blogher creators summit

Highlights from the 2018 BlogHer Creators Summit

This past week I had the exciting opportunity to attend the BlogHer Creators Summit. It was two days full of bad ass women, inspirational stories & journeys as well as advice that is applicable to me in both my professional and personal life.

This conference was for informing and inspiring female content creators who are looking to spread their content as well as their personal stories to their audiences.

I attended numerous panels, interviews and breakout sessions that informed & inspired me in two ways: 1) informed me on ways I can better strategize for my blog and social media accounts as I create content for the chronic illness community and 2) inspired me to pursue my passions, to feel confident and that hard work can definitely pay off.

It was an incredible experience and I definitely recommend it! But better yet – in January, there will be a BlogHer Health Conference (woo!!)

Below are some notes on what I took away from specific sessions at this conference, broken up into two categories: Related to Content Creation and Related to Everyday Life

Sessions On Content Creation

“Meet Marie Forleo”

  • Consistency is key and is an underrated trait

“#BrandBallers”

Nitika Chopra (a Chronic Illness Advocate) was on this panel!

  • What companies are looking for in influencers that they want to partner with
    • A storytelling element
    • Does their ethos align with the company’s ethos?
    • Are they a fan of their brand?
    • Do they have authenticity?
  • What influencers should look for in companies they want to partner with
    • A brand that is aligned with what their community needs
    • Figure out how you can best serve your community and find a brand that you can partner with to do exactly that
  • Content creation diversification
    • Control your homebase – build up a really strong blog or one single platform
    • When creating content, ask yourself – will this serve my community and how? If you can’t answer that question, don’t post it
    • Focus on other people when creating, not on yourself

“Visual Storytelling”

  • Important things for creating video content:
    • Make sure the sound is high quality
    • Get nice lighting
    • Consider editing your videos
    • Ask: how does your audience want to be spoken to?
    • What is your voice?
    • What is your unique story to tell?

Sessions on Professional Goals & Personal Life

Some of this will relate to living with a chronic illness, the rest of it is just great, relatable, noteworthy advice & words of wisdom.

“#WinningWomen” with Gabrielle Union

  • Everyone is suffering from something, but sometimes we feel like we are on an island; so bring comfort to people however we can

“You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you.”

  • We internalize so much often because we fear judgement
  • It is ok to say to doctors “actually, that doesn’t seem like what I have.”
  • You do not have to take on doctor’s diagnosis as a sure thing. Get second opinions, explore other options; you are your own best advocate.
  • “It is ok to be the pesky patient.” YES, THIS. We shouldn’t go to doctor’s offices leaving with the same issues and no answers.

“You are not lucky. THEY are lucky.”

“#WinningWomen” with Maria Menounos

  • You need to be your own best advocate
  • You know yourself and your body better than anyone else – you have to make choices based on how you feel even if doctors don’t agree with you
  • Statistics are just numbers – listen to what your body is telling you
  • Treat your health from every angle – physical, emotional and spiritual

“We are everything to everyone and nothing to ourselves.”

  • With stillness, we are able to hear what is being told to us by God and can listen to what our bodies are also telling us.

“Everything has a purpose and nothing is a coincidence.”

  • Life is happening FOR me, not TO me.
  • There is a reason things are happening for you, no matter what it is that’s happening – good or bad
  • Keep a pain journal and tell your doctor everything at your annual physical
  • Keep a regular journal – for random revelations
  • Focus = Feeling
    • Whatever we choose to focus on, that is going to dictate how we feel; if we decide to focus on the negative, we will feel negatively.
  • Trust your gut and instinct and be ok with people thinking you’re crazy – you are not crazy, you are wise.

“Passion to Profit”

  • How to find your passion
    • Document, don’t create → think introspectively about what you want, what you believe in, etc., rather than trying to create an image. Don’t echo what already exists
  • Your point of view is really what differentiates you
  • When creating content, think “what real value does this provide to my audience?” and if you can’t answer that, then don’t post it

blogher creators summit

Tackle Your Tuesday: You Can Do It!

Living with a medical condition (or many) inhibits your ability to do so many things that others are capable of doing. For me that includes: running, exercising without pain, living without fear of pain ruining your plans, etc… 

But just because I can’t do those things, doesn’t mean I can’t do things that others may not be able to. That includes writing, advocating, becoming a finalist for the WEGO Health Activist Awards, and so much more.

Try not to think about what you cannot do, and put your focus on what you can do. And change the world with it. 🌎🌄

HAWMC Day 8: Little Engine Post

  1. I think I can find a combination of treatments that help drastically reduce my chronic headaches
  2. I think I can find an exercise routine that doesn’t drastically increase my exertional headaches
  3. I think I can eventually monetize off of my blog
  4. I think I can increase traffic to my blog each month that I continue to work on it
  5. I think I can bring together people who have similar health issues or similar battles and give them a positive, supportive place to turn
  6. I think I can lose those extra few pounds by turning my diet around and really eating well for my body
  7. I think I can increase my income through outside, freelance and side jobs, in order to help feel more comfortable with my finances
  8. I think I can motivate others to share their stories, as I am sharing mine
  9. I think I can improve my handlettering/handwriting skills
  10. I think I can eventually use Etsy to sell products with my handlettering/handwriting on them

  1. I know I can make a positive difference in the health activist community and grow as a health activist, myself.
  2. I know I can make a big ripple, even though I’m one single stone being thrown into the pond
  3. I know I can gather and maintain the strength, both physical and mental, to keep fighting my everyday pain with chronic daily headaches and migraines
  4. I know I can continue to grow The Headache Heroine into what I what it do be long term
  5. I know I can make a difference

Tuesday Tunes: “Second Wind” by Maren Morris

 

Maren Morris has quickly become one of my new favorite country artists on the scene right now. Her songs are not only catchy but the lyrics I think are genius. She has some songs that have honestly made me laugh because she somehow manages to be funny and scarily relatable all while singing beautifully.

This song though, is more of an empowering song. It’s about how you learn to let people fuel your fire, rather than letting them get in your head and tear you down.

No matter what your goal is, never let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve it. Don’t let the negativity of others seep into your confidence, perseverance and determination. People will do what they want to do, and say what they want to say. Let them.It’ll just motivate you more to succeed and make them mad that they underestimated you in the first place.

 

Thursday’s Tips & Tricks! 📢 Give Yourself A Pep Talk! 


I’ve been pretty quiet on my blog lately, and I’d like to make an excuse for myself if that’s ok 🙈 last week was interesting with a migraine day and another day completed with a spontaneous ER trip. And then to top it off, the beginning of this week I had a fever. Needless to say, I was under my covers ignoring the world a good chunk of the past week and a half or so.
BUT I digress. Today I’m throwin a little somethin your way again! Back on the grind 💪🏼✍🏼

Sometimes no matter how hard we try, it can feel impossible to motivate ourselves to keep pushing onward in whatever situation we’ve found ourselves in. The road gets bumpy and we sometimes just pull over and stop the car. 

So, maybe we let someone else do the motivating for us every once in a while! Right? 

Maybe we watch/read one of these motivational commencement speeches, or we have a friend rally us, or we write down our goals so we can visually picture them. Whatever it is that gets us back on the road! 


Sometimes we find motivation within ourselves, but sometimes we get by with a little help from our friends (see what I did there? 😏) 
P.S. I took these pictures of pages out of the book “You Are Doing A Freaking Great Job.” I totally recommend you buy it because it puts a smile on my face every time I open it! 

What’s the Word? “Fortitude”

  
Fortitude. 

A word I love. A word I repeat in my head day in and day out. A constant reminder that I am stronger than any difficulty I am facing. 

Physical strength is great. Without physical strength I wouldn’t have been able to get up to bat every time I had a migraine during a really important game. I wouldn’t have been able to endure the multiple nurses and endless prodding by needles when my veins were being stubborn during blood drawings. It’s a strength I’ve learned how to control and can be seen by others around me.

Mental and emotional strength takes a much stronger person to master. How many plans do you have to cancel, trips you have to miss, crying breakdowns you have to endure, anxiety attacks you have to conquer, etc, does it take for one person to truly give into the mental and emotional pain of chronic illness and pain? 

I wish I could count on my hands the number of times I’ve broken down in extreme frustration, anger, sadness, the like due to health issues that piled on top of me until I felt like I was suffocating. But I can’t, because I don’t have that many hands.

It was worse in the years prior. With age, and experience, comes maturity. Lately, I’ve displayed more emotional and mental strength than I thought was capable of. It helps to have an encouraging support system who constantly tells you how strong you are. But instead of feeling like you’re getting an ego boost, you feel proud.

Proud that you are still fighting. Proud that you aren’t letting the difficulties that pile up, win. Proud that you are mentally and emotionally strong enough to show the world that no matter what, you will continue to walk through your journey with your head held high.

Fortitude is a word I repeat in my head every single day. I’ll be damned if I let my adversities beat me down.