It was around this time a year ago that the idea for The Sparkle Writer’s Hub dropped in my spirit. The goal was simple – to help everyone who loves to write to make that dream come true. A lot of people had come to me to teach them how to ‘write’. Most times, I didn’t know how. I found my how through Sparkle Writers.
When I started last year, all I knew was that I was going to put up posts every day related to writing. I didn’t have all the content figured out but I knew that I wanted people to read a post and leave with a feeling of, “Yes I can do this!”
I also knew that I wanted this to become a big platform, a springboard you might say, launching people into their various writing dreams. As the name suggests, I knew it would become a hub where writers will have access to opportunities and be empowered too. Again, I didn’t know how I was going to do this.
That didn’t stop me from putting down my grand dreams for The Sparkle Writer’s Hub. I did my research. I looked at what other writing blogs were doing. I compiled a list of my favourites and every day (most days) I would put up a post on the blog. I also created social media pages and for three weeks, I kept putting content without publicizing it.
Then I made the official announcement through this blog. The whole thing began to feel real and I prayed in my heart that I would be able to sustain it. The first question I got as I walked into the office after the official announcement was, “You said people should join the hub. How are we supposed to do that?”
I didn’t really have an answer. The blog hadn’t yet metamorphosed into a hub so I just told her to like our social media pages. And so it continued, day after day putting up posts. Some days I couldn’t because of the sheer weight of my schedule.
I remember one time in October when I didn’t put up a post in over a week. Isime Esene (my mainest padi) reached out to me and spoke words I will never forget. He told me not to give up on it. He said he was very sure the platform will grow. I was really encouraged that day.
So I continued. I became more determined. Around that time, I launched our training program. No one took notice of it at first and then one day, I got an email from a young lady who was about to finish NYSC and wanted to see how she could build her love for writing into a career. So we started our online lessons.
Let me confess, I really wasn’t sure what I was doing. I gave her honest feedback and pointed out areas where she needed to improve.
I was blown away by the way she took the lessons. She took them more seriously than I did. Sometimes I would forget to send her feedback for her assignment. It wasn’t intentional. I just had too much on my plate but this young lady would remind me. She was eager to learn.
Two more trainees also signed up and I knew I needed to take the training more seriously. I also couldn’t keep up with the demand to post every day on the blog and on social media. It was time to get someone to help me. For weeks, I brushed that thought aside because I didn’t know how I was going to consistently pay the person.
Yet, I knew it had to be done. So I prayed and God kept putting it in my heart to reach out to my first trainee. We had our first meeting and she was really excited to start her internship with me. I can tell you from that moment, things changed.
I really want to celebrate Adedotun Adejoorin who has moved on to become our Content Manager. She kept the dream alive. I’ll come up with an idea and she’ll execute it perfectly. She also came up with brilliant ideas, most of which you’ll find implemented nicely on our blog. Dotun, thank you for your selfless work and contribution to The Sparkle Writer’s Hub.
This past year has been awesome. There have been many blurry moments. Sourcing for funds for certain projects posed a challenge. You know the Writer’s Hangout event we are having tomorrow? That idea came in January. We were meant to do it every quarter. When Dotun and I did the budget for it, I calmed down. Sparkle Writers wasn’t making any money and my personal funds were tied into many things.
We kept the vision in our hearts and one day, after an interview with Ignite Africa, we discovered the event could fly – through a partnership. I have to say a special thank you to Winnie and the Ignite team for their enthusiasm in partnering with us for this event. They barely knew who we were and they agreed to do this.
I’m also grateful to all the people who we’ve trained and have now become a Sparkle Writers ambassador. Hello Ayo! Thank you all for trusting us to help and train you. Thank you for taking what we taught you and doing fantastic things with them. Thank you for being determined to become successful as a writer.
To everyone who agreed to be interviewed on the #WriterSpotlight series, thank you! Most of you didn’t know who we were. You all are too many to mention but I thank each and every one of you for allowing us to tell the world your story.
To my cheerleaders, my A-Team, the people who encouraged me to keep the vision going; Big sis, Mrs Faj, Nelson, Adods, Isime, Mrs Temenu, Temi Paul…thank you!! There are more names so if I left out your name, please know that I appreciate you.
I also want to specially thank my pastor Rev Victor Adeyemi. He always asked about Sparkle Writers and encouraged me to keep it going. Thank you sir. Thank you to our awesome speakers coming for our hangout; Stanley and Lolade and every writer that booked a space.
Our hangout is tomorrow and until now, I wasn’t nervous. Now my heart beats a little bit faster. Maybe it is because of the messages I’ve received in the last couple of days from people who can’t wait for Saturday and those who want to know how to book for the next one. That list keeps getting longer. In Jesus’ name, tomorrow’s event will surpass expectations.
If there is a dream in your heart that you haven’t yet started, I want to urge you to start now. You don’t need to have everything figured out. Just take baby steps and be consistent. That has been my testimony.
I thought I needed to have money first before doing our first event but after going for The Blueprint of How organized by Mfon Ekpo, I realised that limiting belief would prevent me from doing great things. When I got rid of it, I had the encounter with Ignite Africa which I mentioned earlier. Also people voluntarily took care of certain parts of our budget. All that wouldn’t have happened if I was still sitting down wishing I had all the money I thought I needed.
So start today. Do your research. Have a plan and don’t forget to let God lead you. God bless you 🙂