My two-year anniversary is fast approaching and I cannot believe I am still blogging!
I remember being both excited and uncertain all at the same time, as I looked into ‘Starting my own blog’ oh so many months ago. I did some research and being me of course I also did do some planning. In fact, it was a goal to be achieved and that is how I approached the whole concept of ‘Blogging.’
Some of the best advice I found was to choose an area of blogging that you could write about for a long time, in other words you could sustain. You didn’t want to start something and then find four months in say, – you no longer had anything to say. This made me step back slightly, as I considered what on earth would that area be? In the end I decided it would be in the area I did throughout my life, encouragement!
You didn’t want to start something and then find four months in say, – you no longer had anything to say!
The next consideration was what platform to use as there were so many avenues to choose from i.e. via your own business website etc., but as you can see I decided on WordPress simply because I found it relatively straight forward to use and I liked the numerous free template options it gave and the fact that you could change this easily if you wished.
One of my go-to guy’s or sites was ‘Pro-Blogger‘ I found it very helpful, but there is a wealth of information out there and within WordPress to assist ‘newbies.’ Don’t get overwhelmed by it all. I say approach blogging like a cake and break it down into whats manageable to you. There are some seriously impressive sites and bloggers out their but at the end of the day you can only do you. People follow out of interests to themselves. Either your posts or blog has connected with them or they simply just want to build their own blogging world, their is always self interest at play:-)
‘ Don’t get overwhelmed by it all’
In the early days I decided to hand write a number of posts in a book first, so that I could have a ‘library of work so to speak,’ to draw on when posting. I think this was a tip I picked up on, as at the time, I had no idea how much inspiration I would have nor how many posts I could realistically do. Could I do more than one post per day or not? How inspired would I be? who knows but I would just capture whatever thoughts came to mind in a book because I knew I wouldn’t necessarily have my laptop all the time. Off course you can do this kind of management within WordPress, but at the time, I neither new this nor did I understand WordPress enough to use it so sensibly:-}
My very first post was at 1:04 am on the 2nd October 2013:-) Yep inspiration to write for me can happen any time of the day or night. It is called “6 Good Habits That Equal Change’ and I remember when I hit the publish button I wondered who would read it? It was such a stupid time of the night, but I was so pleased at writing something, that I knew could be seen by someone else. You see most of my past writings were in note books and besides one or two close friends no one saw them.
I was so shocked that within about 10 minutes of publishing someone liked my post, in fact they re-blogged it! I had no idea what re-blogging was, but this person was on the other side of the world and to know someone so far away read and liked something I wrote was the biggest encouragement I could ever of had.
they re-blogged it! I had no idea what re-blogging was
Do you remember your first post and how it felt?
Over the months WordPress was an absolute learning curve, trying to get my page to look how I wanted and to reflect me. Blogging 101 was great and I learnt so much during the weeks it ran, and its a great place for anyone who wants to improve their blog and their blogging skills.
In support of new bloggers I thought I would start a ‘Freshman’s Blog Page’ as I know there are absolutely thousands of bloggers within the WordPress community all with a voice to be heard.
I love blogging, and its a great way to connect with other writers and their world. I find it absolutely fascinating when I see the different countries my posts have reached, places I know I would never see. So happy blogging people!
Be the change you want to be! Until next time.
One of the things they encourage you do in order keep your blogging alive is to find various ways to inspire your thoughts – prompts! Some people have a jar filled with pieces of paper with words, single sentences, themes, etc., to act as triggers for their writing.
I came across this photo and totally loved it! It evoked so many thoughts for me, as my eyes danced from one feather to the other. Studying, comparing and examining each one. It was like a long, cool drink for my eyes, because I absolutely adore colour:-)
No feather is perfect. They are all damaged in some way simply because they are by nature fragile and delicate. A bit like people.
They reminded me of a very special day in my life when I had gone to a retreat in support of a dear friend of mine who was having a very difficult time in her life. It was a Christian Retreat, and one of the ministries they ran there was in Arts & Crafts. They had an art room that contained various types of paints, pastels, crayons, charcoal, etc. It was very cluttered and aged with years of use, with splashes of paint all over the place – far from being a pristine space. There were props of many types and exhibits of artwork people had completed and left behind, was now pinned, in no particular order on the walls.
As I looked on the table I saw a sea shell that caught my eye, so I sat down and got my self some paper and started to draw its outline using charcoal. I had not sat down and drawn anything for years, since Secondary school in fact. Art was one of my best subjects but I didn’t focus on it and when I left school I left my art world behind me.
The room was quiet and cold because it was winter time. I was the only one in there, well that’s what you would think. But spiritually I was far from being on my own. I came to the retreat as I said, to support my friend. As far as I was concerned, I was fine and life was in a good enough space at that time.
I paid a lot of attention to the shell, ensuring I captured its shape, any shading shadows or elements of light, its swirling patterns, etc. Parts of the shell were complex, but I focused on doing my best. Then I heard a question clearly arise in me. ‘Why are you only using black charcoal? “ Does it have no colour? So I looked at the shell again and clearly it had colour, beautiful pastel colours of pinks and white. So I started to add colour to my drawing. As I worked on it I then heard a voice inside once again saying ‘that is you’. The Holy Spirit adds colour to your life. I then thought about me and at that time I lived in clothes that were predominantly, black and dark. Rarely, would I buy something that was pink, red, orange or yellow. I knew why. it was because I wasn’t happy with me. I wanted to blend in and colour drew attention, and I so did not want that.
‘Why are you only using black charcoal? “ Does it have no colour?
It was a very profound moment for me, and I must admit the tears fell at that moment of realisation. I was not living my life true to me. You see I loved colour and I always loved creativity from I was a child, but I stopped acknowledging it. However, from that day, my life changed and colour is now always in my day, because I wear it! In fact, I actively seek it in my clothes and in things for my home.
You see God cares about all of you and I believe he is very practical in how he relates to you. Who knew I was also in need of healing? There was another ‘ahah!! moment for me on that retreat but that’s another story 🙂
Who knew I was also in need of healing?
I know many women hide in one way or the other behind their clothes. But I would like to encourage anyone who has reduced or eliminated colour from their life to seek a way to bring it back. I have always shunned the limit light and being center stage. Comfort was to be the one at the back or the one lost in the crowd.
But not anymore. Now its just about a focus and determined mind and doing what needs to be done. Its funny, by recognising the importance of colour in my life that day I recovered a part of me. A part I was hiding and no longer acknowledging.
It’s funny how we try to strip colour from our life, as nature is the greatest display of colour. In nature colour is important, it shares a language that is not spoken but displayed. Life isn’t life without vibrant colour reflecting through it.
It’s important to be true to yourself always.
Be the change you want to be, until next time.
Aquene7 – Peace
This is my fortnightly review of discoveries for ‘Heads Up!’
My five discoveries of blogs I liked for a variety of reasons are listed here each fortnight. My choices are totally on a personal basis because they resonated with me on some level. Either they made me think, made me laugh, gave me an idea for a post, or I simply loved their creativity.Posts I feel should be in Blogging Life Line will not be mentioned here.
1. Cancerkillingrecipie I only found this blog because Oneanna65 found me. Her blog is pretty special. As usual, I like people to make up their own minds, I just point people in the blogs direction. But the title is an indicator and there is much to read on this sight. Happy reading everyone.
2. Images+Words From Bluerock This blog appealed to my creative side, with its many images and photographs. It’s a bit of an Aladdin’s cave:-)
3. Joshidaniel When I found this blog and this photo all I could say was Wow!!
4. Maverick Bird Is a beautiful travel blog. Interesting places captured by an interesting lady.
5. Mommygolightly This post was Freshly Pressed. As a mum I could relate to it and I liked the sense of humour. Go read.
Hope you find these blogs as interesting as I have. Do let me know?
Until next time, Be the change you want to be!
Quote: You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream – Les Brown
Aquene7 = Peace
Well today, I just wanted to share a few artists that I love. I think their work is amazing and I would definitely have any of their pieces in my home, but for now the dream sits in my bucket wish list (prints mind you lol!). I am not art expert, I just know I love colour and I love art, photography and design. I discovered these artists at different times but as soon as I discovered them, that was it, I was sold:-)
The first was a child prodigy called Akaine. I watched a TV documentary about her life a good few years ago and at the time she was around 8 years old or so. No one taught her to draw or paint she just had the most amazing and inspiring gift, that was at a level beyond her years. There are so many I love, but the one that first impacted me was ‘Wonder’ which she did at the age of 8. The Power Of Prayer, Regeneration, Found, The First, Young Sage, oh my word they are simply stunning!
This is her website for you to see for yourself.
Another one for me is Ben Heine. Once again self taught his work just mesmerised me. I just find myself looking and looking. Pencil vs Camera and Digital Circlization are the ones. His use of perspectives just play with my head. Each to their own, but once again see for yourself.
My final joy is a photographer Peter Lik . I came across his work quite by accident really, but once again, his use of colour, perspective and his Black & White shots of Towns & Cities, are something else, and I just say wow when I look at them!
I find these artists inspiring. I love the gifts that they have. For me they chased and honed their dreams into the incredible levels skill they now work in. I think their work is time less and will continually grow in popularity, as more and more people discover them outside the rich and famous over the years.