the journalista

i read. i write. i think. i link.

Category: The Writer’s Life

Observations on living the writer’s life.

Cheers to New Beginnings

MacBook

My work MacBook arrived yesterday

I’ve been holding on to this news for the last two weeks, and now that my work laptop has arrived via FedEx, I feel like I can share my news with the world.

Yesterday was my last day working as a freelance writer for The Root.  As of today, I am a full time staff writer for The Root,  the site that took a chance and gave a platform to a highly opinionated hard news writer from the west. I am so grateful.

I will still be on the news desk at night, and I will still be bringing you my cutting commentary, but now I do it with a salary, benefits, and a job with a media organization that will only continue to grow.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you dreams don’t come true. They do, and sometimes they come with a brand new MacBook for you to write your success with.

MacBook Pro

My work MacBook Pro

Things are going very well, but things are also very nutty, so I am elated and stressed at the same damn time. It is the oddest of combinations, akin to being on an upper and a downer simultaneously.

I’m working to not let the stress get to me, because it is stress about a situation I can’t do much more about, and I simply have to wait it out. It’s the waiting that is driving me nuts; I’ve already moved past the trying to fix what can’t be fixed aspect of it.

The part where I am elated is magnificent, however. My career is continuing to take off in the most magnificent of ways. I am that flower that just continues to bloom. None of my petals are falling off; I’m simply opening up wider and wider to the possibilities out there in the universe.

I’m thankful for both sides of this current experience, because there is something for me to learn even in the stressful portions. Continuing to be a good planner is paramount in all aspects of this, and if nothing else, the stressful portion has taught me that, and it will benefit me in the long term for wondrous work part of this.

In the end, I know that everything will work out the way that it is supposed to. I just need to keep doing my part to make sure I stay on this upward path.

It’s the Little Things

Latte with art

Latte with art from Javista

It’s the little things, like avocado toast and lattes from Javista.

It’s the big things too, like friends telling you they appreciate the work that you are doing, and they want to see you be successful in your journey.

Out of nowhere yesterday, one of my friends sent me this message on chat:

“My nigga, i just needed to take a quick second out my day to reaffirm that i genuinely appreciate your journalistic endeavors. I’m not talking about any one piece in particular. But the entire body of work, at least from my perspective, is always consistent and speaks for a lot of people I would imagine, who don’t have a voice. Your pen is strong and I sincerely hope you achieve everything it is you set out to achieve , i think the world will be a better place for it.”

First of all, you know it’s a real when they start the message with “my nigga.” I was so humbled by that. Aside from the ones who are very vocal about it, I don’t really know which of my friends are paying attention to the work that I am doing, so when they come to me like this and tell me, it lets me know to keep moving forward, that everything I am doing is worth it, and the best is yet to come.

avocado toast

Avocado toast

I received another compliment in the form of someone asking me to work with them on a pretty big project. I cannot divulge the details yet, but trust me when I tell you that just the fact that they asked me was enough to put a grin on my face that wouldn’t leave for hours.

I’m doing real big things over here.

Writing is a labor of love. I do what comes natural to me, but there is an intense amount of brain power that goes into have consistent, quality output on a daily basis.

With that comes a responsibility to self care, and I find that in the form of my biweekly mani/pedis, my morning walks to clear my head, sipping coffee slowly while I sit at my laptop and laugh at Twitter, getting lattes and avocado toast at Javista, and spending time with my friends, my sister and my nephew. It all adds up.

It’s the little things, and the big things too.

I’m going to be honest and admit that I am still adjusting and getting my life together after the four-day weekend last week; I never fully got it together last week, but it was not for a lack of effort.

Something about spending three days in a row drinking and partying with some of my oldest friends, and then using the last day to soak up Vitamin D by the pool with my sister made it hard to return to real life when it was time, but I promise the motivation is coming back a little bit at a time.

I still have a lot on my plate, and I move through my to-do list like a champ, but as fast as I can check things off, I am tacking more things on, and it becomes a never-ending cycle of “I have so much to do!”

I stay motivated though. The only way you can make it out here in this craft is by continuing to go after the stories that need to be told, putting the words down on paper (or on the screen) and keep rising to the top.

As ever, I am grateful for this life. I rise early each morning not because I have an office job to rush off to, but because I have writing and writing-related tasks and goals that I want to complete.

The good energy gives way to good feelings and good things keep happening, as it should be.

The Process – When Good Interviews Go Great

iStock

I conducted an interview this morning that is part of a bigger story I’m working on. I am not at liberty to reveal the details of it yet, but let’s just say this is the first of what will be a series of articles I’m writing on a certain topic.

The interview went really well, and it reminded me of how you can come up with a story idea, go into it thinking one way, and come away from interviews with a different perspective on the topic you are writing about.

Continue reading

On the importance of time

iStock

I took time out of my day yesterday to go to the nail shop for my long overdue mani/pedi. I normally go every two weeks, but because I’ve been so busy with reporting and writing, I hadn’t been in a month.

As I sat there getting my services, I found myself constantly watching the clock. I had blocked the time off on my calendar, and I stuck to my appointment, but I only allowed an hour to be in the shop, which is normally how quickly they can get me in and out.

The man who usually does my manicure was not there, and another woman did the work in his place, and she was a little on the slow side, so what is normally a 60-minute service turned into a 90-minute service, and all I could think about was how that was going to throw my entire day off.

I’ve gotten into the habit of blocking things off on my schedule every day. If there is something that I have to do, it goes on the schedule, and I make a set time for it.

That nail appointment threw my afternoon schedule off yesterday. I recovered, because if nothing else, I’ve learned to be adaptable, but as I was lying in bed last night, I thought about how paranoid I got when they started going over the allotted time.

I flash back to a conversation I had with my best friend about how we get 86,400 seconds each day, and it’s the kind of bank account that you can only withdraw from, but not add to.

I’m growing to a point where I don’t want to waste the funds in that account. I want to make every second, minute, and hour of my day count in some substantial way.

I don’t feel guilty about the 90 minutes I spent in the nail shop. That’s a form of self care that I will not turn away from; I love pretty feet and hands, and they make me feel good about myself.

I’m just glad that the trip to the nail shop made me remember how important my time is to me, and furthered my resolve to not waste any of it.

Every day I have these random moments of “Oh my god! I love my life!” and “I’m really out here living my dream!” It’s so surreal.

These moments both lift me up and keep me grounded. They are a constant reminder of how abundant the universe is, and how much more there is out there to grab hold of.

There is room and space for all of us. I am conscious of this, and it keeps me from worrying about what the next person is doing. My focus is on me, my goals, and my dreams, and that is where it should be.

I concentrate on my blessings and not the minor problems that pop up, and I never operate from a space of lack, because I know that as long as I am doing my part, the universe will continue to provide.

I wasn’t always in this space, so the personal growth is not lost on me.

I just keep reaching, ever higher, and ever evolving.

 

For Creatives Who Can’t Get Out of Bed In The Morning Because They Stay Up All Night Being Creative

Monique with a cup of coffee

i definitely am a coffee snob

Dear coffee: You complete me.

I didn’t get up as early as I would have liked this morning, but in my defense, I was up late working and plotting, so the coffee is going to get me through for right now.

The important thing is I have not wasted one moment this morning with procrastination. I am learning how much of a time thief procrastination is, and I’m determined to not let it rob me ever again.

Continue reading

Today was good and productive, and brought along with it inspiration to keep motivated and moving along my path.

I love it when it feels like this.

I got things done, and I continue to get things done, and my need and desire to get even more things done propels me forward.

I keep reminding myself that I built this life, that I asked for it, that I spoke it into existence, and that I can sustain it by continuing to do what I do.

The best feeling in the world is knowing that you are doing what you love with a purpose.

It’s so important, and not everyone has that opportunity.

I promise to keep taking care of it.

I have so much going on right now.

This is a good thing.

I’ve been on back-to-back phone interviews since early this morning. The original reporting game is picking up for me.

It is amazing having wonderful and valued sources who keep feeding me tips on good stories. My portfolio and profile are growing, and it’s thanks to the many good people who trust me to tell their stories and the stories that are important to them.

This afternoon, I will be doing more phone interviews, writing news buzzes for The Root, finishing up a commentary piece and updating some of the stories I’ve already worked on.

This writer’s life is such a blessing of abundance. I cannot say it enough.

I am forever grateful that I was brave enough to make the choice to leave my day job last summer.

The investment in myself is paying off ten-fold.

 

Today’s focus is on writing and organizing my ongoing writing projects.

I have interview notes to transcribe, research to gather and outline, news buzzes to write, and deadlines to meet.

I remain grateful for the opportunities before me, and I am committed to protecting this life and not taking it for granted.

That means giving it my all even when I am sleepy, or uninspired, or experiencing distractions.

Nobody can do this for me but me; I’m all I got.

If this is what I truly want for myself, then it is up to me to keep making it happen.

My life is by my own design.

I am the protagonist in my life’s story, and I refuse to let anyone else write the book.

The Creative Life is the Life For Me

iStock

My fellow creatives will understand this.

Do you ever have so many ideas and projects to push out that you feel like your brain is going to explode all over the place and you will never get anything done?

This is me right now.

My life as a writer is blowing up. Opportunities are presenting themselves every single day, and I am eternally grateful. I have the time and the space to make them all happen.

I hesitate to use the word overwhelmed, because there can be a negative connotation attached to it, but I feel overwhelmed in the sense that there is so much out there for me to touch and take, and sometimes I don’t know which one to tackle first.

I was talking to my friend, editor, and mentor Kirsten West Savali last night, and I was going over my list of ideas with her, trying to formulate a gameplan for how best to attack them. Everyone needs a Kirsten in their life. She pushes me to do more and makes me remember that I can do anything I set my mind to, and I love her for it.

Last night’s discussion involved the tossing around of ideas and her reaffirming that the track I am on is the right one. I’ve created a lane for myself, and it’s mine for the taking, and I need to maximize the platform I’ve been given to my advantage, because it only gets greater from here.

Between the creative ideas that I come up with myself and the story ideas people keep emailing me (thank you all!!!), the rest of 2017 is going to be very productive and very busy, and I’m here for it.

I get 86,400 seconds each day to be the best that I can be. My plan is to not waste a single one of them.

© 2017 the journalista

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑