kristi Page writes about her experiences with lupus, and “Victorious,” in which Brad Dell writes about his life with cystic fibrosis. I have come across many other conditions and developed an understanding of how they affect a person’s life beyond the basic facts I learned in school.

Since I started writing for Bionews, I have also realized that the disability community is unbelievably supportive! We relate to one another and bond over the experiences that cause us the greatest pain. We understand how unpredictable life can be when dealing with various health-related complications, and we empathize with one another.

The way people constantly reach out to check up on me and offer their support whenever I need help is so comforting. It was a very pleasant surprise, as I have a habit of assuming the worst about others. Meeting such wonderful people has been a refreshing experience.

I have also learned not to underestimate myself. I proved to myself that I can write, and I believe my ability as a writer is improving. This opportunity has confirmed to me that when you are doing something you love, it does not feel like a chore!

I look forward to seeing where this takes me, and I expect to learn more from this experience.


Note: Sickle Cell Anemia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Anemia News or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.


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