#Ferguson Has Changed My Career Path

12 Sep

ACTIVISMIf you’re like me and a lot of other people with emotions, you’ve been upset by the events in Ferguson. Yes I’m still talking about Ferguson one month after the murder of Michael Brown. There’s still a lot going down in Ferguson right now.

Now that the police are no longer wreaking havoc in riot gear, citizens are now filing lawsuits against the Ferguson Police Dept. and the city, community members are demanding answers at city council meetings, and the state government is looking into cases of police brutality all over Missouri.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting comfortably at my desk wondering what I can do.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I want to be more than a writer. I love writing, but I want to do more than raise awareness. I want to be at the center of the change.

So I decided to get off my ass, leave my computer screen for a while, and rethink how I can better participate in the change that is so needed in our society. Lately, I’ve felt called to community activism.

There’s a myth that young black people don’t care about our communities, and that we are too lazy to work for justice and peace. I used to believe that too—until I was introduced to several community organizations ran by .

They are the ones who will make a difference. They are the leaders—the ones who care enough about devastating racial divides in our nation to do something about it. And with enough care, support, leadership, and hard work—maybe we’ll see a continuation of the Civil Rights Movement (Lord knows we need it).

Sure, I may sound a little idealist—but no one creates any type of change without first believing that it can be done. I mean, if we all thought the situation was hopeless, no one would try.

I want to be among the people that try. I want to be among the people who give a shit and do something about it.

So I’m working toward building the necessary skills to be a successful activist: I plan to join an LA-based community organization, attend Toastmasters meetings (gotta work on my public speaking), study the civil and women’s rights movements in depth to draw inspiration and ideas from their successes, and maintain my eternal optimist spirit.

Yes, I’m a dreamer. But I’m a dreamer with a plan to succeed.

 

P.S.: I want to apologize for the fewer posts. I’m working full-time and going to school in the evenings. It hasn’t been easy. Yet, I do have new writing goals: I’m aiming to publish in bigger publications, like Ebony, The Grio, Salon, The Root, and several other places. My goal is to publish an article once or twice a month. I’m truly sorry about the infrequency—It pains me to even miss a week of publishing on A Womyn’s Worth. But this is only a temporary situation. Soon I’ll go back to publishing once or twice a week. You all can hold me to that.

4 Things I Learned From Pole Dancing

27 Aug

Pole Dance“Okay everyone, we’re gonna get a little raunchy tonight—but that’s okay. We won’t judge one another,” said my dance instructor in one of my first Intro to Pole classes. That evening was filled with twerking, spins, and sexy movement. I left the class feeling ready to audition for the next Nicki Minaj tour.

Exotic dance classes became my fun alternative to joining a gym. In the past few months I’ve taken spinning and static pole dancing, video vixen dancing, and twerkout classes. I’ve learned tons of spins, pole climbing, and a few moves from Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” video (Actually, one of my instructors is featured in that video).

Other than learning to move like a vixen, there are several other perks to taking these classes. Here’s why everyone should try pole dancing: Read more...

Author’s Note: Hey Everyone. This article was originally published on Slutist (Ya girl got published again!). So you can read the rest of the article there. Hope you enjoy!

5 Imaginary Obstacles I Conquer Every Time I Write

7 Aug

WRITERWhenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them, “A writer.” It’s always what I’ve wanted to do, and I’ve never drifted far from that path. And though I truly enjoy it, I often have a difficult time sitting down and actually writing. Since I’m not working on staff for a publication, there’s no one breathing down my neck about deadlines or feeding me any new ideas—it’s something I have to bring myself to do on my own. Yet, there are countless obstacles I notice many writers face whenever they sit down to write.

Here are my top 5:

1. Uninspired Procrastination Mode
If I’m not inspired, then I’ll do it later—I tell myself in order get out of writing. The thing is—if I’m waiting for inspiration, I may be waiting a long while—weeks maybe. Sometimes I have to force myself to sit down and write a few sentences. The rest will come if I sit long enough. Sometimes it won’t- but I might get some good ideas brainstorming.

2. The “Never Good Enough” Fear
My writing professor told the class the most depressing thing for a writer to hear: “All the good stories have already been written.” I often worry he was right. I worry that I won’t be able to say anything better than what my Black feminist predecessors and my favorite fiction writers have already said. I worry that my writing is just “okay,” but not great. But I have to snap out of these worries—otherwise I’ll never get passed the first word on my grad school application essays and I’ll never write that awesome book I plan to write one day.

3. Feeling like a fake
Sometimes I feel like not a real writer. I’m not published in BigNamePublication, I don’t have any books out, and strangers don’t recognize the name of my blog—so I’m not legit. Then I really start to beat myself up: I’ll never be Toni Morrison or even as good as some of my favorite bloggers. But I have to remind myself that even Toni Morrison started somewhere with a pen, paper and dreams similar to my own.

4. Starving Artist Doom
We all have it—those of us who dream of making a career out of writing. We fear that our work will never take off and we’ll end up living on a street corner near the potheads and on Venice Beach, or worst—stuck in a job we hate because writing didn’t pay the bills. The fear of failure is the worst and the most difficult obstacle I struggle with.

5. “I Don’t Need It” Syndrome
I didn’t get any of the writing positions I applied for out of college. Instead, I landed a position at a PR firm, which pays well for my first job out of college. Before I was hired, my only income came from freelance writing. I literally needed to publish articles in order to have funds (Thankfully, my mother didn’t kick me out so I had food and shelter). Now that I no longer financially need to publish—I don’t do it as often. I have a comfortable fallback. But the truth is—I do need it. I’ve always needed it. No other job could ever fully satisfy my inner desire to write. Writing is how I make sense of the world, how I process my thoughts, and eventually- how I’ll become more successful. Writing is my passion—and I cannot let imaginary obstacles get in the way.

Fellow writers: Am I missing anything major? What obstacles do you face when you sit down to write?

Writers note: This post was inspired by the article 5 Invisible Obstacles I Conquer Every Time Run

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