5 Challenges Blogging with a Chronic Illness…

 with a sprinkle of advice.

Hello, there 🙂

22580266_694779720711953_8334593537802764288_n

If you haven’t read my other posts, welcome. It’s not a secret anymore I am a spoonie. I am Morgan Isabella Shaw, a 24 years old that suffers from Ehlers Danlos Sydrome. However, recently when I was procrastinating, I remembered I haven’t confessed how challenging it is to blog when you have a chronic illness.

I will admit I find multiple things an uphill battle. Cooking, washing myself, walking, relationships and blogging is no different. Actually, it doesn’t happen – unless I am blogging from bed. Even then, five minutes into starting a post I tend to experience a  flare up and struggle to finish writing it that day.  As, I throw my laptop down, I feel disappointed in myself I have not met the strict self-inflicted deadline.

If you land on my homepage you will notice I endeavour to publish one post week.

One post a week – is that it?

Many fire back at me with an eye roll or one raised eyebrow. This made realise how many people do not understand how many challenges are behind the scenes for me to keep on generating posts.This post will let you walk into another part of my mind and reveal 5 challenges a chronically ill person may face when they decide to become a blogger…


5 Challenges of Blogging with a Chronic Illness

1. Blogging is Addicting

 I don’t know if blogging is addicting for everyone or if it just applies to me because of my addictive personality.  I use blogging as a natural remedy for my clinical depression so I try to do it as much as possible to release emotions.

The problem with this is, I have found is I end up not getting other important things done. For example,  I sit very confused looking at University briefs, because I can’t find a private tutor this year –  so I turn my mind to blogging instead.

blogging-for-business

If you find yourself in this position you need to like me – try and snap out of it and  make a loose time management schedule, so you can do everything.  As I move through the academic year I am aware that my blog is going to have to take a backseat if I am to pass it, not because I am abandoning you! I also have to admit the more I want to blog the more I shut myself away from my friends. However, I don’t want to give up blogging.  For once I am starting to enjoy one thing again, which in turn makes me feel less suicidal on the whole.


2. Limited Energy

With most chronic illness comes chronic pain, fatigue and brain fog which makes it difficult to concentrate.  I spend every spare second I have whether that be on the toilet or public transport thinking of new blog ideas and content. The issue associated with this is, my brain goes into overdrive – I  now don’t know how not to think.I am awake until the early hours of the morning. I can’t blame blogging entirely for this – I have always been known as a lady of the night up with pain. However, before my mind got a longer rest.

When my I-phone is ringing in my ear  I know the next day  has hit.  I then *sigh* reaching for the closest can of coca-cola to be able to manoeuvre up right and override the extreme tiredness for a short period of time.  Due to my levels of tiredness I get fed up very easily…

sleep

So, even if I have the best idea for a blog – I lack motivation  to actually blog as even the computer screen stares back at me like a fiend.  A part of this is attributed that with a chronic illness, you never know when bad patches will attack you.  This means it is also difficult to plan a content and schedule and actually STICK to it.


3. Anxiety and Negativity

 I can be a very negative person. To date, I will be honest I only have 66 followers.   I become anxious that no one will like or share my posts and that even sharing my reflections will be worthless.  I panic that the more I write the worse my academic writing for University will become and I am convinced I am going to fail there too.

The reason behind this is, blogging is very descriptive writing and University expects a much more critical standpoint for assessments.  I then wonder if I am being too ‘open’ with the public in what I am sharing and worry that it will affect future opportunities. For example – I need to pull my finger out my arse and start applying for 12 month placements for my degree.

anxiety

I frequently question, if having a blog will be a hindrance and shed light that I used drugs in my past, have clinical depression and that I am disabled. I don’t want special treatment but I know I need to disclose my disabilities on a job application form because my pain affects me on a day-to-day basis.  Whilst, this is all spinning around in my small brain,  I then worry about when I take a back seat from blogging –  if I can ever get the passion back because for other hobbies when I lost them, it was lost forever…


4. Being a Citizen of the Blogosphere

It is also no secret I struggle with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. I find that when I read someone else’s blog to try and learn about other illnesses I don’t always understand what I am reading initially. Everything just gets lost in translation.

How do I overcome this?

I spend a lot of time on Google to understand what the illness is first and then go back to the individuals’ blog.  All of this is interesting but very time consuming.  You may be thinking – well just skip this part, but that would be a vital mistake.  Commenting on posts is essential to improve your writing skills and how you engage with other people.

dots


5. Gaining Traffic and Post Engagement

In October, I received just over 3,000 unique visitors. Although, I am not sure I really did receive this many as it is likely  some of these visitors were in fact me stalking myself using my friends’ phones as I was without one for a while.

I am unlucky with any electrical product! ( I  was definitely was born in the wrong century)..

th

Additionally, I don’t have a strong social media following across many platforms.  I spend the most time on the one where I do have a following – Facebook, to try to gain traffic for my blog.  I am also putting ‘all my eggs in one basket’ and hoping when I finally set up a YouTube channel this will improve my traffic and engagement… as I try to figure out how to increase my Twitter and  Pinterest following.

On Facebook I post my blog posts on my wall, into a couple blogging groups and into chronic illness support groups when I have permission to do so.

 


That Sprinkle of Advice 

4

Do you have a chronic illness and are thinking about becoming a blogger?

 DO IT!

Just remember don’t punish yourself for not being able to post as much as you would like to gain a following.  Fellow bloggers divulged that blogging consistently is very important, where I have fallen short a little bit as the times and days I post content really does vary. This is something I am going to work to improve as I become more experienced and I hope my readers understand that this is not always be possible.

On groups, ensure you always read the pinned posts in groups or you can find yourself getting an inbox of angry admin messages and deleted out of groups.  I find the most effective way to promote your blog on Facebook is through Facebook pages BUT be careful you will be blocked by Facebook if you are a repeat offender.

I think if you post a series on one theme, you may gain more followers. However, I don’t do this because my mind is scatty and like to think of lots of different topics at the same time!


So, guys there are the challenges I have faced blogging with a chronic illness. Next, you can expect to find 5 more general challenges I found since becoming a blogger and what I’ve learnt about myself since becoming a chronic illness blogger.


Sharing is Caring

I would love if you shared this post to raise awareness of some of the challenges a chronic illness blogger faces!


Have your Say

If you a blogger what are some challenges you face?

If you’re a chronic illness blogger do you face similar or different challenges to me?


 Like what you see? 

Join me on my journey on social media;

Facebook page

WordPress

Twitter 

Instagram

Pinterest

Thanks for staying tuned in bed with me and I hope to see you back soon.

Lots of Love,

my name

Popular Related Post

My Invisible Illness ft Tramadol

61 comments

  1. I can feel your frustration while reading this. Just keep doing your best and the rest shall follow. It also sounds like you could do with a bit of a break.

    Like

    • Hello, I know this post may not reflect it but I do try to focus on the positives in life.. Some posts aim to inspire others to how to get through living with a chronic illness etc but other aims are also for me to be honest with my readers and raise awareness.. even if that involves some of the bad and the ugly x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your trials with us. A lot of times people can be demanding of bloggers without even considering that bloggers have lives outside of blogging and sometimes getting a post up was a personal battle. Keep on keeping on, girlie!

    Like

  3. Thank you for sharing your heart! I have suffered from a long term illness and relate with much of what you have shared. Big hugs and thanks for the post.

    Like

  4. Hello there, thanks pouring your heart out. Yes, blogging can be demanding but one thing you must understand is that your life and your health come first and other things are secondary. Just keep being you.

    Like

    • Thank you for your wise words this is so true . I suppose the problem I face is blogging helps the mental health in having a hobby but can tire me out and then as I don’t have audio software at the moment can damage my physical health writing , I just have to get the balance 🙂 x

      Like

  5. I have a disease I was born with and while it doesn’t effect me mentally or emotionally, it DOES make me feel sick some days and that is a challenge to keep going and post good content and do the marketing, etc, etc, etc…
    All anyone can do is try their best!
    I wish you luck in your life and blogging ; ) take care!

    Like

  6. It’s good that you’re following your heart & are doing what makes you happy. Blogging is a passion & it is a spark that lits at some point where the blogger has the urge to share his thoughts with the world out there.

    There are ups & downs in every part of the life, & that includes blogging too, but anyways I hope you succeed in your future endeavours. 🙂

    Also if you’d like to ask & need expert opinion anything, Quora is there for you.

    Like

  7. Great post. Thanks for sharing.I also suffer from an illness two actually. I completely understand where you are coming from. I don’t share what I have. So you are brave to do that. Pushing through pain isn’t easy. Blogging is a great outlet, but even that can be stressful. Keep writing love because you can help others in pain.

    Like

    • Hi Amanda, thank you for stoppping by. I can see why you do that and I did for a long time. I suppose everyone deals with things in different ways. To try and cope with the pain I’ve had to stop working, and hope that by doing that I can push by at uni and rest a lot. I suppose if I help one person it’s a bonus :).

      Like

  8. I think one week is fine if that’s all you can do. There’s no rule to blogging so who says once a day is wrong. It’s about what you want out of it, about what makes you satisfied.

    Like

  9. Thank you for sharing a part of your experience through this post. I can understand the pressure of a blogger and then trying new ways and be constant with that to improve traffic. Be positive and keep doing your part, things will be better than they are today.

    Like

    • Hello Preeti , I hope so I know my blog doesn’t get a huge amount of traffic compared to others but I am just trying to focus on mine and hope in a few months like over Christmas etc I can dedicate more time to it! I think even successful bloggers are always looking for more traffic for Adsense and sponsored posts, so that one is a challenge for many I have to admit x

      Like

    • Hi dawn , another post has a lot of information on a spoonie but I can’t publish it yet until it’s been as a guest post for a certain amount of time ! It is basically anyone with a long – standing illness and there’s a story behind it to do with spoons of course ! Thank you x

      Like

  10. Great post! I find blogging addicting too and I sometimes have to just take a break from it because it begins to consume me too much! So I definitely get ya! Enjoyed reading your post can’t wait to go back and read more!

    Like

  11. I think blogging is a great outlet to share and connect with others who might be facing something similar out there. Sometimes writing and journaling is the most effective outlet for your consciousness!

    Like

  12. Always take care of you! I have some health issues that I battle with on a daily basis, too. BUT, keeping being you and taking care of you!!!

    Like

  13. I respect you for putting all these thoughts into writing so they can not only explain your own challenges, but also help others reading your blog who may likewise experience the same or similar struggles. I can relate on a couple levels with my own chronic anti-immune illnesses and simply age-related challenges (as you mentioned, brain fog and chronic fatigue). I also have arthritis, so live with pain in my hands and fingers most of the time – not good for someone who works online at a keyboard all day, in addition to blogging! Take time off when you need to and try not to worry about what anyone else thinks – take care of YOU!

    Like

  14. I have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and serve allergies. My GERD is so bad that at times I feel like I’m having a heart attack because it puts pressure on my chest and gives me hand pain. I try to block the discomfort by meditating, thinking positive and doing other things like blogging.

    Like

    • Hello Debbie thanks for stopping by I suppose before I even got really Poorly I always set high limits because I don’t want to feel like a failure but this year I know I’ll have to accept dramatically lower grades due to health ! X

      Like

  15. You’re truly amazing! You have accomplished some thing! I know that it’s really hard to keep things done on time but we have to be good on ourselves.

    Like

  16. I think you should take it as a really good sign that so many people are engaged and commenting on your blog. It can take a long time to build up a solid following. Many of the issues you mentioned are things I also struggle with. I am not very open about myself on my blog because I worry about how that might affect career opportunities, etc. However, I think there is something to be said for being your authentic self. I think that act of expressing who you are is healing in and of itself.

    You refer to yourself as negative. I am so tired of these labels that society inflicts on us. Years ago, a guy I know explained to me how “negative” I was and then proceeded to cry for half an hour because he was so sad that my friend broke up with him. How am _I_ the negative one? I was actually quite comforting while he was having a meltdown over something that I only _wished_ would be my worst problem.

    My point is that I think there are a lot of people who are confused between “negativity” and things sucking. Because, to be extremely positive when things suck hard is, in my opinion, a form of insanity. I mean, I don’t begrudge that insanity to anyone who can muster it up, but I don’t think we should be blamed for being sane.

    My point, really, is that if we are depressed AND sick in some other way, it seems like it would be unnatural to be positive about the situation. One thing I have read lately, though, and I am working on a blog post about it, is that “gratitude” helps both in terms of pain relief and depression. I mean, I read this in some scientific papers, so it’s not just some airy fairy stuff. It’s a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, though, when things are bad, to have someone say, “Write a letter of gratitude,” because there is so much to be annoyed about and UNgrateful for that it is irritating to be told that we should be grateful.

    Ironically, despite this, it helps. I know this from experience and also from reading that it has tangible benefits. My father was always skeptical of this type of gratitude — being grateful that both your legs are not broken when one is broken, for example. It is hard for me not to also be skeptical.

    I don’t think you have anything to worry about in terms of your writing deteriorating for university. I think our brains are big enough to hold room for the “informal and subjective” writing style of a blog post and the “formal and objective” writing style of a university paper.

    I guess my overall message (in seven paragraphs) is that I think you sound like you are doing exceptionally well. Or, perhaps I should say, you sound like you are COPING exceptionally well. When I read what you write, I think, “she really shouldn’t be so hard on herself,” and then I think of my boyfriend telling me not to be so hard on myself, and finally I have some insight into what he means. The way I look at it with myself is that I can only do my best, and sometimes, my best sucks. And that’s the way it is. I know if my life had been more ideal, both in terms of circumstances, and not being ill, my best would have been way better. And that is frustrating. SO frustrating.

    But I think we have to learn to be patient with ourselves and do one small thing at a time. And, blogging can be cathartic and helpful. Sometimes it takes a few years before it makes any money (and is money the whole point anyhow?) A lot of people give up way too soon. I am fortunate in that a girl I went to university with makes over $100K per year blogging. Although I am jealous of her, I consider it good fortune that I know her because I know it is not all a pipe dream — I know people are not all just lying about their income, and I know it is possible to make it. She works hard at her blog, but she admits that some years she has worked harder than others. So, it can be done.

    Oh — and one post a week is lots! I don’t have nearly as much going on as you do either in terms of life or my health and I have been really dragging my behind on posts lately. It is finally starting to improve. But, take home message: go easy on yourself! You’re writing with an authentic voice that is clearly captivating and engaging a large audience. Look how many comments you have on this post alone!

    Like

  17. Hi Rachael, thank you for stopping by, I love a good essay. I do feel grateful people stop by and read the blog but I am never sure if my content is interesting enough haha. I understand what you mean about stereo types but I am negative, I become more negative as my health deteriorates I find. For example, I need an operation but I had an infection for the last 4 months so the hospital won’t operate until that disappears which appears to be slow burning it is a vicious cycle! In terms of University I think I will be lucky to scrape a 2:1 (60%) this year from having 79.5% average last year (which doesn’t count as first year) due to missing lessons etc for hospital appointments / content being harder to understand but I think I will stay long if this happens to get that 2:1. Many people say to achieve a 2:2 is an achievement for someone like me – ill but then again back to stereotypes but I think due to the nature of my degree employers would not view it like this. I think I have coped well in the past but got lost along the way but thank you for your kind words and I am glad you have your boyfriend to support you. Your blog does look really interesting lots of content on there. I want to look at it more in depth when I am feeling better to make sure I am reading it properly. I hope your health improves too and ironically more people followed me after I posted this even though my post before was way more popular with 449 shares. I suppose its the luck of the draw/ how long you spend writing each post. I think I may take a little break from blogging just to try and get better and hope the creativity / audience are here when I am ready to be back in a couple / few weeks! Morgan x

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s