with a sprinkle of advice.
Hello, there 🙂
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.
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…
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.
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.
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)..
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
Do you have a chronic illness and are thinking about becoming a blogger?
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?
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Thanks for staying tuned in bed with me and I hope to see you back soon.
Lots of Love,
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