When I first started blogging, my mentor Rachel from The Chronicles of Rach told me about the importance of asking myself questions. Why did I want to blog? What did I want to blog about? Who did I want to read it? She explained how having a clear focus would help me to create better content.
She pointed me to the seven questions the wonderful Pip Lincolne (from BLog with Pip) had assigned her during a recent blogging course. I read Rachel’s answers in her post The Whys and Wherefores, and then eagerly scribbled down my own answers. I’ve referred to those scribbled sentences many times over the last six months.
I realised that if I shared them here, it may help people to understand why I started Reflections Of A Bear. So here they are: the secrets to my blogging…
Why do you want to blog?
I want to blog for me.
I’m the kind of girl/bear who likes thinking deeply about things. Writing down my thoughts and feelings helps me to organise and process them…and I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about chronic illness!
I want to blog for others.
I want people with Dysautonomia to have access to clear, easily understood information about their illness; to ‘demystify’ what is happening inside their body. I want other chronic illness sufferers to know they are not alone. I want the friends and family of chronic illness sufferers to better understand what chronic illness is like, so that they can support their loved ones. I want people in general to be more aware of chronic, invisible illnesses, and the impact that they can have on a person’s life.
What can you bring to your readers?
The insecure part of me immediately whispers, “Nothing.”
But I know that’s not true. I’m definitely not the world’s ‘best blogger’, but I can still offer insight into life with chronic illness. I can share my experiences. I can offer education and support with honesty and humour. So take that, insecurities!
What sort of content will you produce?
I want my site to have…
* Personal pieces about my chronic illness experiences/thoughts/feelings
* Educational posts with easy-to-understand medical info about Dysautonomia
* Helpful reviews of products relevant to chronic illness (e.g. medical aids)
* Comics for my ‘Brain Fog Files‘ comic series.
* Comics for my “Inside Dysautonomia” comic series (not yet released)
What are your blogging goals?
But I do want to write more, and share it further.
How often do you want to blog?
I want to blog all the time!
But I aim for once a week.
I know have to be gentle with myself when I don’t meet my goal though. I’m not just writing a blog about chronically ill people. I AM chronically ill. So, even though I’m only managing to put up one or two posts or comics a month, my friend Tina reminds me…
“The Bear who puts out one post/comic a month is lapping the Bear from before who didn’t follow her artistic dreams xx”
Who is your ideal reader?
This is a tough question! I feel like I want to say, “I don’t have an ideal reader!” Since I want to both encourage chronic illness sufferers and raise awareness in the healthy population, I want my blog posts to spread to everyone. But I know that there are some people who just aren’t interested in learning, especially about things that don’t apply to them personally. So I guess my ideal reader is anyone suffering from a chronic illness, or anyone who is healthy, but is compassionate enough to want to better understand chronic illness.
How will your readers feel?
I hope that my readers will feel…
* Educated about Dysautonomia (or chronic, invisible illnesses in general)
* Encouraged / supported / relieved that they’re not alone
* Excited to find easy-to-understand content they can share with others to help raise awareness and spread understanding.
So… why do I blog?
I blog for me.
I blog for others.
I blog to let chronically ill people know they’re not alone.
I blog to help healthy people understand what chronic illness is like.
I blog to raise awareness of chronic, invisible illnesses.
P.S. Blogging often feels like I’m talking to myself!
So if you read one of my posts and learn something, or find something helpful or encouraging, I’d love to hear from you! If you disagree with something, or find something confusing, I’d still love to hear from you! If you’ve got a question, or a request for a specific post topic or infographic – let me know! There’s a place for comments under every post, or you can shoot me an email via my contact form.
It’s always nice to know that your words aren’t being lost in cyberspace.