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 Kathy of UpBeat Living: Thriving Despite Chronic Illness.

Kathy from Upbeat Living1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a divorced, single mom of six children ages 29 to 17. I have two girls and four boys and “Yes” they’re all mine. I left an abusive marriage 10 years ago and took a nursing refresher course before re-entering the work force as a Registered Nurse. I home schooled my children before the divorce.

My youngest son is a cancer survivor. I worked in cancer nursing for 5 years before my health fell apart. My faith in Jesus colors everything I do. I have multiple health issues including asthma, an immune problem, fibromyalgia, and arthritis among others.

2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called UpBeat Living: Thriving Despite Chronic Illness. My blog’s purpose is to provide encouragement and information to help chronic pain/illness sufferers to live the best life we can. My desire is for it to become a supportive community.

3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging a little over 14 months. I started my blog as a way to keep myself positive and to provide some structure to my week. I’ve been unable to work for four years. I hope that as I write about my experiences and how I try to focus on the good things in life that I may encourage other people struggling with chronic illness and pain. I also think it’s important to not be isolated and I’m enjoying my new online friends.

4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I try to post weekly, but sometimes that stretches out to about every ten days. Since I’m a newbie at blogging, posting once a week was a doable way to build content on my site.

5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Blogging has definitely been a good thing in my life. It has provided me with a way to talk to people who understand what it’s like to be chronically sick. It’s helped me to encourage myself as I seek to encourage others. It has also been good for my self-esteem. Now instead of saying that I’m disabled when people ask me what I do, I can say that I’m a writer and that I have my own blog.

6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
It’s important to blog about chronic illness because it’s too easy to feel like you’re alone in your suffering. The biggest benefit for me has been connecting with others who can truly understand. Not only am I sharing my experiences and perspective, but I’m also learning from other chronic illness bloggers.

7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
Tip #1 Only you can be yourself. Be you. Tip #2 Ignore all the emphasis on numbers and work on crafting quality content for yourself and your readers. Tip #3 If you take a course or webinar or buy a book, implement those ideas first before buying anything else. I have resources that I’ve never utilized. Too much information just leads to overload.

Tip #2: Ignore all the emphasis on numbers and work on crafting quality content for yourself and your readers.

Tip #3: If you take a course or webinar or buy a book, implement those ideas first before buying anything else. I have resources that I’ve never utilized. Too much information just leads to overload.

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