COVID-19 diaries with Sarah Fligelstone: Blagging Blogging - The Inspiration Behind My New Dentistry & Lifestyle Blog 'FLiG'

Latest COVID-19 diaries is with DFT Sarah Fligelstone on her new blog...

Why I Started FLiG

I have followed a number of dental blogs over the last few years, including A Tooth Germ. Through reading these I developed a nagging interest in creating my own and this I started FLiG. However, the transition from idea to inception was not this straightforward. 

The Right Time

Up until recently, I was a firm believer in waiting for 'the right time' to embark on various endeavours. My experience in starting a blog was not dissimilar, with thoughts such as "I need to better my computer skills", "I'll do it when I have more time" and "I need to become more established in dentistry" being enough to quash previous attempts. 

Then, through reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, I realised that there is no such thing as 'the right time' and this was just a way of justifying my procrastination. Disclaimer - ironically and at the risk of contradicting myself, the commencement of FLiG has coincided with lock down, a period where time is arguably a less precious commodity. Nonetheless, with my limited computer skills and an unestablished position in dentistry, I set out to choose a blogging platform and publish my first post.  

Three posts later and FLiG is still very much in its infancy. There are still plenty of imperfections to iron out, however I have come to realise the value in not succumbing to the resistance these create. 

Finding my Niche

With plenty of high quality dental blogs in circulation, I didn't want to add to an already saturated niche. Therefore, in addition to sharing dentistry knowledge commensurate with my career development, I decided to feature content about the lifestyle our career accommodates. The aim being to instil a sense of positivity for work-life balance and in turn alleviate the self imposed pressure to preference work and the negative sequelae that come with this mindset. 

Working as a DFT in West Wales, my typical weekend includes coffee fuelled adventures around Gower in my 2008 Fiat Doblo microcamper 'Dorris' namely surfing, skating and bouldering. I also enjoy anything creative, looking after my expanding collection of houseplants and learning about random subjects including architecture, minimalism and finance. So you can expect to see content related to these. 

Social Media in Dentistry 

Like anything, social media has good, bad and ugly sides. My experience has been largely good which I put down to adhering to my rule of not comparing myself to others. The origin of this is a quote by Desiderata - 

"If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter. For always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."

While this is applicable to all domains of life, it is especially important of social media in dentistry. The content of these platforms generally portrays the highlights as the everyday, with nothing ever appearing to go wrong. Striving for these unrealistic standards has the potential to be detrimental to mental health. The motivating factors for this idealistic depiction of dentistry on social media are intricate and beyond the scope of this post. However, by following the above rule, I believe that this issue can be overcome and great value can be gained from social media in dentistry. 

Here is a previous of my weekly content for the coming month, so if these are of interest to give them a read here
  1. Dental budgeting for DFTs
  2. A day in the life as a DFT - before and during COVID-19
  3. Overly frank sustainable dental product reviews
  4. Getting the most out of DFT - 5 top tips
Lastly... thanks to Natalie for helping me get my footing in the world of dental blogging. If anyone else is interesting in dipping their toe in, I would highly recommend reading Natalie's post 10 Steps to Start your own Dental Blog

Do you want to write a COVID-19 diary? Please get in touch! Whether you're a dental student, foundation dentist, dental core trainee, associate, dental nurse, therapist I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

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