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 Katie of Katie Cupcake Life With ME.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Katie, a 30-year-old vegetarian spoonie from Leeds. I’m happily married. I’m a tragically cat-less cat lady but am hoping to rectify this later in 2016! Whilst my blog follows my battle with M.E & Fibromyalgia, with tips for coping with being chronically ill, I mainly rave about my other passions in life… I love everything skincare, makeup and beauty! I also love discovering new beauty brands and sharing my beauty subscription box unboxings. I also blog a little about lifestyle, and management of my TMJ.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called Katie Cupcake Life With ME, which is a play on words – I share my life on my blog, but also discuss my M.E (myalgic encephalomyelitis!) I initially started my blog as I could no longer attend work and wanted to have some structure and purpose to my days. I wanted to reach out to other spoonies and write about anything I had discovered that helped me, in order to try and help others. After a short period of time, I realised that my blog had evolved and I blogged a lot about makeup and beauty! I love all things beauty, and am passionate about discovering new products and telling people what I’ve tried, so it’s no surprise that this quickly became a big part of my blog!
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I have been blogging for just over a year now. As previously mentioned, I started blogging when I went on long-term sick leave from work. I found that I was mostly stuck in bed and was lacking any sense of purpose or structure to my days. My mother-in-law gave me an old laptop and it went from there! What I like most about blogging is that I can be stuck in bed, but can log onto my laptop and instantly connect with the world.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I post anywhere between two and four times a week. I initially posted more frequently, but looking back, my posts didn’t take as long to produce. I didn’t know much about photography, lighting, editing, adding alt text etc into my posts, so everything was a lot quicker to put up! Now, each post takes longer, but I am much happier with the quality, look and content of them. I’ve learnt a lot along the way! Due to my chronic illnesses, I try to save up a few posts so that when I have periods of being especially unwell, I don’t have to worry about trying to blog.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
I feel that blogging has benefited me in so many ways! I have learnt new skills, such as photography, editing, using basic HTML etc. I have loved writing since I was a child, so it’s amazing to have a creative outlet for that passion. The most important benefit that has come from blogging has been connecting with such an amazing community… the blogging community has been nothing but kind and supportive. The spoonie/chronic illness community have been absolutely wonderful! You couldn’t ask to ‘meet’ a warmer, more kind and supportive community.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
I really wanted to let people know the day to day reality of chronic illness. Not just a list of symptoms, but how it feels actually living with these conditions every day. How it effects people not just physically but mentally! There is still a lot of misunderstanding about chronic illness, particularly invisible illnesses such as ME and fibromyalgia, so I wanted to help people understand so that they can treat people with compassion and understanding.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Schedule tweets! Having tweets such as links to new posts going up when you’re not online is so helpful – especially for spoonies, who need more rest and less time online.
2. Ask questions, get involved in the community, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
3. Read blogs which focus on giving blogging tips, such as Skinnedcartree.com – I have learnt SO much from reading her posts!