Tag Archives: Wordpress

30 Posts in 30 Days: Looking Back on the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge

The final prompt for the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge asks us to recap our experiences blogging about our health focus for the past 30 days. I had an absolute blast. Check out the photo-essay below on my experiences blogging about lupus for #HAWMC 2012.

I finished! I wrote 30 posts in 30 days, though one was a tad late.

#HAWMC increased readership of Butterfly Lessons: Living a Fabulous Life with Lupus. In February and March, the blog received about 600 visits each month, but in April, Butterflylessons.com received app. 1,500 visits.

I was going to skip writing the #HAWMC post on the 19th, but changed my mind around 11:30 pm. By the time I posted the blog, it was already the 20th. That is why the 19th looks so sad on this calendar of my posts.

Most readers of ButterflyLessons.com are located in the United States.

According to Klout, Butterfly Lessons is a Socializer! During #HAWMC, I enjoyed "meeting" other health activists on Twitter and sharing my story with @Butterflylesson & @KRSProf followers.

I received great feedback from readers.

I received blogger love from other members of the #HAWMC family. This passage is from Rhiann, the blogger behind "My Brain Lesion and Me" - http://brainlesionandme.wordpress.com/. Reading her great #HAWMC posts reminded me that even though invisible illnesses differ, we all face many similar challenges.

The 2012 #HAWMC challenge may be over, but my lupus awareness journey continues. During May 2012, I will celebrate Lupus Awareness Month by continuing to blog and tweet about how to live a fabulous life with lupus.

Take care and stay fabulous,

Katina Rae Stapleton


Living a Fabulous Life with Lupus (#HAWMC 26)

“No matter what the disease has thrown my way, I have never lost sight of my dream to have a fabulous life.” Katina Rae Stapleton

This week, I am coming into the homestretch of the Health Activists Writer’s Month Challenge. I am excited that I was able to blog every day (with the exception of a post that went live after midnight). Today’s HAWMC topic is close to my heart:

“Today you are challenged with the task of writing a tagline. This can be for your blog, your health condition or for yourself.”

Since I already have a tagline for the Butterfly Lessons blog, this assignment was super easy . . .

Living a Fabulous Life with Lupus

I picked “fabulousness” as the theme of my blog, because I hate low expectations. I refuse to believe that a lupus diagnosis must lead to a sad, dreary, lonely, painful life. I have a full life and know many fellow lupus butterflies who are overcoming obstacles to pursue their hopes and dreams. Many of them I have “met” online:

There is Christine Miserandino, who came up the idea of using spoons to describe living with lupus. Her website But You Don’t Look Sick is an oasis for spoonies who live with chronic illnesses and invisible disabilities. You can find her on Twitter as @bydls.

I am also inspired by these super fabulous “tweeps” and fellow lupus bloggers:

Before you leave Butterfly Lessons today, check out the Blogroll for links to other lupus bloggers and organizations who are trying to make life better for those of us living with lupus (one day at a time).

Take care & be fabulous,

Katina Rae Stapleton

P.S. To learn more about how the blog Butterfly Lessons: Living a Fabulous Life with Lupus came about, read “About Katina Rae Stapleton.”

How I Write Butterfly Lessons from idea to post (#HAWMC 15)

Today’s HAWMC prompt is Writing with Style. What’s your writing style? Do words just flow from your mind to your fingertips? Do you like handwriting first? Do you plan your posts? Title first or last? Where do you write best?

Before I write:

Most of the time, my Butterfly Lessons posts start with an aha moment when I will hear, see, or read something and then think “that would make a great Butterfly Lesson.”  Whenever this happens, I try to write the idea down as soon as possible. If I am not at home, I will take notes in my Wizard of Oz or Rethink journals.

If I am only carrying my tiny purse, I email myself the notes from my smartphone. The problem with emailing myself ideas is that sometimes will ignore them later. So when I want to firmly remind myself to write about an idea I will add that idea to my SmartyTask (an online to-do list) or my PersonalBrain (an online mind-mapping tool to organize ideas and documents).

Sometimes I draw my ideas (using pictorial mind-mapping)  or assemble images on a vision board to brainstorm to organize my thoughts. Here is an example of the Butterfly Lessons vision board folder I made to keep magazine clippings that inspire me to write.

Writing & Refining

Once I have a basic idea that have jotted down in some form, I actually write the post.  I generally start by free-writing them.  Depending on my mood, I will:

  • Free-write the post in Microsoft Word, reorganize & refine, then spell check, print, proofread, make any edits and then paste the post into WordPress.


  •  Outline and then write the post by hand, type into Word, spell check, print, proofread, make any edits and then paste the post into WordPress.

Every once in a while I will have writers block and have to get rid of distractions. My favorite writers-block tool is Write or Die by Dr. Wicked, a productivity tool for writers that will not let you go to the Internet or any other program on your computer for a certain amount of time.

That’s the nuts-and-bolts of it all. This post started its life in a Word Document that was then inserted into WordPress. Then I added the pictures, links, and formatted.

Take care and happy writing,

Katina Rae Stapleton

Finding Butterfly Lessons in My Favorite Books? (#HAWMC 12)

Today’s #HAWMC topic is: Stream of Consciousness Day. Start with the sentence “_______”just write, don’t stop, don’t edit. Post!

When I checked the prompt this morning before work I had no idea what I wanted to blog about and figured that I would just write it tonight. But between checking the prompt and opening WordPress, I spotted this blog post

Taking Away One New Lesson From Each Book You Read

from Transitionelle.

I thought to myself. What I wonderful idea! Reading is one of my favorite things in the world. I probably read 5 books a week while I commute to and from work. They are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. Often, when I read self-improvement type books for women or the general public, I am often struck by how well (or how badly) the advice might translate for people with chronic illnesses.

I think as I read, I am also going to take down “Butterfly Lessons” for my fellow lupus warriors and spoonies and post them on my blog. I think I might start with some old favorites: If you have to cry, go outside, Does Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, Princess: You Know Who You Are, the Art of War for Women, and Getting Things Done.

Have a great day! I am off to work smiling (which is code for my arm hurts like crazy, but I will smile all day anyway, because even though I hurt I smile!).

Katina Rae Stapleton