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 Stephan of Confined to Success.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been suffering from Chronic Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses since 2008, although I already had mild symptoms one or two years prior but doctors weren’t able to identify it (sounds familiar, right?).
Despite treatment, I got progressively worse and finally had to give up working my full-time job in 2012. I’ve been unable to work ever since. Chronic Lyme pretty much derailed my life but I still hope for better days ahead.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
My blog is called Confined to Success and its intention is to help chronically ill and disabled individuals take better control of their lives in every imaginable respect. It’s less a personal journal and more a comprehensive resource to help others in the same boat as me, covering familiar topics like coping with loneliness, alternative healing modalities and how to earn income when you’re disabled and broke.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I began blogging in April 2016 for three main reasons…
1. Stay productive while dealing with a health crisis.
2. Earn some money.
3. Make new friends since most of my old ones have kind of gone AWOL 🙂
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
My original plan was to post twice per week but that schedule didn’t last long as my articles require more time than I had suspected (dang you, brain fog!) So now, it’s around once per week, depending on how I feel. Lately, progress has been slow but I hope to pick up soon again.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
After reading a bunch of my blog posts, a relative told me I sound as if I “really have it together.” Well, that’s a stretch (to put it mildly) but that’s the feeling I try to convey on my blog. I want to give people hope through their ordeal in an understanding, light-hearted and sometimes humorous way. Writing is a mirror of the mind and I think blogging has helped give me clarity on some heavy issues such as suffering an identity crisis when you’re chronically ill.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Chronic illness needs greater exposure but it’s sort of hush-hush in our society, almost too taboo to talk about. So I hope, in my own small way, my blog helps get the word out.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Commit to AT LEAST 6 months, if not a year of continuous blogging before assessing your situation. Better to be pleasantly surprised with early results (traffic, sales, etc.) than being disappointed when nothing seems to be happening. Like healing, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
2. Adopt the same writing style as you would when emailing your best friend. Blogging isn’t the same thing as writing a research paper but a lot of bloggers don’t make that distinction (I’m STILL working on it myself!) The more relatable you are, the more engaged your readers will be.
3. Spice up your posts. While content will always be king, make sure to incorporate photos, videos, surveys, stats, memes, or anything else to give your articles more oomph.