Each week we are highlighting a different Chronic Illness Bloggers’ member as our ‘Blogger of the Week‘. As well as getting to know each other better, we hope that you enjoy this series and that you find the interviews with each member to be insightful and helpful.
This week our blogger of the week is Tania of When Tania Talks.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I trained as a classical musician, before my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome meant that I was no longer able to continue. I’ve been coming off my medication for the past year so that my husband & I can try for a baby. It’s been a long & difficult journey, but we both know it will be worth it in the end. As well as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, I also have basilar & hemiplegic type migraine, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome & a host of related conditions.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
I blog at When Tania Talks with beauty, lifestyle & chronic illness posts. My beauty posts are focussed on providing additional information for allergy sufferers & those with sensitive skin. My chronic illness posts focus on providing information & awareness, ways to present yourself & your condition(s) to medical professionals, the use of mobility aids & management techniques. I cover everything else within my lifestyle posts. I have low-allergen, low-FODMAP recipes, opinion pieces, outfit posts & general musings.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started blogging after my knee operation in June 2014. There were lots of complications & I was pretty limited to what I could do. Blogging gave me a focus to my life when I felt lost & without motivation (apparently being given medication you’ve said you’re allergic to will do that!).
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I currently post three times a week. I’d love to do more, but I have to be practical about what I’m able to manage. I started by posting once a week, but found that I had so many ideas & not enough Sunday’s in the month, so I increased how often I post!
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Blogging has definitely benefitted me! I have made so many friends with chronic illnesses who understand what it’s like. This was something I never had before blogging. I also have more confidence in myself. Having to stop playing my oboe & give up my dream of performing hit me really hard, but blogging really helped fill the gap in my life.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Awareness is really important when blogging about chronic illness, but to me, the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others with chronic illness is my main motivation. If I can make one person’s experience of becoming a wheelchair user easier or help someone get the diagnosis they need to access the correct treatment it’s all worth while.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Post what you would want to read – if you’ve Googled a topic only to find very little information, create some! I tried to find information about why people use a wheelchair & all I came up with was ‘if you’ve broken your leg, you may need a wheelchair. If you’ve sprained your ankle, you probably don’t.’ This wasn’t helpful to me, so after visiting my GP to ask for me wheelchair services referral, I wrote down all the reasons I needed a wheelchair as a resource for others.
2. Put in the leg work with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)- This leads on from my point above. If you’re putting together a resource that isn’t really available, chances are you want other people to be able to find it! Good SEO makes someone searching for your topic far more likely to find your post & benefit from your experiences.
3. Don’t feel pressured to post- If you’re not well enough, don’t force yourself. You’re likely to make yourself worse & put out quality you aren’t proud of. This is a tip I really need to remind myself of from time to time!