Blogger Recognition Award

I’ve been nominated for another blogger award! This time, Sara from Vivid n Stylish has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Thankyou Sara for this nomination.

For those who don’t know, the Blogger Recognition Award is a way of recognising all the hard work and effort that goes into blogging and celebrating those who put in the hard work. It isn’t as easy as everyone thinks!

Firstly, I’ll outline the rules of the tag. Then I’ll explain two reasons why I start blogging and two pieces of advice I have for other bloggers. Then I’ll answer the questions Sara has asked me, before asking my own questions and nominating some more bloggers to answer them.

Rules

  • Display the logo of the blogger recognition award.
  • Thank the blogger nominator.
  • Write something about bloggers’ recognition award.
  • Write two reasons why you started blogging.
  • Give two pieces of advice to your fellow bloggers.
  • Nominate 15 more bloggers for the blogger recognition award.
  • Notify each of your nominees that you have chosen them.

Two reasons why I started blogging

Well the first reason was because it was recommended to me. I wrote about the start of the blog in my first ever blog post . Long story short, the girls I was travelling with said they’d learned a lot about the issues I face as a disabled person over the course of the trip and encouraged me to start sharing my experiences in a blog. So I came home and that’s exactly what I did, sharing my first post in the October after the trip that summer. Secondly, it seemed like a good way to vent my frustrations with the ableist way society is set up and the barriers that are in my way as a disabled person.

Two pieces of advice for other bloggers

I actually discussed my advice for other bloggers in this blog post. However, if I was to pick two key pieces of advice, the first would be to find your “cornerstone”. By this I mean the one value or thing about your writing that you would never give up. The thing that makes it recognisable as your writing. For me that’s my honesty, if a post doesn’t brutally honest and raw and as those my friends can hear me saying it in their head, then I shouldn’t be putting my name to it. My second piece of advice would be don’t force content. You’ve probably read somewhere that you need to release x blog posts a week that are x number of words long for good SEO and “the algorithm” or something. But if you’re forcing out content you’re not interested in purely to meet these arbitrary numbers, your audience will be able to tell and they’ll likely stop reading. Focus on building a supportive readership that waits on every word you write, no matter when you release.

Questions I have to answer

  • How are you feeling about the achievements made by your blog?

It’s honestly mind-blowing, I really never expected it to reach the readership that it has or to give me the opportunities it has. However, the success it HAS achieved has shown me I still have so much I want to achieve when it comes to blogging and disability activism.

  • How much quantitative time do you put into the blog daily, writing, site maintaining, and social media visiting?

I honestly have no idea and I have no intention to start counting. I’ve never set specific time periods that I need to spend each week on creating content, and I think that’s to do with not forcing content, as I said in my advice. I only write or create content when I feel there is content I want to create.

  • What do you miss and/or cherish after the Pandemic?

I miss travelling and being busy. Whether that was visiting family or friends or heading to events and meetings. An “on the go” lifestyle was my standard and probably best for me. I can start to overthink if I have too much time to think.

  • What do you do to keep yourself calm, while things are not going your way?

I usually play very loud music and sing along. That or watching Mixed Martial Arts videos, those are usually videos which bring up good memories of going to events with friends and remind me there are better days ahead

Nominations

Jo Jo from JoJo’s Cup of Mocha

Alex from The VI Critic

Jess from Stuck In The Book

Claire from Our Favourite Jar

Helen from Dotted Pages

Ashley from Blabbing Ash

Thomas from TheDoubtingThomas

Artie Carden

Hope from The Hope Chronicles

Keith from On My Mind Today

Weird & Liberated

Shona from ShonaLouise.com

Carrie Ann Lightley

Emmagayle from Emmagayle Blogs

Ellie M from Ticking The List

Questions

  1. Who is one blogger that you think deserves more recognition? Shout them out here!
  2. What is one way I could easily recognise you? Maybe a piece of clothing or something you are known for saying?
  3. What is one underrated creative thing you think I should check out? whether that’s a Youtuber, a musician/band or a particular tv show, or maybe you have suggestions for all of them!

Once again, thanks to Sara for nominating me and I love forward to seeing how everyone answers my questions!

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Sunshine Bloggers Award

I’ve been nominated for another blogger award! This time, Ellie – M from Ticking The List has nominated me for the Sunshine Bloggers Award. Thankyou Ellie for this nomination.

For those who don’t know, the Sunshine Bloggers Award is a way of bringing together the diverse and varied blogging community to support each other and get to know each other.

Firstly, I’ll outline the rules of the tag. Then I’ll answer the questions I’ve been asked, before nominating more bloggers and asking them some questions myself.

Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award image in your post.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 people and ask them 11 questions.
  • Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their posts.

Questions I have to answer

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?

That would be my girls’ holiday to Sicily. I actually wrote about it in my first ever blog post, but that’s basically where the girls I was travelling with said they’d learned a lot about the issues I face as a disabled person over the course of the trip and encouraged me to start sharing my experiences in a blog. So I came home and that’s exactly what I did, sharing my first post in the October after the trip that summer.

2. What kind of traveller are you?Adventure/relaxation/budget/luxury/don’t like to travel?

I prefer travelling to explore new places, like I did in that Sicily trip. I’d prefer to do more spontaneous trips where I just turn up and go wherever I fancy at the trop of a hat, but that’s more difficult to do when you have a disability.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Milan for sure. I’m a sucker for Italian food and a glass of wine. And I really liked what I got to see of the culture and the city on the one-day layover I had there en route to Sicily.

4. If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?

Firstly, I would wish to have my dad back with us on Earth for just one day so I could say all the things I regret not saying. Secondly, I would wish for full accessibility for all disabled people (even if it may make my blog a bit redundant). I would also wish for security for those I love, financial security or whatever they need. The situation we’re currently in has made me realise how important those we love are.

5. What’s the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

Definitely Piazza Del Duomo in Milan. I’m not ashamed to say I almost cried when we stepped out of the metro station and I saw it for the first time.

6. If you could uninvent one thing, what would it be?

Steps/stairs! and I would put ramps everywhere, it would certainly make my life easier as a wheelchair user.

7. What is the most useful app you have on your phone?

Probably Google Maps as my sense of direction sucks. Failing that it’s the Trainline app. In the times when we can freely travel on trains it makes the process of train travel so much easier for me.

8. Who is your hero?

definitely my Mum. She’s the original invincible woman and the person I get all of my best traits from as far as I’m concerned.

9. What’s your favourite holiday?

By holiday here I’m assuming you mean like celebration? I’m going to answer it that way anyway. I would say Halloween because it’s close to my birthday so there are multiple reasons to celebrate.

10. What’s your karaoke song?

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen because it reminds me of a specific hilarious memory I have with my university friends.

11. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have 3 things with you, what would you choose?

One, my electric wheelchair so I could freely move around. 2. My Dermot Kennedy cd so I could keep calm during the isolation (the entire album is just chilled vibes) and of course my CD player so I could actually play the CD.

Nominations

Jo Jo from JoJo’s Cup of Mocha

Alex from The VI Critic

Jess from Stuck In The Book

Claire from Our Favourite Jar

Helen from Dotted Pages

Ashley from Blabbing Ash

Thomas from TheDoubtingThomas

Artie Carden

Hope from The Hope Chronicles

Keith from On My Mind Today

Weird & Liberated

Questions

  1. What do you consider your biggest blogging achievement?
  2. Who is one music artist you recommend I listen to?
  3. Who’s another blogger you think I should check out?
  4. Where’s one place you want to visit?
  5. Where’s one place in your country that you recommend I visit?
  6. What’s the one thing that’s top of your bucket list?
  7. What was your first blog post? (on your first blog if you’ve had multiple)
  8. Who would be your top dinner party guest?
  9. What is your biggest fear?
  10. What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone?
  11. What is your favourite quote?

Once again, thanks to Ellie for nominating me and I love forward to seeing how everyone answers my questions!

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

A Week In Lockdown: Disabled Blogger Edition

I had planned to give you a Day In The Life of my new life in my own flat up here in Birmingham. However, we’ve basically been in some form of lockdown or restrictions since I moved, so I wouldn’t be able to show you my average day, and I have no idea when that’s likely to change. So instead I’ve decided to give you a week of life in lockdown: Disabled Blogger Edition.

Monday

I set my alarm for 7:30 every morning. Once I’m up, first things first, breakfast and most importantly COFFEE. This is usually toast and 2 cups of black filter coffee in my travel mug. Yes I drink out of travel mugs in my house, there’s less chance of spilling then than if I carry an open mug in my walker. Also yes I said 2 cups, but that’s mostly  because my full French press fills 2 travel mugs so if I didn’t have 2 cups at once it would go cold, and cold coffee is a travesty. I usually watch YouTube whilst I eat and caffeinate. My favourites at the moment are Kara & Nate, Simon Wilson or, if I need my MMA fix before the weekend, Dan Hardy and the Raptors at Full Reptile. Once breakfast was eaten it was time for something I’ve labelled “house pick up” which is basically putting dirty clothes away into the washing bag and putting things back in the place they’re supposed to live as opposed to wherever I just threw them the previous day.  then I quickly updated the blog view statistics and map, since I’d hit a new country the previous day.

It was then time to head into a meeting about my potential PhD opportunity and where we were at in that process. Let’s just say it was not the news I hoped for, delays and funding issues have meant I probably wont start anytime soon so it’s more important than ever to find a job. Speaking of jobs, I usually flag all job-related emails and alerts that arrive past a certain time and then  go through the emails in in the morning and apply to those which are appropriate for me, so that’s what I did next. Specifically I wanted to finalise one application (but it turned out the role had been withdrawn before I could submit my application) and make notes for a paragraph to be included in another application.

Once the job hunt was done for the day, I moved onto creating featured header images for some upcoming blog posts (which you will either see soon or may have already seen depending on when this post is released. This creative burst was RUDELY interrupted by a fire alarm in my building. However that did mean I got to leave my building for like 10 minutes and see fire engines, which is entertainment I guess. Once we were let back in I decided to have a snack/break since I realised I hadn’t had one all day.

Mondays are also what’s known as “quiz night” because there’s Mastermind followed by Only Connect and University Challenge, all of which are shows I regularly watched with my parents when I lived at home. However this week there was, inexplicably, no Mastermind which was baffling, do they not realise the importance of quiz night? I did my washing up between shows and dried up afterwards. Then it was time to update my to do list whilst I sat down with a glass of wine before bed. I aim to get to bed before midnight but it’s not often that happens.

Tuesday

And so we move to Tuesday. After the usual coffee, breakfast and house pick up routine, It was time to continue the job search. This meant going through my email for job alerts that I had flagged yesterday and making applications or setting up careers meetings if the role required a longer application that I needed a bit more guidance with. I then quickly update the blog view statistics and map (since we hit ANOTHER new country) and took a photo for this blog post.

It was then back to the job hunt, filling in forms in relation to a job application in preparation for a Zoom interview (my first Zoom interview). I also wrote out a paragraph or section that I wanted to include in another application, in preparation for a careers meeting the next morning. Then it was time to switch focus to the blog again and edit some Instagram captions, before I settled in for a late night making notes from my recording of the previous weeks 3 hour Aston Apollo (a scheme and group of workshops I have recently joined, run my Aston University where I completed my Masters)  meeting, in advance of the next workshop the next day. Tuesday was essentially a preparation day for what was a VERY busy Wednesday.

Wednesday

As I said, Wednesday was busy. After the standard coffee, breakfast and house pick up routine, I resumed the job hunt by checking my flagged emails and making applications to the relevant roles. Then it was time for my careers meeting to discuss that lengthy paragraph or section that I wanted to input into one of the more complex applications I was making.

Once that meeting was over, I decided to order a Greggs lunch since this time was likely to be my only break all day and I wanted to well prepared and fed ready for a long afternoon of meetings, also, who can resist a Greggs?! But my lunch “break” wasn’t really a break because I decided to use that time to quickly update the blog view statistics and take another photo to accompany this post. I then had a networking event between 1 and 2. I made some good connections which could prove useful for the blog in the future, which I was particularly happy about given that this was my first time joining an event with the specific aim of networking to improve and promote the blog, There was a bit of an awkward interruption in the middle of that networking event though, as some delivery service decided to abandon (literally knocked on the door, dumped it and left) a parcel which was not meant for me at my door. From there it was straight into the Aston Apollo meeting, this was sometimes a frustrating meeting as I felt I probably was not asking the right questions, but I guess that’s the process of growth and trying to build something right?

After all my meetings were done, I redelivered the abandoned parcel to its intended recipient (someone else within my building) and made dinner. Following all of that I just sort of… stopped. I think the combination of bad news I’d gotten earlier that day, the long day of meetings, the lack of sleep and being overwhelmed by the struggle to find a job, I just sort of broke down crying and wondering whether everything would ever sort itself out and when that would be.

Thursday

Following the previous day’s little emotional wobble, It was time to pick myself up again on Thursday. Following the usual coffee, breakfast and house pick up routine, I checked my email for any job alert emails and opportunities, as well as checking various job sites and signing up for more alerts. I then took a quick moment to update the blog view statistics and take another photo for this blog post.

I then spent some time applying for jobs from the ones suggested in the alert emails I had previously flagged, as well as finalising registrations for agencies which may be able to help me find a job. I spent most of my day at a virtual careers fair, and I must say it was my first time attending something like that virtually (as it probably is for most people) but I have to say it felt like the full experience, includes stalls set up in rows in an exhibition hall, but just…virtual. I then took some time to organise my food shop a week in advance. I wouldn’t normally do it that far in advance but, as someone who’s moderate risk for COVID 19 and lives alone and thus has no one to go out for her, I kind of NEED a slot and I wanted to avoid the prospect panic buyers having taken all the delivery slots.

When all that done, my evening started by listening to Frank Turner livestream (more on why I love Frank here) whilst I ate dinner and washed up. I ended the evening by editing an upcoming blog post, or maybe it will have been released by the time you see this (I won’t tell you which post, no spoilers here).

Friday

And sooooooooooooooooo we hit Friday, after the usual wake up, coffee, breakfast and house pick up routine, I started my day with blogging tasks. This meant updating the views statistics and updating my brand-new landing page (which you can check out here). I also requested some feedback on a possible publication date and promotion strategy for the blog post I’d edited the previous day. I then followed up on some work I was doing on my  Instagram earlier in the week by continuing to edit my captions to match up with the new strategy I am trying. I also took another photo for this blog post.

Then it was time to switch tack and focus on the job hunt. This, as usual, meant going through my flagged alerts and applying for relevant roles. It also meant replying to emails and making enquiries for those roles where I needed more information. I also photographed some extra documents needed for a specific job application and sent them over to the relevant person, as well as organising some documents ready for a meeting on Monday morning.

Of course, I also did the boring stuff like washing up, showering, paying my electricity bill (which is my only non-direct debit and therefore the only bill I have to REMEMBER to pay) and updating the  shopping order I had set up yesterday.

Saturday

IT’S THE WEEKEND.  So of course I woke up late. I did SET a 9:30 alarm, but I switched it off since I don’t tend to sleep very well and figured I could do with catching up. That meant that I woke up a little before midday, I then completed some surveys on the survey apps I use for extra cash, before having my coffee and “breakfast” (can you call it breakfast if it’s after midday?). I then went through the house pick up routine, which included putting away the stuff I washed up last night. I then washed up the things from breakfast and cleaned the bathroom (something I do weekly) whilst I left the washing up to dry. Once the bathroom was clean and the washing up at least drier, I finished drying up and put everything away, before cleaning the kitchen (again a weekly occurrence) once everything was clear.

Then it was time for the email alert check for new jobs I could apply for, unfortunately there were no new applications I could make this time. I then threw myself into blog promotion on social media for a little while and started hunting for Christmas gift ideas (kind of important now it’s nearing the middle of November.

Anyone who knows me knows that Saturday night is fight night with the UFC event on every weekend, and this Saturday was no different. I ordered my (now near obligatory) takeaway and  worked on another upcoming blog post whilst I waited for it to arrive. Once that had arrived and been eaten I made my fight night caffeine (yes I said caffeine, these events finish at around 3am at the earliest) and sat down to enjoy the fights, but not before taking a picture for my Instagram and this blog post. I also made notes on the content for this blog post in between fights.

Sunday

Post Fights Sunday  is always a little slower due to the late finish of the fights. I obviously started my day with breakfast and coffee and house pick up. Then I took the bins out and hoovered and polished (something I do fortnightly rather than weekly like the other cleaning, mostly because hoovering is a pain in the butt). Then it was back to job hunting and the cycle of checking my emails for job alerts and making applications for relevant roles. Then I moved onto blog tasks, which on this day included updating the views statistics and reading a post which was recommended by a fellow blogger. I also managed to finish writing that blog post I started whilst waiting for my fight night takeaway to arrive the previous night (a little advanced warning: that post turned into quite the essay!).

Once that post was finished it was time for dinner, doing the washing up and grabbing a shower before I settled down with a couple episodes of Mindhunter on Netflix and fell asleep on the couch (oops!).

If this seemed a little boring and repetitive that’s because it is, and it’s just as boring living it as it is to read. But for those of us who are more vulnerable, this isolation is often LITERALLY a matter of life and death. So for anyone who’s flouting the rules under the whole “it won’t affect me it only affects the disabled and elderly” PLEASE PLEASE wear your masks, isolate, social distance and do whatever is necessary wherever you live. I have an interesting, event filled life that I’d like to get back to at some point, just the same as anyone else.

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Hallotober Blog Tag

Image Credit: Jordanne @ Life of a Glasgow Girl

ANOTHER blog tag, time to tell you more about me then I guess ! This time I was tagged to do the Hallotober tag  by Claire from Our Favourite Jar. This tag was originally created by Jordanne from The Life of a Glasgow Girl , so of course credit must go to the original creator for creating this tag in the first place. Now, onto my post ! Firstly I’ll outline the rules of the award, then I’ll answer the 13 questions Claire asked me, nominate 13 more bloggers to continue the tag and ask them the same questions I was asked (with one question being different).

Rules  

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post 
  • Put the rules at the beginning or after introduction
  • Answer the 13 questions 
  • Tag 13 people to do the tag 
  • Delete Question 13, add a new number one question of your own
  • You are free to use the tag image somewhere in the post 

My Answers 

1. What’s your favourite thing about October? 

Definitely my birthday! Everyone loves their birthday right? Mine’s actually only a couple of days before Halloween (the 29th).

2. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?

I don’t specifically make a big deal of celebrating Halloween, but all Halloween parties basically become my birthday party. So I end up celebrating Halloween as a default.

3. What’s your favourite horror movie?

I don’t really have one. Horror movies tend to involve jump scares (from the ones I’ve seen) and Cerebral Palsy startle reflex (which I’ve talked more about here) & jump scares don’t really mix, so I tend to avoid horrors as a genre.

4. Would you rather a cosy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?

A big night out, but not in costume. You’re more likely to nice “gothy/rock n roll” dresses (like the one in the outfit below)  heading out for my birthday celebrations.


5. Which has been your most favourite costume to date?

I don’t think I’ve ever actually worn a costume for Halloween. As I’ve said in the question above, my “Halloween” outfit is much more likely to look like the picture below.

Image Credit: Lizzie Iles


6. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch? 

Bobbing for apples I think, mostly because that’s the game I’d be more successful at! My hand eye coordination issues mean that trying to pin anything on anything is guaranteed to be an absolute flop.


7. How do you celebrate Halloween? 

With a birthday night out at a Halloween rock night hosted at one of the rock bars near wherever I’m living that particular year (university means I move pretty regularly). I’m not sure what I’ll be doing this year as the bars will be heavily restricted.

8. What’s your least favourite horror? 

I vaguely remember watching bits of The Hills Have Eyes remake (I think it was that? I’ve watched so few horror films that I don’t even remember what they’re called) and it gave me nightmares for days. So I’d have to say that purely because I remember finding it REALLY creepy.

 
9. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory? 

I don’t think so? This is that awkward moment where I admit I don’t actually ever remember going  trick or treating. The area I mostly grew up in was not really the sort of area that I remember as being good to go trick or treating in, and then by the time we’d moved out of there I kind of felt too old for trick or treating.


10. What’s your favourite thing about Halloween?

The fact that my birthday is so close to Halloween. It means that all the Halloween parties are basically readymade birthday parties for me without me having to organise anything.

11. Scary costume or Silly costume?

Silly costume definitely,  I’m that jumpy I’d probably scare MYSELF in a scary costume.

12. What’s your favourite Halloween candy?

Jellies, specifically Haribo’s, can I specifically say Haribo’s? the variety of all the different kinds of sweets just makes me feel like I’ve had more sweets than I actually have ha-ha!


13. Would you visit a haunted house at night?

No, definitely not. The jump scares involved in haunted houses means my startle reflex would have an absolute field day.

Since I was also tagged for this by Smelly Socks & Garden Peas, I’ll just add a quick extra point here answering the new question that they added to the tag.

 14. Do you believe in ghosts?

I guess? I have a really specific thing about what I do and don’t believe in when it comes to the paranormal. I do believe that the spirits of those we’ve loved and lost can come back to visit us, moving things around rooms or leaving signs and stuff like that, but I’m really quite sceptical these days about “ghost hunting shows” like Most Haunted that try to prove the existence of ghosts.

My Questions 

  1. What’s your favourite thing about October?
  2.  Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?
  3. What’s your favourite horror movie?
  4. Would you rather a cosy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?
  5. Which has been your most favourite costume to date? 
  6. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch? 
  7. How do you celebrate Halloween? 
  8. What’s your least favourite horror? 
  9. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory? 
  10. What’s your favourite thing about Halloween?
  11. Scary costume or Silly costume? 
  12. What’s your favourite Halloween candy?
  13. 13. Horror movie recommendation those who want to avoid jump scares (I.e. me)?

Nominations 

Glen Parmenter

Jess from Stuck in the Book

Madison & Rebecca from Foster Fam Travels

Weird n Liberated

Ellie – Mae from Ticking the List

Joey from Concealed Voices

Shona Louise Cobb

Keith from On My Mind Today

Brendan from Blind Injustice

Alex from The VI Critic

Jo Jo from Jo Jo’s Cup of Mocha

Hope Chilinda

Ash from Blabbing Ash

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me and my thoughts around all things Halloween and October.

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Golden Bloggerz Award

I’ve been nominated for ANOTHER award! This time I was nominated for the Golden Bloggerz Award by Keith from On My Mind Today and I am very grateful for the nomination. This award was originally created by Chris Kosto from Golden Bloggerz, so of course credit must go to the original creator for creating this award in the first place. Now, onto my nomination! Firstly I’ll outline the rules of the award, then I’ll tell you 3 things about myself, answer the 5 questions Keith asked me and then ask 5 questions of my own and nominate 10 more bloggers who I believe deserve this award. 

Rules  

  1. Place the award logo on your blog.
  2. Mention the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and place a link to their website.
  4. Mention the award’s creator & provide a link too.
  5. Tell your audience 3 things about you.
  6. Nominate 10 – 20 people who deserve this award.
  7. Let your nominees know by messaging/commenting on their Social Media or their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions you want.
  9. Share 2-3 links to your best posts

3 Things About Me

1. I was originally born and (partly) raised in West Yorkshire

You wouldn’t know it from the sound of my accent anymore, or the fact that even those who’ve been with me this entire time only know me writing blogs from London or Birmingham. But I’m a Yorkshire gal and proud and will not hear ANY slander against Yorkshire.

2. Manchester United FC fan

I’m also a fan of Manchester United Football Club since childhood. Admittedly I’m not as much of a fan anymore because I just don’t watch football that much now. However, if you were to ask me who my team was, I’d probably say them.

3. It’s my dream to live abroad 

If I could have a job which allowed me to live anywhere but the UK I’d jump at the chance. I’d particularly love to live in Italy, but anywhere not in the UK is fine

My Answers 

1. How would you describe yourself?

I’m a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy. I’m also an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and rock music fan. I’m honest, to the point where it’s probably gotten me in trouble a bit, and I would do anything from my friends.

2. What is the most important life lesson you ever learned?

I think it’s a lesson about myself, the fact that I’m stronger than I believe, I’m invincible & I’ve been through enough now that I can get through anything .

3. How do you handle stressful situations?

I watch MMA, it connects me to the friends I’ve made through travelling to MMA shows and watching the sport so often. it’s also quite cathartic to watch other people punch each other in the face when you’re stressed!

4. Are you motivated by the same things now that you were ten years ago?

I don’t really know, 10 years ago I was only 14 so I don’t know if I was  thinking about specific motivations too much back then. But I do know I still want a PhD like I did back then.

5. What is your greatest unrealized goal?

Linked to my answer to the previous question, one goal I haven’t yet achieved is to get a PhD, I want to be Dr Dobson! (and I will be using my full title ALLLLLLLLLLL the time). 

My Questions 

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What would you consider your ‘golden’ best moment in blogging?

3. What do you consider your ‘gold medal’ top goal with blogging?

4. What’s 1 tv series you would recommend?

5. What’s 1 band/artist you would recommend?

Nominations 

Glen Parmenter

Eleanor from Not So Modern Girl

Jess from Stuck in the Book

Madison & Rebecca from Foster Fam Travels

Weird n Liberated

Ellie – M from Ticking the List

Smelly Socks & Garden Peas

Joey from Concealed Voices

Shona Louise Cobb

Claire from Our Favourite Jar

My 3 Best Posts

  1. Disability & Language
  2. How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  3. Why I am Proud to be Disabled

Once again, I am very grateful for this nomination and hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me.

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Original Outstanding Blogger Award

Another blogger award! This time I’m nominated for the Original Outstanding Blogger Award in this post by Laura from Voyage of the Mind. The award was originally created by Colton Beckwith. First I’ll set out the rules, then I’ll answer the questions I’ve been asked, nominate 10 more bloggers for this award and give them 7 questions of my own to answer.

Rules

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post.
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

 My Answers to the Questions

  1. If you could have a conversation with any historical figure, who would you choose and why? 

I’m assuming this means any person from history? As a psychology nerd and psychology graduate, I’d have to say Sigmund Freud. I’d just want to understand more about his theories and where they came from, because does Freudian psychology really make sense to anyone?

  1. What’s your favourite book of all time and why is it your favourite?  

The third Harry Potter book,  Prisoner Of Azkaban. I just love the Marauders and this is the book where they’re properly discussed. I really love that group dynamic of “friends through thick and thin” and hope I can develop a  friendship group like that.

  1. What’s the next perfect number after 6? 

If you’re asking for the actual mathematical answer (since a perfect number is one of those “maths things”) a quick search tells me the answer is 28. If we’re talking about perfect numbers in terms of my favourite, that would be 7. It was the number worn by most of my favourite football players growing up so I always associate it with happy times watching the football.

  1. What’s your Myers-Briggs personality type? 

As a psychology student who’s actually studied the Myers Briggs test, I should probably know my type off by heart, but I don’t. A quick go on one of the many online versions of the test tells me I am an INTJ-T, which makes sense to me based on how I think I am as a person.

  1. What’s your all-time favourite blog post of your own? Link it

That would have to be my How To Lose Friends and Alienate People post! It’s my top 5 things people do, and 5 things they say, that annoy me as a disabled person. I feel like it’s written in a way that’s both informative and engaging and I’d class it as my most “teachable” or reusable post, the kind of post I could throw into a Twitter debate in a “read this if you want to educate yourself” sort of way.

  1. What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had? (And if you don’t dream, make up a dream you could have had or relate a strange one someone else told you about!)

I once dreamed that I was in a game of Tetris. As in I was literally one of the Tetris pieces, and my family members were the other pieces, all in one giant ongoing game of Tetris. Yeaaaaaaaahhhhh, I don’t understand it either,

  1. Do you have any pets?

I don’t have any pets of my own, no but I do refer to my parents’ dog as my dog most of the time. I should probably stop doing that now I don’t live with them anymore!

Nominations

Madison & Rebecca from Foster Family Travels

Joey from Concealed Voices

Artie from Artie Carden

Hope from The Hope Chronicles

Emma from Little Harto

Claire from Short Girl Walking

Emily from Love, Em

Eleanor from Not So Modern Girl

Ciara from Learning to Love What’s On The Inside

Alyvia from Life With Lyv

My 7 Questions

Since this is the Original Outstanding Blogger Award, what’s the original reason you started your blog?

What’s your favourite song?

What is one music artist that you’d recommend for me to listen to?

What was your favourite subject in school?

What is one piece of advice you would give to new bloggers?

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?

What’s your next big goal with your blog and how can we as the blogging community help you achieve it?

I hope everyone enjoys learning a little more about me and my nominees enjoy answering the questions

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Getting Started as a Disability Blogger

I’m on my way to 3 years as a disability blogger now, so I felt like it might useful to give some tips to those who may be thinking about starting out as a disability blogger. So, here’s my top 5 tips for getting started as a disability blogger!

  1. Know Your Collaborators

I think the key word here is collaborators, not competitors. Know the other disability bloggers that are around and making content, for me that’s people like Carrie Ann Lightley and Shona Cobb. These bloggers can give you other views on disability, particularly key since disability is an identity that everyone can experience, even if someone may have the same diagnosis as you. Other bloggers may also lead you to explore different angles on content that you didn’t see before, you might see something they post and think “I could expand on this point from my point of view” and then you have new content!

  1. Write About What You Know

Write about things from your viewpoint of your disability and experience.  Don’t write about the issues you don’t live with, for example, I only talk about accessibility from the viewpoint of a wheelchair user, and I wouldn’t talk about accessibility for a blind or visually impaired person because I don’t KNOW about that experience or what would be considered good accessibility. However, that’s where you can collaborate and reach out to other bloggers to get their viewpoint like I mentioned in point 1, or link to a specific blog post if you know they’ve already written on that topic.

  1. Find Your Niche

Find your niche that you think will make you unique, this might be looking at your hobbies in terms of how they interact with your disability  and how you experience that hobby. For me, I do that through my accessibility reviews of concert and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) venues. I mostly see my niche in the MMA venue accessibility reviews because I don’t see that content elsewhere (drop links in the comments if you do that content around though), but MMA is also something I love very VERY deeply. I think that’s also key, find your niche but make sure it’s something you love, that love will show in the posts.

  1. Not Everything Has To Be About Disability

Going back to talking about hobbies, talk about how much you love the hobby alongside the accessibility of it and how it interacts with your disability. OBVIOUSLY, my disability will come into everything I do because it’s a constant part of my life, but that doesn’t mean I have to mention it in every post. Another note is, if there’s no accessibility issues to talk about in a specific post,  that’s a good thing! It means that the world is becoming more accessible, and that’s worth noting too.

  1. Show the Good and the Bad

You need to be realistic and show both the good and the bad sides of disability. I see this most obviously in my accessibility reviews. The response to reviews for poor accessibility can lead to connecting with the venue and working with the them to increase accessibility and create change for the disabled community. However, by the same token, a review for a good accessible venue or company can provide a shout out for that venue or company, which can drive more business their way as disabled people will be more likely to go somewhere if it’s accessible, and the Purple Pound (the money from disabled people’s buying) is worth a fair bit. This extra business is particularly welcome if it’s a small business or venue you’re reviewing, such as this Bed and Breakfast in Liverpool that I reviewed and encouraged everyone to go for their “work with the customer to make things accessible” attitude.

I hope these tips help a new disabled blogger get started in their new venture.

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

5 Things I Learned En Route to 5000 Views

Recently I hit 5000 views on the blog! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. That milestone led me to thinking about what I’ve learned about blogging in those 5000 views, so I thought I’d note my top 5 things learned over the course of 5000 views, and maybe you can make use of what I’ve learned BEFORE you hit 5000 views, or even if you already have.

  1. Promote, Promote, Promote

Now this is a new one for me with the extra time I have in lockdown, but promote, promote promote your content on social media! Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, promote your content everywhere you can and everywhere you feel comfortable. You have to sell your posts and make people want to read them and no one can read them if no one can see them!

  1. Put Yourself Forward for Opportunities

Don’t be scared to put yourself for opportunities, collaborations or to work with brands.  You might not think you’re good enough, but an opportunity works within your niche and it interests you, go for it! The only caveat to this is don’t apply to an opportunity if you don’t fit the criteria (such as Domain Authority or niche), make sure you read opportunities before blindly applying.

  1. Don’t Force Content

This is a biggie! Don’t write a post just because you feel the need to stick to a schedule, write when you’re inspired to. In the same vein, don’t write to trends because it’s what everyone’s writing about and will get a lot of views, write about what inspires you. This may make blog growth a little slower but I genuinely believe the content will be better if it’s naturally and organically written from inspiration.

  1. Realise Your Key Cornerstone

Realise the one aspect or value related to your blog that you can’t avoid or wouldn’t give up on to gain more views. For me, that’s realism and making sure  my blog remains realistic. If I feel an opportunity or post is unrealistic or inauthentic, I won’t undertake the opportunity or write that particular post. That kind of leads back to point 3 and not forcing content, I feel like forcing content and writing to trends is inauthentic for me so I don’t do it.

  1. Connect With Other Bloggers

Another relatively new one for me but connect with other bloggers and link up for collaborations or contribute to their blog posts. You can gain traction and have opportunities brought to you through being involved with other bloggers who have a larger reach than your blog, particularly when you’re starting out as a small blogger. But I would say make sure the opportunity is actually something you want to collaborate on. Contributing to others blog posts and connecting with them just to piggyback off their larger reach won’t earn you friends in the blogging community.

I hope these tips help someone and show what I’ve learned so far in my blogging journey, and thankyou for 5000 views, here’s to the next 5000.

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award

Another blogger award! This time I’m nominated for the Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award in this post by Smelly Socks and Garden Peas. First I’ll set out the rules, then I’ll answer the questions I’ve been asked, nominate some more bloggers for this award and give them 5 questions of my own to answer.

Rules

Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

Answer your nominator’s questions.

Nominate up to 9 other bloggers.

Notify your nominees.

Ask 5 questions.

List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award ” logo.

My Answers to the Questions

  1. What one thing would you stop your significant other from doing if you could just switch it off with no argument or consequences?

I’m afraid I can’t really properly answer this as I don’t currently have a significant other and it’s probably unfair to discuss my ex and would probably take me a while.

  1. What’s your favourite sport to watch or participate in?

I only watch sport and haven’t really participated in any for a while. My favourite sport to watch, both live and on the tv, would definitely be Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). I even have a full section on my MMA Travels on my blog, alongside a section for my favourite MMA promotion, Cage Warriors.

  1. What’s your favourite movie of the 1990s?

As I was born in 1996 (yeah I realise I’ve probably made some people feel quite old there) I didn’t really have many films to choose from that I already knew were DEFINITELY 90’s films. But after a bit of research, I’ll have to go with the original Lion King. Probably quite a standard answer I know, but It’s just great. If you don’t dramatically sing along to “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” every single time, I’m going to need to understand why not (did I play that song whilst writing this? Yup).

  1. Whose blog would you love to do a guest post for?

I would have to say Shona from Shona Louise, she’s one of my inspirations and I always find her posts eye-opening, even to me as a fellow wheelchair user who also experiences some of the issues she discusses sometime. I’ve already contributed to her post on being an ambulatory wheelchair user, and I would consider doing a full guest post on Shona’s blog an honour if the opportunity ever arose.

  1. If you could be any Pokémon, which would it be?

I would have to say Pikachu, he’s my favourite (I’m not ashamed to admit I bought a mini Pikachu teddy at a convention literally a couple of years ago). I also feel like being an electric type Pokémon would be quite apt, what with me being an electric wheelchair user.

 

Nominations

Carrie Ann from CarrieAnnLightley.com – This post references inspirations in blogging and Carrie Ann is one of mine, particularly with her accessible travel content giving me lots of ideas for where and how I can travel as a wheelchair user.

Shona from Shona Louise– Again, this post references inspirations and I’ve already told you, in the guest post question, how Shona is one of mine. So of course, she’s in the nominations here.

Madison & Rebecca from Foster Family Travels – These two are quite likely my best friends and some of my biggest supporters from the blogging community

Brendan from Blind Injustice – one of my earliest supporters with my blog, but someone I feel I’ve not had a lot of contact with recently, maybe this tag will get us back in touch

Keith from On My Mind Today – another, albeit more recent, supporter of my blog and someone with whom I feel like I have, and could have,  a lot of interesting conversations

 

My 5 Questions

  1. Where would you be right now if you could be anywhere?
  2. What is the best concert you’ve ever been to, or if you’ve not been to a concert, which is the concert you’d most like to go to?
  3. What would your perfect day consist of if you could do anything?
  4. What would be your dream 3 course meal?
  5. Let’s spread a little more blog love, who are 5 bloggers you would recommend for me to check out?

I hope everyone enjoys learning a little more about me and my nominees enjoy answering the questions

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Grief & Loss: The Opposite Side of Father’s Day

A heavily personal post from me today. To mark UK Father’s Day 2020, I thought I’d discuss my dad, my grief and how losing him has changed how I see Father’s day now.

Firstly, a content warning, I’ll be discussing grief, bereavement and bits and pieces of medical stuff here, so I’d suggest skipping this post if any of those are likely to significantly upset you or bring up any of your own experiences.

I guess if I was to explain this post in a sentence it’s exploring the opposite side of father’s day. As I said in the mini introduction, the publication of this post coincides with UK father’s day 2020 and is also a couple of days short of the 2-year anniversary of my own dad’s passing. Since he passed away, I’ve begun to see Father’s day in a different light. Of course, there are those who have been father figures to me that I can still celebrate. Men like my own stepdad, who has been there for me for years whilst my dad was still here and has continued to be there for me since my dad passed away. But father’s day is still different. All the emails from brands and venues about father’s day gifts and reminders, and every blogger “father’s day gift guide” that I see is a stinging reminder every single time that my dad is no longer with us. Now, I’m not saying don’t write that content or for brands not to send those emails, I just don’t think we see this side of the situation as often (how people approach certain days and occasions after a bereavement). So, I thought I’d explain my side of it and how fathers’ days is different now.

I didn’t see my dad often, we lived at pretty much opposite ends of the country for a good portion of my life, so I never made a very big deal of father’s day. I’d just send him a “happy father’s day”  message, and a present if I could find a particularly good one that I thought he’d enjoy. Oh, how I  regret that now he’s no longer here, I so wish I’d made a bigger deal of Father’s day when he was here.

Father’s day was different once I’d received a phone call that turned my world upside down, telling me that my dad was ill and that we’d have to rush up to the hospital (hundreds of miles away). I didn’t fully know what was going on, but I knew I had to organise and sort everything to be ready to drive up to the hospital in the morning. It’s pretty difficult to organise your life when it feels like the world’s spun on its axis and the ground’s dropped out from beneath you all at once.

Father’s day becomes different because all I can remember is my dad’s last father’s day  with  him in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).  All of us (I have siblings) bringing cards and wishing him a happy father’s day. I can’t tell you how heart-breaking that was being unable to know what he thought of his cards or if he could actually hear us.

Father’s day is different when I realise that I spent the whole lead up to that day 2 years ago (basically the whole of June) discovering that the man I thought was invincible and immortal (because everyone thinks their parents are immortal right) actually wasn’t.

Father’s day becomes different when I remember the days and nights I spent trying to sleep in an ICU waiting room or relatives room wondering if dad was ok whilst the rest of us slept. Terrified to go to sleep in case he wasn’t with us when I woke up. Begging for someone to sit with him whilst I slept so that he wasn’t alone if something did happen.

Father’s day is different when I remember that,  instead of spending those June days chatting to dad and planning our trip to Madrid, I was cancelling the trip and wondering if I’d be helping to plan a funeral instead.

Father’s day will be different when I go to text him that same “ happy father’s day” message and realise I can’t because he won’t respond anymore.

Father’s day will always be different when every sentence talking about that wonderful man has to start with “dad was …” and not “dad is …”.

I’m not sure where I was going with this blog post. I this is what I’m saying is: Beyond the brands “father’s day” emails and adverts and the bloggers “ father’s day gift guides”, there’s a different side,  a different feeling to father’s day for me and those like me who no longer have the man we call dad with us. And I think that should be talked about more.

Happy father’s day, dad. I love you and I’ll miss you forever

All my love

Ems