The 2021 Afrobloggers Winter ABC (African Blogging Challenge) #WINTERABC2021 is here again. Organized by Afrobloggers, an African-based creative hub for different content creators uniting Africans here and beyond, Afrobloggers, it’s an exciting period for bloggers to engage in something like this. A learning point for many as well as a great way to make all those incredible networks in this field.
I first engaged with this last year, same period and boy was it insane. Last year’s challenge, so us working out different topics each day and I must admit that I was shook at how I was able to come up with content every day. My imagination was challenged then stretched.
This year, they have decided to make it simple by giving us four topics, one each week, Monday to Friday of June except on weekends for resting and networking. What one posts must align with their site’s theme.
I am thus looking forward to walking through it with you. Your likes, follow, and engaging conversations will be most welcome. Let’s get into it.
In July 2020, my site made 100 followers so by 2021, I wanted to make 150. When 2021 came, I’d already hit the 200th mark. All the way up. For that I am thrilled. The gradual growth always keeps me driving forward.
Growing a following is one thing. Creating content to keep that audience & attracting new followers is another but just like someone who is passionate about something, the effort has to be planted & each reaction on your blog celebrated.
A lot of thanks is given to the very supportive African blogging community particularly the Afrobloggers community. From pushing our works to accommodating supportive people who’re not only open to collaborations but also sharing important creative tips that have enabled me to stay relevant in such a highly competitive field.
Thanks also go out to my people who keep on reading & reacting to my pieces. You guys give me the energy. This new age couldn’t have been achieved if you haven’t been doing what you doing on my page.
I love you all & I’ll try the best way I could to keep you hooked.
2021, looked at it it as the rebirth from all the mayhem of 2020. In Uganda, most parts ushered it in with a heavy downpour just at the stroke of midnight and we signified it as a start of a new beginning. Here on my site, I’ll start with a story on how I began my writing jouney…to the blogging bit.
Because I usually come across a number of things, especially those that affect our daily social, emotional life, I usually get an opinion which I prefer to share in written form. That is how I usually can best express myself for I am a shy guy when it comes to facing crowds. I know many people who can dispute that though. And also some people think I know everything about life. Literally. I don’t blame them though but I don’t. Just like they don’t.
Writing is one of those hobbies that have stuck with me for a long time & I started doing so in the early 2000’s with what was meant to be a song. However, a friend of mine read it & thought it was a great poem & thus decided to send it to a girl in the next class. The canes we were served thereafter were much more than the quails God gave the Israelites in the desert. From there, not much took place till 2005 when I joined secondary school.
I started with writing songs which I later cut short, edited & turned into poems & mini stories because I personally thought they sounded so bad, boring & annoying (the songs).
Around that period, I was a committed literature student so it just fueled my passion. My mastery of the English language in my class then, turned me into a favorite of sorts among both fellow students & teachers (Not to forget the crush I had on my literature/English student teacher in Senior 2. She was a young intern but the cute bird was transferred before we could even make a serious move). Yeah, I wished that much.
Writing got so good I even started writing for other students love letters to take to their darlings (Yup. You, the alumni of mine reading this, never know one of the best lines your love might have sent you was written by me & you were there instead praising them). Even all my ex’s did literature so this means reading & writing was a must-to-have character for me to start considering you dating goals.
I started putting my works on Facebook. Trying to open up to the world but one day as I was chilling on my business, I got an emissary from a part of my family with a complaint that I was putting erotic content on line and it may kill my image. Out of anger for these people’s lack of respect for my art and stepping over that part of my boundary, I shifted my craft to another platform and that was how I joined the amazing WordPress.
I like listening to music (occasionally), watching movies & documentaries & will usually pull out something to write down what has tickled my mind. It could be a line in a song, movie or a piece of literature. I then need good music & or a good photo (Especially about landscape, the sea, stars. Abstract paintings. Pictures of people who aren’t really aware of the camera’s presence.) These help to bring out the deep emotions in me that put the right words in my mind to describe how I feel & thus end up writing something good. (The three emotions being; extreme anger, fear & happiness.)
Because I am a person who can best express through writing, I draw my inspiration from many fields of life making me more of a versatile creative writer who isn’t bound to one topic as I have proven ability to write about love, education, events, intimacy, motivation & inspiration & much more in a rather laid back style. A light, none assertive style yet powerful enough to leave an impression on a reader’s mind.
I strive to mostly write about subjects that happen in our daily lives. Issues that affect how we live & perceive things. Stories of my personal experiences. Stories people tell me of their lives. Deep stuff. I turn them into my narrative. Third persona usually. Morgan Freeman style & then use them to preach to others that are facing similar situations. In an inspirational or correctional point of view. You can check me out here https://randomthoughtsofshadray.wordpress.com & https://medium.com/@kinenemarvin (for the erotic minds)
I hope to one day write for a magazine, website or newspaper & also through my works, become a great speaker & an inspiration to other writers, lovers, readers, the tired & nearly giving ups, the heart broken & myself.
Thank you. Especially if you can help me realize that dream.
I am not a usual fun of marketing. I’ve always avoided any opportunity that presented itself under marketing but life as you know it can be full of surprises, here I am stuck with Ug Bloggers making me market something about me. Let’s see how it goes. And actually this is a project I wanted to hold this year…and then someone ate a bat.
RANDOM THOUGHST OF SHADRAYpresents…
SHADRAY’S CREATIVE WRITING CLASS
THE GENESIS “Embracing The Art”
Random Thoughts of Shadray is the social correction & critique blog of Kinene ‘Shadray’ Marvin covering a range of different topics creatively crafted to deliver messages on mainly; relationships, motivation, inspiration & life adaptation skills.
Shadray’s Creative Writing Class is going to be a free attendance writers conference (though open donations will be accepted) for people that are trying to discover their writing skills.
Briefly, it is intended to make manifest the writing spirit of beginners so that they can be able to produce that which is in their mind through realizing & embracing some of the key factors that make one a writer especially points like;
What motivates/ inspires one to write? (motivation)
Why does one want to write & what kind of writer does one want to be? (identity)
How does one want to be understood/ message delivery? (style)
Much as I have self-taught myself on this journey from reading about other writers’ works and personal experiences, there are a few creative writers’ events that I have attended & got enlightened from, like;
The Uganda International Writers Conference, 4th Edition/ Creative Writers Master Class organized by the British Council East Africa Arts & The African Writers Trust 2019.
The Global Stance Workshops 2019 organized by Skillz East Africa.
The Creative Hustle Activity in partnership with the Uganda Press Photo Award organized by the British Council East Africa Arts, 2019.
Was among the invited guests attending the African writers’ reception for the famed Nigerian American writer, Okey Ndibe organized by the US Embassy Public Affairs Office & African Writers Trust.
With a Target attendance ranging from writers, media personalities, students, scholars & other writing enthusiasts, feel free to respond to the call when the lockdown is done & come take part in;
Learning about creative writing (from Shadray & select partners)
Motivation & inspirational talks relating to writing from select speakers (media personnel, students, sponsors)
Well. Day 3 is here & the challenges are seemingly just keep getting better…as the year keeps running faster. Whoever is chasing it needs to slow down but damn, if it slows down then more twists might jump out of the blue. We’re already dealing with ending the pandemic, then the mega blast in Beirut, record lightnings in Carlifornia, floods in Asia etc.
Because of the 2020 twisted plot, a lot of my plans, projects and aspirations had to come to stand still including my hope to host a free creative writers’ class and I had resorted to living life as each day came by and readjust a lot of what was on my bucket list.
Now this is what my bucket list looks like specifically for 2020;
Ensure my shoe business thrives before I go bak to work.
Maintain a steady flow of income despite the uncertainties
Grow my blogging presence because it’s one of the few things that keep me settled. i hope to make at least 200 followers by end of 2020.
Get in a relationship….hahaha. Sounds crazy in these twisted times, right?