About one year ago, late in the evening like tonight, I was playing around with PowerPoint. Call it electronic doodling. I had been pondering recently about the passing of my brother and how I should continue his message of melanoma awareness. I had no idea that I was about to launch a campaign that would literally spread worldwide. I was just doodling.
I had decided that the best way for me to convey Jeff’s message was to write a blog. I had kept a personal one for several years, but it was only a potpourri of personal insights and opinions, and read by very few. Still, rather than clog that blog with sometimes depressing thoughts of Jeff, I thought I’d try to share the melanoma awareness message in a separate blog and find a way to spread the word about the blog. It was worth a shot. But it needed a name and a look to draw attention.
Naming the blog “Black is the New Pink” wasn’t the hard part. I’ve conveyed the origin before…when Jeff muttered “I wish black was the new pink,” it stuck with me as something I should remember. So the title of the blog was decided upon, but the “look” was hard to grasp. That’s why I started doodling on PowerPoint (I don’t have better drawing software). After a few nights, I came up with this:
I have a good friend who’s a designer, so I decided to get her opinion. She fed back that the color transition was a little too flashy, the font was too narrow to read from a distance, the beveled edge should be eliminated (something about looking amateurish) and the ribbon sucked. (She was never shy to express her opinion). I had to agree, and soon discovered that it was dang hard to draw an awareness ribbon on PowerPoint. But I did it and developed the title and logo that you see at the top of this post and every. I didn’t get a second opinion from my friend…this one just “felt” right.
Something inside me came alive when I created the logo. Frankly, it’s a bit boring and simple, but when I finished tweaking it, I literally heard a voice inside me to tell me, “Let’s get started.” I couldn’t sleep that night because I was excited for no reason at all. All I knew is that I was starting something.
I didn’t write my first blog entry until a couple of weeks later. I spent that time learning to design the blog page (I’m still tweaking it) and figuring out how to make a specialized page on Facebook to help get the blog noticed. The voice reminded me (and continues to remind me) that it’s not me that needed noticed, but the message that needs to be read. That’s when the excitement really started.
So here I am…once again sitting at my computer in my bonus room late at night just as I was about a year ago. My smile continues, but it’s brighter even more tonight. Earlier this week, my blog received its 20,000th page view. And my Facebook page received its 1,000th “like.” Wow! I remember reading other blogs when I first began with 200 “Likes” and wishing I could get just half that amount. I never would have guessed I’d have this level of interest in one year. And the voice reminds me…it’s the message that’s important, and it will continue to be so.
I find it fitting that my first few “Likes” were from friends and relatives close to me, but my 1,000th “Like” is from Dubai, United Arab Emirates! Amazing! I wasn’t joking earlier when I said worldwide!
Thank you for embracing the thoughts and message of “Black is the New Pink” and thank you for finding recognition in a late-night doodle from a year ago.