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.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Journey To Focus On Self

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Log on to any social media site and all you will hear and see is how after any breakup, you just gotta shift gears, get yo money up, and ultimately… focus on yourself.

But how come we never talk about how hard the latter part is, focusing on yourself?

Yeah, it sounds good and oh so easy, but lemme tell you… it’s not. It’s hard as fuck.

I’m not that self-absorbed. While focusing on myself is indeed important, I won’t deny that loneliness sets in and when it all comes down to it, I simply desire to give and receive love. I desire partnership, I desire to be able to reciprocate what’s been poured into me and vice versa.

Maybe I feel this way because a majority of the people in my closest friend group are in these beautiful, perfectly imperfect relationships with people who love on them so well. I can honestly say that I am so happy for them but that small feeling that I keep hidden 98% of the time makes me wonder when will my time come? I want to be loved on and love on somebody correctly. I want someone I can share my good news with.

Of course, I have my supportive friends and family to give and reciprocate love to, share good news with and that good stuff, but I can’t deny that I want to be romantically involved with someone who is just as excited, invested and happy about all the good things I have going on in my life.

But alas, here I am focusing on myself.

Or at least I’m trying really, really hard.

I get distracted easily and disappointed even more.

And that’s just how it is when you’re young, trying to date and trying to get a strong grasp on your identity I suppose.

You meet somebody, y’all get a good bond going and then boom. Something happens where y’all gotta grow apart from each other. And you may be left with an empty feeling until you move on to the next person just to repeat the same cycle.

Focusing on yourself is such a hard journey, an intense process. I wish more people would talk about how hard it is. I wish people would talk about how frustrating it is to constantly go through the same cycles, their fuck ups, their fumbles, and the never-ending loneliness you feel.

Naw, relationships don’t validate you but you might be lying to yourself if you don’t think that healthy, positive partnerships make life a little more worthwhile.

Focusing on yourself requires a lot of work. And figuring out what that looks like for me, what it looks like for you is irritating, to say the least. It’s the arduous labor that isn’t always as simple as getting yo coins up or doing nice things for yourself.

What I had to realize tho, it’s not a crime to want to feel wanted (in the RIGHT way, not the superficial way).

It’s not a crime to want someone to make you smile, someone to share good news with, or anything else partners are great for.

Usually, when we desire those things, we tend to creep back to the past but it’s like if you call that person’s phone, or hang out with them, then you’re back at square one and faced with the reason why you gotta focus on yourself in the first place. *eye roll

Lmao. This shit is frustrating, but most journeys are.

 

But you know what, it’s okay to be human. Wanting certain things yet choosing to focus on yourself are not mutually exclusive. You ain’t gotta choose one or the other. You can only navigate this journey the best way you know how.

And just understand that you aren’t the only person that’s having a hard time focusing on their self.

Setbacks, Comebacks, & New Beginnings 


The summer is not quite over, but I can’t help but to reflect on the crazy things that have happened to me & how I am STILL learning how to be patient.

Setbacks

Well, y’all know how the story goes.. one minute everything is going all good, the next minute everything falls apart. I went from being an ecstatic recent college grad to a couch hopping, struggling to make ends meet, dealing with normal-yet-unnecessary-bullshit type of gal. My summers always tend to humble me, but this one was surely different by far. Shifts always happen in my life (as they do in all of ours) but I think my dramatic reaction to everything just made things ten times worse than what they needed to be. Lol. Let’s also factor in that since I graduated I no longer have access to counseling, so ya girl REALLY felt like she was losing her mind. At first, I simply wanted to cry and crawl into a hole, then I had to give myself a pep talk and force myself to remember all that me & my former counselor discussed in our sessions & how to apply those solutions we came up with to real life. It’s hard staying positive 25/8 and I know now that it’s okay not to be okay. However, there is ALWAYS something I can do about it, I just have to be willing to put the work in. 

Comebacks

So I went through a thing. 
And while I’m not at 100% YET, I can say that I’m better (kinda) than I was earlier this summer and my optimistic side says that’s what matters most. 
In my world, moving forward is extremely important and it was never about the number of L’s I take, but how hard I bounce back from said L’s. 
Understand this: mistakes and setbacks and delays are soooo common in life. There is no way to get out of it, like you cannot finesse or scam the struggle. You may think you can, buttttt it will come and find you and force you to learn a lesson over and over again until you get it 🙃. 
Me personally, I’m going to learn the lesson of patience over and over again until I actually be still 🙃🙃🙃🙃 how irritating for a control freak like me! 
But in order to truly be my best self, it is necessary for me to go through those setbacks so I can come back harder than before. 

New beginnings

June and July kicked my ass. So when August came around, I have been ecstatic. 8 is the number of new beginnings and I have been practicing remaining open minded to all the new things I will be experiencing this month. Of course, embracing new beginnings does not exempt you from anxiety. Lately I’ve been questioning things like “Am I really good at this adulting thing?” “Will I ever find a stable place to live?” “Am I going to be able to do well at my new job?” 

The answers won’t come right away but the lesson in all of this comes back down to patience. I was venting to my mom recently and I asked “how many times do I have to learn the lesson of being patient?!” She glanced at me and said, “Until you learn to actually be still.”

A light bulb went off. And I have been able to breathe a little easier. As I said earlier in this post, I’m not exactly at 100% but I’m also not as bad off as I thought I was nor am I feeling like I was in the beginning of the summer. 

I’m not sure what you’ve been dealing with this summer, but maybe we share a common theme: learning how to be patient, not letting setbacks defeat us, not letting comebacks scare us and embracing all the new beginnings life has to offer. 

As cliché as it sounds, it gets better. Just be still. 

Where I Wanna Be

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What good comes from staying in your comfort zone? is a question that I ask myself daily and a question that life forces me to answer over and over again since I graduated college over a month ago.

In Post Grad Blues, I was crying about feeling out of place and how down and out I felt about not having a job immediately after graduation. Nevertheless, I moved back to Chicago and after weeks and weeks of filling out at least 5 job applications a day and a few interviews later, ya girl has got a job for the summer with another one that starts in August!

However, as a true millennial lol, I’m still not content because I know this job isn’t where I wanna be.

Some people get jobs or internships in their field immediately after graduation. Some of us will be on a 6-to-12 month job search before they find anything. The rest of us will work a number of jobs just to make ends meet, all while trying to pursue whatever it is that makes us happy.

Desperation doesn’t mix well with decision-making but “tell that to the bills” is a general consensus I’ve gathered for those of us who are just trying to make adulting work out here.

So with the feelings of not being where we WANT to be, how do we navigate them? How do we keep going?

Get over yourself

Okay so you don’t have your dream job and life isn’t as smooth as you thought it would because you work so hard and we feel like we should reap all the benefits that come with being youthful and educated. UNFORTUNATELY, that’s not how this works, that’s how any of this works. You’re gonna have to get out here and hustle. Your first job or first few jobs after college may have zero to do with what you got your degree in. Get over yourself and make it work.

Be Grateful

You may not be where you want to be, but at least you aren’t where you used to be. I went from being unemployed for almost 6 months to getting a job 1 month after I graduated. Is it in my field? No. But is it making ends meet for now? Yes. I have gotten my sense of independence back and I’m just glad to be able to have some coins in my pocket.

Remain open to learning

Just because you’re working somewhere that isn’t necessarily ideal doesn’t mean that you can’t use the experience as a life lesson. I work with a bunch of different people each day, and I am always observing and picking up key things from them that I would like to use later on in my professional life.

Keep Grinding

If all else fails, keep grinding! You don’t like the job you have? Take every day and apply for some new ones. Be intentional with your grind. Talk to people, continue to network. Even when it comes to doing what we love, jobs literally come and go. Grind enough where you develop a new skill or talent no matter where you go. Every opportunity won’t be paid and that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to volunteer your services and get your name and skillset out there.

Take your Time

Just because you don’t want to be where you currently are, doesn’t mean that you know exactly where you want to be either. Take your time and figure yourself out. Give yourself room for trial and error. Your needs, wants and desires can change on the daily. It’s all completely normal as we evolve and grow. Just don’t give up on yourself no matter what you do.


Have you ever struggled with not being somewhere you wanted to be? How did you cope with it? What advice would you give someone currently experiencing this emotion?

 

 

#WriteYourselfALoveLetter: 1 Year Later

#WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge (1)

1 year ago, I was a taking a summer class based on social media. While in the class, my classmates and I had to create a social media campaign using any social media platform we chose. Around this time last year, challenges on Facebook were a big thing. You had everything from the #NoMakeUpChallenge, the #RealHairChallenge and everything in between. Since I already had a blog, I decided to create the #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge which was centered toward anyone who wanted to publicly celebrate themselves for once.

Since I already had a blog and enjoyed writing about self-love, I decided to create the #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge which was centered toward anyone who wanted to publicly celebrate themselves for once.

The challenge did really well on Facebook, and I had people left and right tagging me in their love letters. It was eye opening seeing people be so vulnerable with themselves and the public. It was also heartbreaking to see how so many struggled to affirm themselves because they have been burdened with low self-esteem and negativity for so long.

The challenge was so impactful that this past Valentine’s Day I was invited to lead and host a workshop for the Women’s Center in Carbondale, IL where I was asked to speak on self-love, positively affirming yourself and of course, write love letters with them.

So here we are one year later and I decided to do an update letter. If you want to read my original letter, you can read it here. 

Read More »

Post Grad Blues 

“Is it normal for me to feel this way?” Is a question I found myself asking myself literally a few days after I crossed the stage on May 13th. 

While I am hella proud of my accomplishments, reality quickly sunk in for me: I’m broke, I don’t have a job and on top of that I am behind on bills. When my lease is up in August, I have no idea where I am going to go or what type of employment I am going to have. My bursar bill is high, I currently don’t have the desire to go to grad school and I’ve been dealing with the frustration of being under qualified for jobs in my field, yet over qualified for normal jobs such as Walmart. 

Last week, the overthinking took a toll on me and I cried. I felt (feel) so stuck and stagnant so I brought my ass to Chicago, where I am currently bouncing from house to house (shout out to my bomb ass friends) and trying to lock in some employment.. or I’ll be going back to Carbondale. 

I honestly feel weird. I fought long and hard to become a college grad and really stuck it out when I had every reason to quit. And while I wasn’t expecting for gates of opportunity to just open up as soon as I walked across the stage, I will say that the shock of real life adulting is mind boggling to me. 

If you know me, you know that stability is very important to me and that also I am a control freak. I like being in control of my money, my comings and goings, and knowing EXACTLY what my next move is going to be. 

And I know, that’s unrealistic and as my therapist told me during one of our sessions, the key to peace is acceptance. Therefore, I should be able to accept that I won’t be in control all the time because trying to only puts added stress on me. 

A talk with one of my best friends put something in perspective for me: he told me that just because I may lack a job, does not mean I lack anything else. Therefore, I should stop thinking that I’m hopeless and worthless because I am not. 

That talk really helped and put a lot into perspective for me. I guess I’m so used to constantly being on the go and doing something that this new found free time was bothering me. 

But you know what? It’s okay to breathe. It’s okay to relax. It’s okay to ask for help when needed. It’s even okay to feel all the emotions I feel at the moment (they change by the day) but it’s not okay to be so hard on myself. And that’s something I have to get better at. I’m only human, I don’t need to have all the answers. 

Although I am dealing with the post grad blues, I will say this:

• If it’s not your time yet, don’t force it. That makes things harder than it needs to be. 

• Adulting is hard. You literally wake up everyday and try to figure it out. 

• You’re not alone! Everybody goes through similar if not the same shit, even if it looks like they don’t, trust me they do. 

• You can’t rush the process, you can only trust the process. 

• What’s meant for you will NEVER pass you by. 

• Just because you lack something that you may want/need at the moment (i.e. a job, riches, money, fame) doesn’t mean you are worthless. 

In conclusion… I really don’t know what’s next. But I do know I’ll be able to adapt. I do know that I’ll be okay. And I do know that I will be great. And while I have the blues right now, I do know I won’t be singing the same tune forever. 

Stay encouraged my loves,

– Kia ❤️

Dear Future Graduate

Dear future

Graduation season is supposed to be a joyous time.

A time where college and even high school students across the country can rejoice and reflect on their journey and prepare for the utopia that is supposed to be the “real world” where we are expected to land high paying jobs in our fields and live stress-free and joyously until we take our last breath.

Instead, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While you may be excited to close a chapter, you may also be experiencing feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, and even fear.

Not to mention the constant, annoying ass question of “What’s next? or What’s your plan after graduation?” constantly coming up 25/8 from friends, family members and even strangers you meet.

It can be frustrating. If you’re anything like me,  you have a hard time being able to enjoy your transition because what’s next is constantly on your mind and you may feel like unless you have a plan that is concrete and goes from A-Z, you’re a failure.

But in lieu of practicing no negative self-talk, here is a love letter for you, for me, and anyone else who may need this.

Dear future graduate,

Before you let your anxiety and fear take over you, congratulate yourself on even making it this far. I’m not sure what type of odds you had to overcome, but I’m sure you fought like hell and now your hard work is finally about to pay off. You DESERVE to be proud of yourself.

Another thing I want you to know is that it’s perfectly normal to be scared. How can we afford not to be afraid when we’ve been living our life in a routine for the last few years? There are so many what-ifs to think about, but don’t think that you are weird for dreading change. Change does not come easy but it is inevitable. Allow yourself the room to feel what you feel but do not dwell there forever. After all, like Will Smith recently said in an interview “everything we want is on the other side of fear.”

I also know how hard it’s been for you to maintain your composure after constantly getting asked the same questions about your future. Some people are bold enough not to believe in you and while others may mean well trying to help you “plan your future” it still does not take away the anxiety you may be feeling. I saw this meme on Twitter and I’ll say it to you: Before others had an opinion, you had a purpose. Therefore, you don’t have to announce your moves to anybody until you feel good and ready to. Your future is exactly that, YOURS so anybody else’s opinion of it is irrelevant.

Speaking of moves, it’s okay not to know your next one. We are all so obsessed with knowing the future that we forget to enjoy the right now. I myself am so guilty of this. But it’s okay not to know. Just because your graduation may be days or weeks away and you have nothing concrete lined up doesn’t mean that you never will. It doesn’t mean that you are a failure. At this point in life, you get to make up your own rules. So LIVE. Try to take things one day at a time, because what is meant for you will have its way of finding you.

Maybe you’ll come back a year from now and read this and still not feel any better. Who knows how the real world will hit us when we finally cross that stage? But have no fear, I am sure that you have the ability to adapt. After all, you did survive college. You will be successful. Set some goals, achieve them as best as you can and if they aren’t completed by the deadline you gave to yourself, just continue to work at them.

I’m proud of you future graduate. Things may seem so unclear now, but trust me you got this.

Love,

Kia ♥

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 ♥♥♥♥