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 Nikki of Brainless Blogger.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I have had chronic pain since I was a child. It started with hypermobility syndrome, then fibromyalgia and then chronic migraines. I have a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Alberta. I currently work in the financial industry, albeit part-time now which rather helps manage the chronic pain. I enjoy fantasy fiction writing and reading. I have been blogging for over a decade now.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is the Brainless Blogger; named due to the infamous fibro fog moments. My blog initially was a place to share my experiences about fibromyalgia, chronic migraines and chronic pain. It still has that aspect, naturally. It just has evolved to more in-depth discussions of our experiences with chronic pain and illness. As well as articles and research on these disorders.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started about a decade ago and it was sort of a way to express my experiences and share them with other people. As well as a way to chronicle my progress as I went along. What worked and what did not. What medications worked and which did not. At first, I assumed no one would read it and I was just sending it out into cyberspace as a sort of electronic journal. Eventually, it was great to make connections with other bloggers.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I post weekly and sometimes bi-weekly. This schedule merely came about simply because ideas occur to me that I want to discuss frequently enough to post weekly or more.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
I definitely feel it has benefited me. In the beginning, there was something about being able to express the true nature of my pain experience, in a way I simply did not to others, that I found cathartic. It helps me cope with the experience, to be honest. I work out how I think about coping, the pain experience and illness by writing about it. I reflect upon my coping by writing about it. As an introspective person, this process works quite well for me. Not to mention the fact it has made me much more connected to advocates and the chronic illness community. I do a great deal of research and this makes me an informed patient.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
I believe it is vital we raise awareness about the impact of chronic illness and chronic pain. Without our voice, we simply get diminished. Our experiences never get told. We are marginalized. I have been told my blog has impacted people and sometimes I am the last person to see my own impact, but I am glad to hear that it is there. Collectively I feel we are important as a community to raise awareness and advocate. Think about how chronic pain is being treated lately… surely people in pain deserve a voice?
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1)Always use a visual. I always create an image to go with my post. It can have my own words that tie into the post, even inspire the post or just a quote that pertains to the topic at hand.
2)This is not for every post but for some I like to tie things together into numbered points and then have the title reference ‘5 chronic illness ____’. It keeps it concise and to the point. People know what it is about and what to expect. These are generally quite shareable.
3) Don’t shy away from a good rant post. Put some good emotion into a post once in a while when it is a good topic. But be on point. Be specific what it is you are emotional about and why. Keep it simple as well.