Wednesday 24 July 2019

Blogging with a disability/chronic illness

You may see my blog all neat any tidy but on my best dash board I currently have 81 draft posts and 12 scheduled posts. I does look a bit like organised mess, but at least it's all in date order and I can see the dates.

The drafts are either post ideas that have come to my mind that I want to write about at some point so I make a post with the heading and leave it blank like 'Grieving for my health' to work on at some point or that I'm currently working on. Or they're awareness events that are coming up so they're almost like reminds a) of the event and b) to start working on the posts for the event at some point or that I've already made a start on typing e.g. 'Jeans for Genes Day'. 

The scheduled posts are posts I've finished typing and I've set it to automatically publish on a certain day.

The only post I really do 'live' is my weekly journal which I type as I go through the day or I write at the end of the day depending on how bad my memory is that day.

I can only manage to type in small amounts which is manageable for me. I often write week or months ahead of times for awareness events posts, I even have some things that I have a reminder for to I'm working on or have even finished and scheduled to publish next year!

Having bad memory loss at times and being able jot down post titles and leave it to work on another time and being able to work bit-by-bit and save what I've done is really really helpful to me. This especially good for me as typing is quite tiring as I'm having to think and research etc and alongside that typing can be painful for my hands with my hypermobility. Unfortunately my Dragon (voice activated software) doesn't work on this side of my MacBook.

Some blogger have a set day in which they publish. I personally like to spread posts out so  I'm not having a time where there's say 6 posts all close together and then the following week there's only 1 post (this includes gusts posts). 

May was a busy month with it being M.E. Awareness Week/Month, Mental Health Awareness Month and EDS/HSD Awareness Month so I had posts of my own put my journal posts alongside guest posts so using a calendar I planned how to organise posts.

So, here are some of my tips for blogging when you have a chronic illness/disability:
  1. Plan, plan and plan!
  2. Keep a note for post ideas and what you want to write about - you can either keep it in a notebook or on the 'behind the scenes' of your blog (I have so so many draft posts on the go. I just jot down a title, a few notes and links and then I can go back and keep adding to it until the post is ready to be published, or if it's for a particular occasion I try get ahead of schedule and then set it to auto publish on the day).
  3. Get ahead of time - days, weeks, months or even a year. This is especially helpful if you're planning to write for awareness events.
  4. Write in amounts that are tolerable for you; even if it's just a paragraph at a time. Don't push yourself beyond your limits as blogging will just start to feel like a chore rather than something you enjoy doing.
  5. Have a tidy up of your blog to help make it more organised which can help you have a tidier mind.
  6. Research, look at other blogs, current hot topics or places like Pinterest for inspiration for new blog ideas to to find out about the awareness events you want to write about and raise awareness about.
  7. Keep it simple. You don't always have to write a long saga of a blog post.
  8. Be mindful of the time. It's easy to get lost and into typing and forget about the time. Remember to take breaks.
  9. If you feeling uninspired or you're not enjoying blogging take a break.
  10. It's okay to not set targets, e.g. to publish 2 posts a week every week of the year. Be realistic, and if you miss a whole month that's fine.
  11. Don't just blog about health and disability, this may be your main focus but don't let it take over. Your blog about your and your life and there is more to you than just your illness. Write about your hobbies, days out and other fun things. I've done posts for 'Love your Pet Day' for example.
  12. Remember to look after you and your health first.