Many mental health bloggers and other bloggers living with chronic illness are used to having to adjust their blogging habits to compensate for changes in illness symptoms and intensity. I can’t speak to what other bloggers experience and how they adapt, but I thought I’d write a bit about my own experience.
For me, blogging is most impacted by the cognitive effects of depression, like problems with concentration, memory, and connecting thoughts together clearly. Since my illness is treatment-resistant, I deal with these effects to some extent all the time, but there is variation in intensity.
Over the last 6 weeks and a bit I’ve been particularly slow, primarily in a physical sense but also cognitively. My writing output has dropped significantly. Since I have most posts written and scheduled about 3 weeks in advance, the writing slowdown hasn’t been visible on your end (at least not yet).
What has slowed down the most had been the writing that is, at least potentially, for money. I’ve written very little on Medium.com, and haven’t made much progress on the books I’m working on. And that’s totally fine, although I do wonder if I should make some adjustments in how I allocate my time.
What consumes the most time is reading other people’s blogs. My reading is slow, and I get distracted and forget what I’ve read. Sometimes I’ll stare at a post for a while trying to think of a comment, and then give up and move on. I really like reading other blogs so this is a high priority for me, but it has been consuming a lot more time than usual.
I blog basically full-time – in terms of hours, not in terms of income. I was working very little before, and I’m not well enough to work at all now. That means I have plenty of time on my hands, and blogging is the most pleasant way to spend my time. Will my slowed output catch up to my scheduling to the point that you see less frequent posting on my blog? Maybe, although I’d probably cut back on my reading time before I changed my posting schedule. I’m not overly attached to the daily posts; if that becomes unfeasible at some point, then cutting back is not a problem at all. I’m definitely not the type to beat myself up over that kind of thing.
The one thing that’s predictable about chronic illness, though, is that it’s unpredictable. So I’ll just take it as it comes, and try to be as flexible as I can, which I think is probably the most important thing for any chronic illness blogger.
Do you have to make adjustments in your blogging approach as a result of health issues?