5 Years A Blogger

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On January 1st, 2012 I started my blogging journey.

Through the years, I’ve learned so much about writing, blogging, and my own womanhood. I want to thank all my supporters over the years, for without you all I’m not sure where I would be. This blog has gained me some valuable connections, timeless life lessons and ultimately proves itself as an outlet for me to grow, learn, inspire and save my own life over and over again.

Here are 5 things I learned over the years complete with some pretty cool photos shot by Kaleb Higginbotham or @lensconcepts on Instagram.

1) If you desire to start a blog, just do it.

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“Everything I do, I do it with a passion.” @lenconcepts

There are so many people I know that desire to start a blog, but get caught up in either the “right” time or having the “right” components that they think goes along with blogging, such as professional website, a nice logo, a target audience, etc. While those things are important, I believe that a person who desires to blog should focus on creating content first. The other stuff will come, but you want to have something to show people first.

2) It’s okay to start over & reinvent if you want to.

 

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“Expect nothing out of me except growth.”

Keep in mind that when I started blogging, I was 17 going on 18 years old a couple months later. My mindset then versus my mindset now has completely changed and that should be expected. Growth is inevitable. I went from calling myself Kween K, to Kween Kia, to now just Kia Smith Writes. I’ve changed sites that hosted my blog, changed my focus from being a hip-hop music blogger to simply wanting to write about whatever is on my heart.

My point is: You don’t have to be confined to anyone’s boxes, not even your own. If something about your brand is no longer working or making you happy, change it and be unapologetic about it. Burnout in blogging is REAL, and if this is something you want to do, make sure you are happy doing it.

3) Don’t compare yourself to other writers or bloggers.

 

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“No one is me, and that is my power.”

Look, there are some pretty amazing writers and bloggers out here who have thousands of followers out here, seem to be making lots of money and seem to be taking their brand to the next level.

Over the years, I had to learn that just because other writers and bloggers seem more successful doesn’t mean I lack as a writer or blogger. Comparison is truly the thief of joy, and I had no business comparing myself to other people when I wasn’t even aware of the work, time and effort that went into cultivating their brand. Just because it looked easy doesn’t mean that it is!

Moral of the story: The grass is only as green where you water it. The energy you invest in checking for other people and comparing yourself to them is the same energy that can be used to level yourself up. Focus on you, and your writing and blogging or whatever brand building you do will get better.

4) Consistency is key, but don’t force it.

 

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“Quality is better than quantity.”

Something I have struggled with over these last 5 years is being consistent in my blogging and writing. There have been times where I haven’t written anything for months out of time, either due to pure laziness or simply not being inspired.

However, I also learned the dangers of posting TOO much, just for the sake of posting.

The quality of your content will always matter more than how often you post in my opinion. A way I started combatting this was doing writing challenges or writing prompts and actually taking out the time to plan my posts. It helps with my organization and consistency, and I won’t have my readers asking where the hell I have been or if I even still blog lol.

Learn when to post and when to take a break as well.

5) You don’t know everything.

 

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“Do what you gotta do to manifest your dreams.”

 

There is always something to know and learn about your craft. Study it. Apply it. And with so many free resources out here, with some effort and practice, you’ll get better over time.

I came into the blog game believing that I knew everything and I wasn’t humble at all. When I realized that there was a lot I didn’t know, I began to feel inadequate but that wasn’t the case either.

Instead, I should’ve had my ass on Google and utilized my amazing mentors/people I admire and soaked up every bit of information I could find. But you live and you learn with your craft. You will make mistakes, but that’s how you learn.

Overall, these past 5 years have been nothing short of amazing. I can’t wait to see what I accomplish in the next 5 years+.

Thank you all for supporting me for so long and I pray that you all will continue to do so in the years to come ♥♥♥♥♥.

 

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“Stay focused on self & unimpressed by mediocrity.”

 

 

 

 

 

How To Keep A Man

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If you look at any piece of media, you will see countless of tv shows, think pieces and books written by “relationship experts” who tell women all day long about what we can do to keep a grown ass man. Our tasks include but are not limited to: cooking, cleaning, fucking him on demand and being softer, smaller, and quieter for a man that will probably  likely STILL cheat on you/leave you anyway in spite of you doing all that!

It’s comical because I myself and many people I know once adhered to those unrealistic standards of womanhood and losing ourselves in the process. Have ya’ll ever wondered why it ain’t no books, movies or tv shows out here telling men how to treat women?

Nope, of course not because they don’t exist lol.

Yet somehow, the responsibility of having a successful relationship and keeping a man is ALWAYS placed on us. When things go sour due to infidelity, women are taught to ALWAYS look at ourselves first instead of holding these men accountable.

If we are going to talk about “keeping a man” then the conversation needs to shift from what women should or should not do and more about how a relationship takes an equal amount of work. We need to talk about how everybody has choices and free will and how you simply cannot “keep” someone who doesn’t want to be “kept.”

If there is anything I want women to stop doing, it is for us to stop crouching and contorting and dimming our own light just to please these men.

A hard lesson to learn is that you can’t love someone into loving you.

You can try, but at the end of the day you may be left empty and when has it ever been cool to have your loyalty make you look foolish?

When a man wants you, you will know. You won’t have to conform yourself and perform magic tricks just to keep him around.

So sorry if you read this post in hopes that I would be giving out the keys to successful relationships.

The only secret to keeping a man is simply his desire to be kept.

V I O L A T E D: An Interview with Ashleigh Brown

 

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April is known for many things, but most importantly it is known as Sexual Assault Awareness month. In the short film Violated, director Ashleigh Brown explores the topic of childhood sexual abuse and creates a powerful visual that will leave you feeling empowered and has been causing lots of conversation on social media. I got a chance to chop it up with Ashleigh where she discussed her inspiration, future plans in independent filmmaking and finally feeling free.

What inspired you to create this film?

“What inspired me to create this film was being a survivor myself. I think as women we paint ourselves out to be the victim and I made the conscious decision a very long time ago that I was not going to be a victim. I was going to live my life and be happy regardless of what happened to me at a very young age. I wrote the poem maybe a few years ago and then a visual came to mind and it was a combination of what I had gone through in past relationships and what I had seen other women go through in their relationships. Basically, I just wanted to bring that to life.

 

How are you looking to change the world of independent cinema with this film?

“I really wanna change independent filmmaking by letting people know you don’t have to have a lot of fancy equipment or a big budget to make art. I think it was Ava DuVernay who said on Twitter one day that all you need is a camera– whether it be your iPhone or a raggedy camera you have. As long as you can shoot and have good lighting you can bring your story to life. I was sitting on this project for a while, then one day one of my good friends who is a very skilled videographer/photographer and I were talking about it and I asked her to help me. The actors I used (Pierre and Gabrielle) were phenomenal and did it for free because they believed in the project and we used my friend’s Jeffrey’s house. What I really want to tell people is that you don’t need a budget to shoot anything. All you need is a concept and people who are willing to work with you and a vision.”

How important is it to you for black women to tell their own stories?

“It is extremely important for Black women to tell their stories. I think we’ve been silenced for so many years but we are the type of women that don’t have to be silent. We are so strong and I always tell people that I’m strong because I stand on the backs of the women who come before me. I come from so many women who raised me who just exemplify strength so it’s important for us to tell our stories because otherwise we’re silenced. I don’t think it’s fair because when you look at history, a lot of things would not have happened if it were not for Black women. If you look at every movement that has changed the world, Black women were the center of it. It is important for the world to know who we are, to see us in all our glory, all our dysfunction, and all of our beauty. So it’s very important for us to tell our stories because that’s how this world was created essentially.”

What was the hardest part about making this film?

“The hardest part about making this movie was me getting out of my own way, me not believing in myself. Something in my spirit let me know that this had to be done. I had to tell this story for my own healing and for the healing of other people who had been through a situation where they had been victimized, touched inappropriately, or abused. It was basically just me not believing in myself. But once I got over that, my videographer Briannah was like you just need to do it. I think me getting in my own way was the hardest part about me making the film, but now that I’m getting so much positive feedback from women about how this story has helped them and how the visual brought back so many memories for them and how this film helped with their healing process as well, I think that was the most gratifying part of it all. It let me know that I need to get out of my own way when it comes to anything. I know now that I can do whatever I set out to do.”

What can we expect from you in the future?

“What you can expect from me in the future is that I have a documentary on Black fatherhood that will be out in June. I have all the footage for that I’m just in the process of editing it. I also wrote a comedy script for another short film with one of my good friends named Brittany, and we hope to shoot that in the next couple of weeks. I am also working with a rap artist by the name of Rob Hayes (who is also my cousin) and we are going to do a short film about him and his music career. So in addition to working full time and being a musician, I’m just trying to put out projects for as cheap as possible cuz I ain’t got no money! (laughs). I’m just hoping to make art that people can relate to and inspire other people as well.”

 Subscribe to Ashleigh’s Youtube page & follow her on Instagram @C.BrownProductions. Click here to watch her short film on Youtube.

Thanks 4 Not Ruining My Life

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“I will ruin your life.” he boldly stated to me through a text message.

Confused and thinking it was a joke, I tried to convince him that we should act on our feelings but he refused, insisting that we not cross that line and ignored me until I eventually forgot about him.

It felt so harsh back then, but I completely get it now.

Let’s talk about urges and how every urge does NOT need to be acted on.

In my lifetime, I have met many men who aren’t perfect. They ain’t trynna be perfect and while perfection is non-existent, they are also trash enough to ruin your life if you let them.

Ironically, I found myself attracted to these type of men and while some of them were completely honest about their intentions, it was me who decided I didn’t want to listen, it was me who decided that I could magically change them, it was me who decided I wanted to play with fire anyway lol.

And then one day… I grew up.

My logical side kicked in and I had to realize that just because I may be feeling someone, doesn’t mean I need to act on it. Sometimes it’s better to pretend that those feelings don’t exist because to act on those feelings would be like opening up Pandora’s Box and if you know anything about Pandora’s Box, you know that once it’s opened it becomes a bunch of shit you can’t handle.

In essence, no matter how salty you may be, you literally should THANK the person you wanted real bad but they rejected you. You don’t want your life ruined sis. TRUST ME.

Playing with fire is not always worth it and honestly, start L I S T E N I N G when people tell you who they are. You will save yourself a world of stress, headache, confusion and any other negative emotion  you can think of. DISCERNMENT (1 of my favorite words) is key here.

Moral of the story: Thanks my guy, for not ruining my life…

 

Should I Stop Writing?

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Don’t be alarmed. I’m not actually going to stop writing.

But I won’t sit up here and lie to you and say that the thought has never crossed my mind and that sometimes I feel insecure about my writing.

I’ll even be honest enough with you and tell you that at this very moment as I’m typing this, I am cringing because I can’t believe that I let myself get suckered into thinking that I need social media popularity to validate my gift as a writer.

I know ya’ll are wondering what the hell I’m talking about so here it goes:

Ever since I dropped my post How Do I Get My Magic Back? and it went a little viral, it has been hard for me to write anything that can top that. This post led to so many shares, so many texts and emails from people that I knew and didn’t know, all expressing their feelings about me being so transparent. Never have I ever wrote something like that and received so much attention for it.

A couple weeks later I dropped another post, but it wasn’t as popular (or so it seems) like the previous one. January rolled around and I realized that I was 5 years in the blog game and so I had to plan something for that. Along came a photo shoot, an official logo and the beginning stages of my t-shirt line.

Recently I dropped a post and to my surprise, it barely received any recognition on social media like I hoped. So letting my pessimistic side take over, I began to wonder was it something that I was doing wrong? I started thinking of different marketing strategies, checking my page stats, looking at my Twitter impressions, revamping my Facebook like page here and there. I even thought about purposely writing more transparent stuff but that didn’t feel genuine and I didn’t want my lived experiences to be a corny ass marketing tool. I basically over-thunk myself into a frenzy, thus questioning should I stop writing since it seemed that no one was paying attention anyway.

It was hard for me to even type that sentence because as someone who swears up and down that I write to save my own damn life, I know it’s foolish to think that the impact my words have on people don’t even matter.

And then I began to wonder am I narcissistic for wanting people to fuck with my writing?

Is going viral every time I write something really that deep?

As I’ve been telling my therapist lately, my pessimistic and optimistic side are constantly at war with each other and some days I really don’t know who to listen to.

Then today, my logical side finally kicked in and gave myself a pep talk of some sorts.

No matter what type of creative person you are, maybe you can use this too.

It’s okay to feel insecure sometimes.

When your job relies on a social media presence or you simply are keeping up with the times and using technology to keep up with people, it’s quite common to feel a lil bit of envy. I look at other successful bloggers and writers and wish that I was them sometimes but the thing is, I have no idea what type of work or sacrifices they’ve had to make to go into their brand. I would love to have their awards and recognition but truth is, I have a lot more hard work to do before I get on their level.

That being said, I have to be confident in knowing that I am impacting who I am SUPPOSED to impact, even when I can’t see it.

You never know who is watching. More often than not, especially on social media, people are silent supporters watching your every move.

Don’t try to be the next version of nobody, just strive to be a better you each day.

Social media will lead us to believe that we want these people’s lives. Truth is, we don’t. If you can’t handle your own good and bad then how can you handle someone else’s. Just keep working on your craft. It’s cool to admire people and even ask them what steps did they take to get there, but at the end of the day, you are your own unique person.

And lastly…

Sometimes you can’t measure it, but you must keep the faith and press forward knowing that someone, somewhere needed your words when they didn’t have their own.

Every post ain’t gone go viral. You may get only one retweet on Twitter. People may scroll past your shit on Snapchat. But none of that matters. As long as you (I) keep writing, keep practicing and keep trying… then that’s all that matters. Even if only ONE person is impacted by what you have to say, then you’ve done your job.

Popularity fades but authenticity will last forever.

XOXOXO,

Kia ♥♥♥♥

Staying Focused In Distraction Season

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Something that has been heavy on my heart and mind lately is the importance of protecting my energy and not allowing toxic thoughts and people into my literal and figurative space.

If you are my friend in real life or if you just follow me on social media, you’ll hear/see me reflect a lot on the previous year and how unhappy I was and all most of the reasons why.

While it’s easy to place the blame on others, something I had to learn was that it takes two to tango, meaning that sometimes you are responsible for your own misery. Once you realize that you have a hand in your own misery, you then have to hold yourself accountable and actually DO something about it.

Looking at certain patterns in my life, I have noticed that this season is distraction season. What does this mean? Well, distraction season is:

  • A season where old people and situations will try to pop back up.
  • A season where new people with bad intentions will latch on and suck you dry.
  • A season where so many other problems will occur.

 

In other words, the devil is busy.

Per usual lol.

So, how do you stay focused during this season? Well…..

#1  Re-examine your goals. Adjust. Execute.

Something that has been keeping me on track is me going back and reading all the goals I outlined for myself this year. I take an inward survey to see how feasible they are at the moment and then adjust them if necessary. After I do that, I come up with a plan to execute it, even if it’s the smallest step possible.

#2 Minimize your distractions.

As I said earlier in the post, sometimes we are responsible for our own misery, especially when we don’t utilize good decision making. If you know that you shouldn’t be around certain people or that you shouldn’t be browsing on certain social media pages, then cut the distraction. Some people may look at this as avoiding the situation but at the end of the day, it’s YOUR energy you’re trying to protect.

#3 – Use your discernment.

Look at the patterns in your life. Be cognizant of what season you are in. Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right then most likely it ain’t right.

#4 – Boundaries: Get them. Set them.

We are all prone to getting distracted sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t set boundaries to minimize the effects distractions will have on us. Setting boundaries goes along with good decision making which goes along with discernment. If you have those 3 things in hand, I believe that the effects of a distraction will be a little less harmful and possibly completely avoided altogether.

All in all, I just want us all to take heed.

I’m personally at a point in my life where I know I can’t engage in everything and protecting my energy ain’t just some shit I’m tweeting for Twitter. I’m really working at this shit, because I can’t afford to be distracted by the same ole dumb shit over and over.

Stay focused.

XOXO,

Kia ♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

 

 

 

Look at your own life. What season are you in? Do you notice any patterns or situations from previous years before? How do you refocus when you’ve been distracted?

 

 

I’m Black, What’s Your Super Power?

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Hey ya’ll!

If you know me you know that I love statement tees, especially Pro-Black ones. For the last couple of years I have dreamed of dropping a t-shirt line based on certain things I say, and other inspirational things that come to mind.

The first installment of my line is the Super Power Series. This series will proudly display different occupations, ethnicities and other things people are proud of with shirts that read I’m a ___________, What’s Your Super Power?. This year, you can expect to see many different designs and concepts, thanks to my awesome designer @AJ773.

For now, this shirt will be available in tees, tanks, crewnecks, and hoodies via the Teespring website. In the future, I do plan to have an official online store where people can have a variety of options to choose from when they shop, but for now, I want to reach my goal of selling the first 50 shirts before I move forward.

 

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Price is $21.99

 

 

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Price is $40

 

 

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Price is $35

 

Above are some screenshots of the designs. Each item comes in 3 colors: Black, red, and green.

If you have any tips, tricks or advice on creating a t-shirt line please don’t hesitate to drop a comment or email me!

Finally, if you’d like to make a purchase, please visit the link here: https://tspr.ng/c/super-power-series

Thank you in advance for your support,

Kia ♥♥♥♥♥

When The Dream Seems Unclear

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Maybe you decided in late December that 2017 would be the year that no matter what, you would manifest all your dreams.

So you did it. You took that leap of faith.

Maybe you quit school.

Maybe you moved to a new state that’s hours and hours away.

Maybe you graduated college not really knowing your next move but praying to God that it would all work out because you couldn’t spend another moment spending time being unsure of yourself.

Maybe you had your dreams all worked out, from plan A to Z, but somewhere in there, the dream got foggy.

You may be feeling stuck and the uncertainty is all too consistent and rightfully so, you are frustrated.

Before you drown yourself in a sea of anxiousness, stop yourself and breathe.

The thing about dreams is…. while its no doubt that they will get accomplished, the time period as well as the twists and turns that lead up to getting them accomplished is uncertain.

The uncertainty of it all is when life begins to feel uncomfortable.

If you are a control freak like me, then the thought of the unknown absolutely petrifies you. You may be used to always knowing what your next move is or you may constantly daydream about the ideal life you would like to live.

So what happens, when that dream gets deferred? What happens when your dream is put on pause; when plans don’t always fall through?

You gone give up?

NO.

You gone think of yourself as a failure?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

So what do you do?

*shrugs shoulders*

Well… first of all, you have to get it out your head that life will always go according to plan.

That’s unrealistic.

Understand that life will have many twists and turns. I am a firm believer that struggle builds character and that if life was so easy, then we would never have anything to learn from, thus not gaining any type of wisdom.

Second of all, you’re not a failure if your dreams have to be put on pause.

Again, life will throw you curve balls but don’t think that you’re the biggest failure that ever lived because of it. Take that time on pause to figure out a different way you can attack and succeed at accomplishing your dreams. You will have to bend many, many times in life, the most important thing of all of this is to NEVER FOLD and allow your circumstances to defeat you.

Lastly, give yourself some credit and celebrate that you’ve even made it this far.

So what things may not be 100% in order, at least you took that first step! That’s more than a lot of other people can say. You have to get into the habit of affirming yourself! If you can’t do it for you, reach out to those closest to you who can uplift you when you’re feeling down. If that doesn’t work, visit this blog for some inspiration (#shamelessplug, lol)

The dream will seem unclear at times. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. When things seem cloudy it means that things will clear up for you soon. Stay focused and keep dreaming!

Love you all,

Kia ♥

Senior Year Affirmations 

Yesterday happened to be my last first day of school before I receive my bachelors degree. These past 5 years in college have truly been a journey but I can honestly say that I am blessed to be on it. College may not seem like much to most people but to me it is one of my greatest accomplishments in life. I was honestly supposed to drop out after I flunked my first semester all the way back in the fall of 2012, but God had other plans for my life. 

I pressed forward, not without mishaps of course but here I am… 5 months shy of crossing the finish line, or rather starting a new beginning. 

Lately I’ve been having conversations with people and the question that ALWAYS comes up is “What’s your plans after you graduate?”

*rolls eyes* Lemme be honest with y’all.. I actually hate that question. 

Cuz truthfully… I don’t know. I really don’t.

It’s hard for me to tell someone what I have planned for the next 5-6 months of my life when I don’t even know if I’ll be alive the next day. So whenever I get asked that question, it annoys me a little bit because sometimes I feel like people look at you crazy when you don’t have anything concrete planned. 

Instead, I would rather people ask me what would I like to do after I graduate, because I can talk all day about that. 

Currently I’m interested in jobs that have to do with youth development and I’m open to moving to anywhere that is Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and wherever God sees fit for me to go. I would like to write for a few publications professionally, I would like to travel and not only see the world but give back and help communities as well. 

I know many of my fellow seniors are stressed about the unknown, but for some reason I don’t feel that same sense of urgency like my peers do. 

Maybe it’s because it hasn’t sunk in that I have about 17 weeks until I graduate, or maybe it’s because I know that God is truly in control and that wherever I end up, I will be able to grow more, no matter how uncomfortable it may seem. 

To my fellow seniors, look y’all we got this. We have came this far, now is not the time to fall apart and panic about the unknown. Do what you have to do to get your life in order but don’t spread yourself too thin stressing over your next move. 

I was thinking about a few things & wanted to encourage you: 

Remember that it is okay not to have every detail of your life planned out. Like I said earlier, we are not even guaranteed to be alive the next day so how the hell can we predict what the next 5-6 months gone be like? 

Also. Don’t compare yourself to other people! You don’t know what trials and tribulations or sacrifices people go through to maintain what they have, the grass is always greener where YOU water it, so focus on YOU. Just because this fellow senior may have a high GPA, hella internships, their grad school completely paid for and a nice job lined up after graduation doesn’t mean that you are lacking in any way. It’s ok to look to others for motivation here and there, but don’t use someone else’s success to tear yourself down. 🙄

Lastly, enjoy the present much more. Yes you should definitely care about your future, but sometimes (most of the time) plans change. It’s our last year of college before we gotta be boring ass adults, so enjoy it! Travel. Party like you’re an underclassman again. Enjoy ya friends. Reflect on how far you’ve come & remain open to how far you will go. 

P.S. Don’t rush your graduation trying to make other people happy! It’s not a matter of WHEN you graduate, the most important part is just that you DO. If you feel unprepared NOW, why do you think rushing your graduation will prepare you any better? Take your time, college still gone be here. 

I love you all and remember seniors we got this! 

XoXo

– Kia 

I Choose To Be Powerful

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I’ve been through some things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but I no longer want to be a victim of my experiences.

Say that out loud to yourself:

“I no longer want to be a victim of my experiences.”

Sometimes you have to randomly talk out loud to yourself about all that you’ve been through. It’s a strange exercise to some, but to me its quite liberating and allows you to sort through whatever is going on inside your head.

Ever since I wrote my post How Do I Get My Magic Back?  So many have reached out to me and commended me for telling a bit of my story, but also mentioned how they could never be so brave because they are ashamed of what has happened to them.

I am grateful to be a vessel for many, but I also want those same people to know that you don’t have to live in shame.

To be powerful is a choice you make each day, over and over again.

For me, choosing to be powerful came about in a few different ways.

#1) I acknowledge what I went through. 

Key word being went, which means I already overcame it. Which means I will likely NEVER got through it again.

#2) I move forward. 

Yes, I’ve been through some terrible things. But I don’t have to stay in that space. I don’t have to dwell on it. I will simply acknowledge my feelings about it, validate them and move forward.

#3) I choose to let my experiences empower me.

I know that I am a complex young woman but you know what? I wouldn’t wanna be anybody else except me. I got one hell of a story to tell. I have no reason to be ashamed of who I am, and neither do you. Of course, you don’t have to be like me and tell some of your business in a blog post, but you do owe it to yourself to do the work and overcome that shame and fear.

It is what it is.

You are who you are.

You were wonderfully created with unique life experiences for a reason.

Choose power.

Choose you.

 

Love,

Kia