By Dawn Onley
I’m so proud of me. And Samantha. Us.
We did it!
One year ago today, we launched Women Who Hope, a blog we created to inspire women to hope, to dream and to do. We stopped talking and took action.
The blog has been a great outlet for us both. Our writings have helped us work through some challenges, some uncertainties, some heartache and even some grief. It’s amazing how writing can both inspire and heal. It is our greatest hope that our blogs have been a blessing to you; that they’ve provided clarity and motivation to inspire you to live your greatest dreams.
On June 16, 2015, we took a step toward kujichagulia, a Swahili word that means self-determination, and decided to create something that we felt connected to. It was our desire to write the type of blog posts that we yearned to read. We sought to uplift and not tear down. We aimed to create a community of women that supported and encouraged one another; a community that could share ideas, tips, information and advice to keep us all moving in the right direction.
We sought women who had the audacity to hope.
We are hard-nosed former journalists. We know about interviewing people and writing a story against a tough deadline that will appear in a newspaper or magazine the next day, week or month. That, we know.
We had no experience at all in the blog world. All we had was a dream.
Do you know how hard it is to realize a dream? Do you know how much work goes into it? Do you know how uncertain you feel when you do something yet don’t have a complete understanding of what you’re doing? Have you ever experienced this?
We have. This entire year, we have. And we still are.
Learning this new social media landscape and figuring out how blogs work, what blog platform to use, how to find an audience, how to boost page views, how to promote, how to brand the blog, what topics to write about, and so much more, without any help is something I’m proud of. This next year, we will seek out as much information as we possibly can. We will network and try to align ourselves with people who have successful blogs that we love to read. We will grow Women Who Hope. We will customize it to add more flexibility.
We will continue to have fun. Just the thought of the blog makes us both so very happy. Just giddy with joy. It’s really an extension of who we are and that’s why we are so connected to it. It’s our truth.
The name of our blog comes from our belief that hope, just like her sister faith, is the very start. We can’t do anything without it. If we don’t have hope, we don’t have anything.
Hope is not a passive word. To us, it is more like a divine force, a courage that is summoned within us; an idea that has come to time.
We have hope. We have faith. We have determination.
We hope you do too. Thanks for reading and for inspiring us. We are all happier when we are hopeful and we realize our dreams when we have faith that we can.
Here’s to the next year, and the year after that. Here’s to women who hope!