Recap From the #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge Event

So, let me tell ya’ll how good GOD is!

When the ending of 2017 came around, like most people I started thinking about my goals and what I wanted for myself, my blog and my brand. The end goal of all of this is to become a full-time blogger, I want to be able to make money doing what I love while remaining impactful and authentic.

I’m a person who journals, so I wrote a few things down about how I wanted to leverage my blog to bring in income for me while continuing to work my full-time job. When I was in undergrad, I gained some experience in event planning and had been to a few blogger events myself.

So I was like…. Kia, this year you’re gonna have 3 successful events this year. The first one will be free just so you can see if you can do it. So then I started brainstorming about what type of event I wanted to have and my blog posts from the #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge came to mind. I remembered that on Valentine’s Day of 2017 I was asked by The Women’s Center down in my college town to come and present the challenge to the community women who got serviced by the center. We talked about self -love, our struggles with it, and wrote love letters and poems to ourselves. Fast forward to graduating and moving back home to Chicago and I knew that my love letter event was the one I wanted to bring to life.

But of course, it wasn’t easy.

In fact, I’m convinced that great things don’t happen without a little mishap.

I had the original date set for February 10th. Until my lovely hometown of Chicago decides to have a damn SNOWSTORM. TALK ABOUT DEVASTATED!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chile, I cried lol. I was so upset that my event couldn’t happen when I wanted it to happen. What made matters worse was that the venue I rented didn’t have any other available dates in February, so it wasn’t like I could just easily reschedule a week later.

I have a tendency to beat myself up when things don’t work out the way I intend them to but between God and my friends, I snapped out of it. I always find a solution… I just gotta be dramatic about it first lol.

My venue had an available date of March 3rd and I was comfortable with that because I figured, what better way to kick off my birthday month than to throw my very first event back home?

Another cool thing that happened was that a journalism student, by name of Anna Kook from the award-winning North Western Medill School of Journalism hit me up on Facebook and said that she wanted to cover my event for her class project.

I was in awe. I have no idea how she found me (thank you Internets) but I’m glad that she did. The event was amazing! We laughed, we cried, we drank hella wine and we wrote some beautiful love letters to ourselves!

Watch the video below and let me know what you think!

And don’t worry, more events are coming soon!

XOXOXO,

Kia ♥♥♥♥♥

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3 Things I Learned From Lip Service Live

 

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Moderator: Frankie Robinson of WGCI Radio & panelists.

 

 

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending the 24th annual Black Women’s Expo! Held at Chicago’s McCormick Center, this 3-day event is a celebration of Black Womanhood that features black-owned businesses, performances, and plenty of panel discussions and seminars.

On Sunday, I attended the Lip Service Live panel discussion which was moderated by WGCI’s Frankie Robinson, featuring Angela Yee of the Breakfast club, Charmaine Walker of Black Ink Crew Chicago, Phor of Black Ink Crew Chicago, Van Johnson of Chicagorilla, GiGi Maguire of Lip Service Podcast, Lore’l of Lip Service Podcast and doctors Maya Green and Toya O. from the Chicago Department of Health.

This seminar was unfiltered AF but that is to be expected. Everything from UTI’s, fellatio tips and vaginal myths busted was discussed. The audience and panelists were highly engaged with each other and while the attention was mostly on the celebrity panelists, the doctors impressed me the most.

Here are 3 things I learned from them to live our best happy and healthy, and unfiltered sex lives.

How do you prepare for intimacy?

We live in a world where many men are uncomfortable and straight up REFUSING to go to the doctor and get tested for STD’s. Panelist Dr. Toya said that it is important for men to do these things because most black women who contract HIV tend to do so from their heterosexual male partners. Dr. Maya said that “we need to make it okay for men to love their bodies and be sexually whole like women are.” and I couldn’t agree more! The doctors went on to say that the best way to prepare for intimacy is to go get tested with your partners, though special circumstances are considered such as one night stands. It was refreshing to be in a space where alternative lifestyles were considered and absolutely no shaming was going on.

PrEP can be taken by women as well.

6 out of 10 HIV cases are black women. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is an anti-viral drug that reduces your chance of contracting the disease. If you look at advertisements, you will see that PrEP is primarily marketed to and for gay men, but Dr. Maya cleared that misconception up. An audience member also had a question about why is there no cure for HIV yet a prevention and Dr. Toya answered and said that is because the HIV virus changes every time it replicates which makes it hard to cure. They did go on to say that PrEP is 90% effective and highly recommend for women to take it if they feel they may be at high risk for contracting HIV.

So, What exactly is squirting?

Recently on social media, I’ve seen debates about whether or not the hoopla around a woman squirting is actually just urine. Frankie Robinson joked and said that squirting is like a Long Island Iced Tea, you never know what exactly is in it. Dr. Maya and Dr. Toya cleared it up and said that squirting is simply urine mixed with a combination of liquids from the vagina. It is not to be confused with female ejaculation, which is the culmination of liquid from the vagina and can happen with or without an orgasm. The crowd went wild at that answer lol, I’m sure the answers cleared up a lot of misconceptions.

Want to see more of my recap of the Black Women’s Expo? Follow my Instagram @KiaSmithWrites for videos. Thank you so much to the Chicago chapter of Black Bloggers United for letting me share my coverage of this weekend long event!

Missed the expo in Chicago? No worries, the Black Women’s Expo is touring this year to Atlanta and Dallas, stay tuned to the website for dates.

To The Bloggers That Want To Quit

Quit Blog

To the bloggers that wanna quit, this one is for you.

I’ve been in this thang for 6 years and I’ve seen so many bloggers come and go. So many young ladies and men alike enter into this thang bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, probably inspired by social media famous bloggers like Blog Xilla, Karen Civil, and Necole Kane (when she was Necole Bitchie) to create a platform and then boom, get rich. The three I have mentioned became wealthy, influential, and famous off their platforms….. who wouldn’t want a piece of that?

Who wouldn’t want to get paid to do what they love? Be around celebrities? Travel on a whim? Go to these award shows?

But here’s a secret:

In order to do shit like that, it takes work… and it takes time.

That’s right. Work + Time.

Blogging is not for the faint of hearts. It’s not for those who seek instant gratification.

I’ve seen so many bloggers come and go these last few years. I myself have taken a few hiatuses and just LAST year, I wrote something about me questioning if I should stop writing cuz I felt like I wasn’t getting the recognition I felt like I deserved. I was sensitive back then, I’ve toughened up so much more now.

I said all that to say this: Whether you are a new blogger or a vet, understand that you’re going to have moments when you want to quit. The most common reasons are:

  • Lack of support
  • Wanting that instant gratification
  • Comparing yourself to other bloggers
  • Lack of consistency
  • Not defining your own version of success

 

And much more.

But have no fear, in my normal Kia fashion I am going to call you out on your shit but I’m also gonna encourage you. It needs to be more bloggers out here and I hate to see people start something and then just up and quit.

On Lack of Support & Wanting Instant Gratification

Look. Get this through your head, ESPECIALLY if you are new around here: 9 times out of 10 the people who share, support, and read your shit will NOT be your close friends and family. It could be a number of reasons behind that but understand that most of your support will likely come from a stranger.

Blame the internet.

Remember in my What’s Your Support Love Language post, when I said that if we focus on who isn’t clapping for us, we overlook the ones that are?

Stop looking for reasons to be upset and just blog!

Maybe your loved ones will come around and maybe they won’t.

Learn to be okay with either outcome.

On Comparing Yourself To Others

This is a world of instant gratification, I get it.

You see someone’s blog go viral and wonder why your shit doesn’t have that many views.

You see people like Karen Civil and wonder why you’re not as popular.

There are 2 very simple answers to this:

  1. You ain’t put that work in.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Don’t we know by now that social media is an illusion?

Successful people are STILL making sacrifices to achieve what they have, whether that is spending less time with their loved ones or dealing with the financial burden of funding all their dreams.

You’re comparing yourself to them when you could be using that energy to perfect your craft. You should be inspired by your fellow blogging peers, not envious.

Remember this: It takes time to build an audience and even what looks like overnight success typically isn’t.

On Not Defining Your Own Version of Success

You can’t model your success off someone else’s. Are you willing to put in the same amount of work?

Don’t even let others put their expectations on you, ESPECIALLY if they don’t have a blog themselves.

You also can’t let social media define what type of successful blogger you should be, that’s not fair to you.

It’s okay to draw inspiration from other bloggers but wanting to be like them is a whole other ballgame. Get you some paper. Ask yourself what does being a successful blogger look like for you? Write down your goals, standards, and expectations. Set them. Work towards them. Then exceed them.

On Lack of Consistency

Life gets in the way sometimes and I definitely understand. I also know that when you feel unsupported, constantly compare yourself to other bloggers, and don’t define your own version of success, you will have little to no energy to stay consistent with blog posts. The longer you stay inconsistent with blogging the easier it is to quit.

Maybe you become inconsistent because you thought this would be a breeze. Or you’re confused about what your niche is. Or maybe it’s something as simple as you not knowing how to balance your personal life with a schedule for producing content. But instead of quitting, you need to rest. You need to revamp, you need to figure it out. They say procrastination comes from fear so ask yourself what are you so afraid of and do the shit anyway!

Moral of the story:

Blogging is tough, but it’s not impossible to do. Even if you feel like you don’t have all the tools you need to succeed as a blogger, you have two options: Seek it out or create it yourself.

But what you can’t do is give up on yourself by quitting when you realized this is tougher than it looks.

Rest if you must but quitting is not an option.

Get back to blogging beloved,

Kia ♥♥♥♥♥♥