Hello World, Helen Sunflower here.

To listen to me read the text of this post in audio format on youtube:

It turns out if you’re really nervous about writing your first blog post and you google “How to write your first blog post”, you will basically waste a lot of time reading variations of two pieces of advice:

  1. Articles and blog posts wherein experienced bloggers encourage you to jump right in and: “Just go for it”, “be honest and real”, “overcome your fears”, “just write”, etc.
  2. Step-by-step instructions telling you exactly how to structure your first post. Something like:
    1. Introduce yourself
    2. Introduce your reason for writing
    3. Introduce the topic you will be blogging about
    4. Share contact information so people can find you

Also, repeated advice to “pin” this post at the top if possible so later visitors can experience that introduction. (Isn’t that what an about me page is for?)

After an hour of time-wasting, I learned that the only way I’d write a good first post is if I just sat down and wrote the darned thing. Being nervous is healthy, being dependent is not. From now on, I’m writing and darned the consequences. Here is my (slightly formulaic) first blog post.

I promise they won’t all be so awkwardsauce.

My name is Helen, and this is my first blog post. I’m really excited to be starting this blog and sharing my ideas with the world. I hope this is going to be one of many steps towards changing my life for the better. I decided to start writing a blog for a few reasons:

  1. I just miss writing, because I love it.

I used to write for some historic magazines when I was a teenager, and then when I was a university student articles were out and essays were in. After university I just wrote geeky fanfiction for a while because I was tired of structure and writing because someone else wanted it. I wanted to write for myself. This blog is my step back into writing for me, myself, and I in a way that I enjoy and control. There is something beautiful about sitting down and letting my thoughts fly, while my fingers click and clack desperately over the keys trying to keep up. I am a creative person, and I always have too many things to say and not enough time to say it all. This is an opportunity to get my thoughts out in the world and connect with like-minded people. The blogging community is a beautiful place, full of interesting people doing interesting things, and, well, I’m an interesting person doing interesting things. I want a piece of the action!

  1. I am passionate about my opinions and want to connect with others.

As an extrovert who identifies as a dramatist, feminist, queer, activist, creative Geek, it’s hard to find a part of me that doesn’t want to speak my mind and hear other people’s thoughts about the topics that interest (or infuriate *cough* patriarchy *cough*) me. I think the only way we can create change is to initiate or join dialogue with other people and build inclusive, intersectional communities to make change. Networking and communication and travel are the ways we can meet others and broaden our worldview.

  1. I am interested in research and transcription

It has been a long time since I did research/transcription for a project of my own or for someone else, and I really miss it. I love to take a topic, find interesting facets, and then write about it. This is how I won a few scholarships that helped me get through University. Shouldn’t I do the things that I enjoy, that interested me, and that challenge me? (Hint: the answer is yes.) This blog is a place in my portfolio. Future prospective employers can read it and see evidence of my literacy, intelligence, communications skills and cognitive abilities. I’m a smart panda.

  1. I’m trying out a specific way of living my life: I call it the sunflower way.

I’m trying to develop this method of living my life which is empowering and enjoyable, but also remains critically aware of injustice. I value health and positivity, but also inspiring changes to this world. It can be difficult to find the balance between a positive outlook and a critically-aware one. Like a sunflower, I want to follow the sun, but remain aware of the shadows cast on the other plants in the garden. Life is not always sunshine, sometimes it is shadows. I’m trying to cultivate a creative-cognitive-critical way to live my life, and am testing it out with this blog. Basically, I want to focus on seven things in my “Sunflower” Life: Sunshine, Somewhere, Silliness, Strength, Scribbling, and Social Justice.

  1. I want to start making money for my creativity.

We all have to eat. And while I have always appreciated every job I have ever had, from the university to the supermarket to the English Language School, I want to spend some time being my own boss. I’d like to eventually become semi- and then, maybe, fully self-employed. I’d like to make my own schedule and be responsible for my own productivity and happiness. I hope this blog is the beginning of that journey.

I’ll be posting every week on one of the Seven Sunflower topics (Sunshine, Somewhere, Silliness, Strength, Scribbling, and Social Justice) and I am happy to take requests.

Thanks for reading and see you around!

Helen

The Sunflower Queen

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25 thoughts on “Hello World, Helen Sunflower here.

  1. Loved reading your first post 🙂 It is so nice to be able to follow someone’s journey when they are venturing into something they love. Looking forward to your future posts!

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    • Thanks so much, Mary! 🙂 I wanted to do something different, fun and helpful to make my blog posts more accessible. I enjoyed recording it. It made me feel closer to and active with the material. In high school I was in a relationship with a visually-impaired partner and I was close friends with another girl who was completely blind. I know it can be annoying to work with zoomtext (and other zooming programs like it) or reading programs which read text aloud in a monotonous voice, and this is a nice way to make my posts more available and fun! ^_^ Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to your feedback on future posts!

      Like

      • Oh, that’s hard to say, it depends on the person. If we narrow it down to paints, acrylic is versatile, it can be thinned out and used on paper like water color, or used thick on canvas like oil. It dries much faster than oil, and doesn’t require thinner, though if you don’t want it to dry so fast you do need to add something called retarder, with that, it still dries a lot faster than oil, but stays wet long enough to do some blending on the canvas.
        However if you’re used to drawing with a pencil, rather than using a paint brush, then colored pencil might be more your style, and watercolor pencils are really great in that you draw and color in your picture,and then take water on a paintbrush and use it to blend areas like paint.
        Probably the most difficult medium is pastels, the chalk kind, that and charcoal… both take a lot of patients and care to keep from smudging your work and messing it up.
        Of course collage/mixed media is fun, you can glue down whatever you want using hot glue, or with smaller items simply embedding them in with acrylic paint and letting it dry.

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      • We basically have the same ideas about art: I use acrylic because it’s the most versatile, but I’ve never tried a retarder in it. I find pastels and watercolours challenging because they are difficult to control… but that’s exactly why I should make more effort to use them! I love to experiment.
        Do you prefer painting over other mediums? From looking at your blog I see a lot of paintings! 🙂

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      • Yes, I do tend to paint more than anything else. I like to draw also, but usually don’t try to sell my drawings, I just sketch for practice, and as preliminary work for paintings.

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      • LOL… I sell, but I don’t make a living from it either, now that would be nice! So far my sells don’t quite cover what I’ve put into it, that’s okay though, I mainly paint for enjoyment, and if I sell, that’s nice too!

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      • Yeah, I get you. 🙂 I think the same thing would happen if I tried to make money from my art. I just enjoy it so much and prefer giving it away… though I have had people offer to buy it from me before!
        What made you make the leap to decide to start selling?

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  2. Pingback: Scribbling: Reflecting on and Editing my own Writing | Sunflower Symposium

  3. Pingback: The Versatile Blogger Award | Sunflower Symposium

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