I flick back to the pages of my diary, to April 2013, and read these words:
“I want to create a space for storytelling and exchange, with advocacy and human rights at its core. An online pocket for positivity, creative exploration, social inquiry, and community building.”
Then below, I read this note to myself:
“Remember Leah, to accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.”
More than one year on, it’s almost surreal to see these early ideas scribbled among the pages of my ear-bent, post-it tagged, leaflet holding, multi-highlighted diary, which is falling apart at its seams (held together by a large pink elastic band) that has been lugged from Australia and across Europe, northern Africa and into Asia. This very diary has been my comrade on late night bus trips, during flight delays and rocky voyages, on sun soaked beaches and during days in the park, and of course, while sipping on many a chai in cafes and restaurants.
This diary carries with it the very beginnings of what is unraveling day-by-day: my dream, my vision, my penultimate idea.
|Photo by Jason Di-Candilo @billthebadger|
To create an online space, which shares stories of people, groups and projects that are BEING THE CHANGE we want to see in the world (as an appropriation of the Gandhi quote). Stories which aim to augment people's understanding of the world, bolster greater connection, inspire and build opportunities for collective action, and ultimately, radically change the world.
And what do you know? That’s what I’ve created. A feat aided and supported by the Bright-Eyed and Blog-Hearted online 8-week course by Rachel MacDonald from In Spaces Between.
Yes I had the idea. Yes I had the motivation and commitment. And yes I was hell bent on making it happen, but there were certain things I was clueless about.
I was missing guidance. Wise advise. Trialed and practiced techniques. Collective support. Networking and marketing prowess. Tribe building. A cheer squad.
Some three months ago now I saw Rachel’s course being advertised among the interwebs and to me, it was a no brainer. I thought to myself, I need this. And geez was I right.
The course begins with honing in on your passion. Your purpose. Your values, helping you to lay a crystal clear foundation for you to take launch with your words. Think visualizing, mapping, brainstorming, dream making. Skies your limit.
A big question on my mind was how to craft my voice. My message, but doing it authentically. Not far behind, was ‘What should I write about? How often should I publish? Is anyone even listening?’. These fears are broken down with strategy and surefire ways to get heard.
A huge learning curve for me was using social media to market my blog and build my community. I became clear on what works best and why, strategic (and time-saving) approaches and how to use each platform to tell the story uniquely.
Alongside every blog lies the word brand. Paper Planes Connect was not a brand before starting this course. It was a space. Over the last few months, I have built a stronger media profile by guest blogging for like-minded websites and organisations that share similar values, forging new connections and relationships, which I am ever so grateful for. I have marketed my skills as a writer, communications consultant and human rights advocate, which has opened doors to work opportunities, which honestly excite me to the core.
Then there is the seamless transition from blog to business. This is where I have grown and expanded beyond my wildest dreams. Product launches, collaborations and workshops in the making, and writing for my tribe like a pro has taken Paper Planes Connect to new heights.
If you’ve felt the pull to create and connect, and to share a precious piece of you with the world, then welcome to the blogosphere and the best introduction you could have.
If you’ve tried your hand at blogging but are stuck, paralysed with where to go next, then here is the vital comeback you’ve been waiting for.
If you’ve been blogging for some time and have built up your supportive tribe from scratch, but are ready to move towards a brand and business, then #bloghearted couldn’t more suited to you.
This blogging journey has been monumental for me this past year (life changing in fact), much of what I owe to Rachel and her course, and the least I can do is sing its praises here.
Registration is now open for round two, with the course officially kicking off on Monday July 28th and spots are being taken up quick! Sign up here!
I am more than happy to answer any questions or queries you may have.
Either comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing all fellow bloggers much happiness and fortune in your pursuit to write your way to greatness.
Do you want to become a #bloghearted one too?