Ten Years of Meg Says

7 March 2024

Ten years, and for one of the first times in my life, possibly ever, I’m not about to talk about how its gone in “the blink of an eye” or how it feels like “just yesterday” - no, in fact, it feels every inch like a full decade to the day since I started this very blog and my whole online journey (yep, we’re three lines in and the j-word has already made an appearance)...

I'm currently on the train from London to Norwich as I'm heading back for Mother's Day weekend, the train gods have blessed me with a table seat to myself and the capital's skyline is in the rearview as I rattle towards my home and family. I wanted to wait until the actual anniversary to write this, so I can capture exactly how I feel right now. I recently turned thirty so we’re in a new decade, and not even if there was a ‘Mystic’ before my first name could I have predicted how much was going to change; I’ve moved multiple times, gained people, lost people, travelled, struggled, thrived, grown from a girl to a woman and found out just how much more I have to find out.

What would I have been doing in March 2014?

I’d have moved back home to Norfolk from Sheffield after being diagnosed with a debilitating chronic illness and rendered bedbound, on official medical leave from my university degree with a prognosis of ‘you might get better, you might never’, so… ‘good luck’, essentially. Not what I’d expected or hoped for at nineteen years old, but we all play the hand we’re dealt and I coped with this extreme change of health and circumstance in the only way I knew how: by writing.

By the age of seven I’d taught myself to touch-type on the family computer (remember those?) by literally typing out whole books that I’d set up on my mum’s recipe book stand, and I was obsessed with writing. Letters, pretend magazine articles, in my diaries (with 90s sparkly gel pen, most likely) and even my own attempts at books. It’s something that stayed with me throughout my teens, loving English Literature at college, and my twenties too with this whole online job that started initially with blog posts, before YouTube came along and I dove headfirst into creating video content.

I wrote those blog posts whilst bedridden and severely unwell, often unable to type more than a sentence or two at a time, so you can imagine how long it took to get enough ready to actually ‘start a blog’ - but start a blog I did! And there's no way I would've believed you if you'd said I'd one day go full-time with it, or that I'd go into presenting or any of the opportunities that came from taking that leap. The below is an excerpt from the first post that I ever hit publish on, and it’s so interesting to me to read it back a decade later to the day, as my hopes for my blog are evident:

In a way I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that Meg Says reaches literally millions of people, and show her some of the messages she’ll receive from other chronic illness sufferers. I could say that she won’t be stuck in bed forever and will even travel the world with a backpack for almost a whole year… but on the other hand, I’m so glad that she got to grow and discover all of those experiences for herself.

In my introduction in early March 2014, I wrote: “writing my first blog post feels equal parts daunting and exciting” and ten years on, let’s look at those two adjectives and how they pertain to my life and job now:

Daunting, is it still daunting? Of course, especially when you consider that last year I made the huge decision to share a mental illness that I never could’ve imagined I’d have in 2014, which is my struggle with addiction. I’ve always been vulnerable online in talking about my health, but that took ‘sharing’ to another level and it wasn’t lost on me that I’d be opening myself up to judgement, criticism, speculation, the whole roster. So daunting, yes - I know all about that but hey, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Exciting, is it still exciting? That’s one thing it has never stopped being. For example as we speak, my videos are going semi-viral on TikTok, no day is the same! Blogging has taken me to some incredible places, like Tom Daley’s dressing room as I prepared to interview him (alongside the one and only Claudia Winkleman) and making a wee appearance on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and on ‘pinch me’ press trips with brands that I could only have dreamed of working with once upon a time. 

There have been ups and downs, fast-paced months where I’ve had more sponsored content deadlines than I could shake a stick at and many months where nothing came in at all and I wondered whether it was time to give up on the dream, say “well, it was fun whilst it lasted” and get a ‘normal’ job. The clock never struck on that time and I’ve managed to keep the lights on during the quiet times, and have the adventure of a lifetime during the heyday! 

Throughout it all, you as an audience have been my constant and I say it a lot but probably still not enough, so please know how deeply thankful I am. Whilst my health has improved, it’s still a daily struggle and I’m always conscious that traditional employment would be difficult or even impossible for me, so I am forever grateful for the flexibility that this brings - it quite literally would not be possible without you <3

What started as a lifeline during medical leave, a little side project to keep my mind occupied whilst my body was failing, has ended up being one of the biggest joys of my life and whenever I tell someone how I got started, the phrase ‘silver lining’ often comes up from the other party and that’s exactly what it is. A ray of sunshine during the greyest of days, the first daffodil after the longest winter… all of the analogies that essentially tell you that you, and this, makes me so incredibly happy and I hope that I’m fortunate enough to do it for another ten years, for as long you’ll have me, really.

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