In the beginning

The Holy Bible starts with possibly the most well known biblical passage: ‘In the beginning’ Genesis (1:1).

There is always a beginning, middle and end, especially with written literature. And let’s face it the beginning of something is what grabs us. I started my blog on 1st January 2020, in the midst of a national emergency in Australia, when bush fires were world news. As I left Australia on 17th January, news of a horrible illness had started to appear. I continued to write about hope and now there is a worldwide pandemic and I continue to write.

I am in the middle of my blogging adventure, but I want to discuss beginning’s today. Yesterday I posted about the Vincent Elhandro award which I am honoured to receive (thank you Jeremy Jain Babu). If you are a new blogger with less than 100 followers, I have nominated you. So this will hopefully give you an opportunity to grow your site. We are all in this together.

When I began the blog, I wasn’t very confident. I didn’t really know what I was doing. But I tried. I started well in my view. I set out my stall, had a great tutorial with Word Press and started to write daily. Then it grew and I reached my first milestone; 1 follower. This was in my view a great success, because followers mean readers and by writing a blog, I assume we all do this because we hope to have this read. Then my second milestone: 10 followers. Wow! Then my next massive milestone of 50. I remember watching the stats when they were 49 and Writing Presence followed me (thank you and please visit their blog) and became my fiftieth follower.

Do others watch the stats like me? I find them very interesting and exciting. I love the fact that countries like China, Nigeria and South Korea read my posts. I am not sure I will ever visit them, but I like the fact that I have a connection with those places now. And yes I am waiting for my next statistical milestone with excitement.

So beginning well is very important. And here are a few tips on beginning well:

  1. Start as you mean to go on. If you are starting a blog then say if you will write daily, weekly, fortnightly, or if it will be ad hoc then don’t mention how often. And stick to what you say. Christian Mihai whose advice I trust, explains that we need to gain credibility in the eyes of others. So it is important to be reliable in your blogging
  2. Be transparent. I committed to being open with my viewing audience at the start of the hope blog and even when I have a bad day I will admit it. I think that encourages people, because let’s face it, we all have our ups and downs.
  3. Don’t expect massive viewings ovvernight. Growing a blog takes hard work, a lot of typing and posting. And it takes time. It took me a while to get going and growing and now I am very encouraged.
  4. Make relationships with other bloggers. Comment, like and reblog their posts. Look out for those with awards, because that equates with good, interesting material. And if you are honoured to be nominated for an award, this is an opportunity to encourage others in their writing
  5. Practice makes perfect. Writing is a skill and in my opinion, the more you write, the better a writer you become.

Today’s recipe of hope is to think about beginning. If you are starting a new venture, plan well. And today could be the day to start. If you are procrastinating, ask yourself why. Get some advice, ask a friend to encourage you. If you are a new blogger and would like support then please get in touch. I am happy to reblog posts on this site. And if you know someone who is starting something, encourage them with their project. It is very worthwhile to pour yourself into someone else’s life, especially the younger generation, because they are tomorrow’s leaders.

May you all know the excitement of a great beginning X

References

Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004.2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House publishers, Inc.,Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Hopeful Creativity

I have been spending a great deal of the lockdown being creative; working in a creative manner, writing stories, writing my blog (if you would like creative fun then Reedsy Prompts is fab.

What does creativity do? It helps with keeping our minds fit, healthy and hopeful. It links us with a beautiful community of fellow bloggers and writers. And it improves our skills. Writing every day throughout 2020 has certainly (well I think so) improved my writing.

So I encourage you to pick up your pen, or keyboard or even typewriter if you fancy that method, or perhaps Dictaphone which is useful for ideas. Or your camera, paintbrush or baking tray!

Being creative has helped me feel hopeful. It is lovely to write my blog, because part of me has always been a writer and I am now fulfilling the long nurtured dream.

If you would like to read any of my short stories then this is the link: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/hope-wells/ And you may want to enter the world’s biggest weekly short story competition.

Today’s recipe of hope is to consider creativity. It doesn’t have to be writing; it could be painting, making models, or fixing things. It could be baking, or photography. I believe we all have a creative gene in there somewhere. So have a go today and please share what you have been up to.

May your creative juices flow X

Shout out to the world

As a relatively new blogger (now three months into my Hope adventure), I have been fascinated and encouraged by having followers who in all likelihood I will never meet, other than in the blogosphere. It is truly a wondrous thing how blogging connects us through words on a page, not through speech or meeting in person, but in a virtual wonderful world.

So here is today’s shout out to my three top following countries; UK, India and USA. I am curious as to why I have so many viewings from these particular countries, I live in the UK, so it would seem obvious that many viewings are from here, but India and the US I am curious about.

I am curious as to who my followers are, what they like to do and why they enjoy my blog. I wonder if my recipes for hope help at all, or what parts of the blog make an impact.

And as I have said before I am grateful. When I was younger and read ‘Jane Eyre’ , I loved it when Charlotte Bronte would address me across the centuries: ‘Dear Reader’. So I thought I would do the same to all my readers across the globe; a heartfelt thank you for following and for liking my posts.

Every Thursday in the UK, we clap for the carers. This includes: the NHS, those offering personal care and social workers. And today is my equivalent. I clap those who read my blog and those of you who are fellow creatives, writing blogs for the eyes of others, making a difference in using language to challenge, inspire and encourage. And please let me know what you find helpful or unhelpful. Any advice welcome.

Today’s recipe of hope is to do your own shout out or clap for someone. It can be in a virtual or literal way. At this point in our shared history we need encouragement, more than ever. I most certainly do. Write a thank you note, paint a picture, write a poem. There is a wonderful tree near where I live decorated in various shades and hues of blue fabric and messages of gratitude for the NHS. Today I walked past a knitted rainbow hung on a school wall.

I applaud you all X