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What Losing 20 Pounds Taught Me About Writing

I had no idea I’d lost 20 pounds.

My pants were easier to button, my dresses easier to zip. But since I usually only step on a scale when a medical professional forces me to do so, I had no idea I’d lost 20 pounds.

Then I went to a wellness screening mandated by my health insurance provider, stepped on the scale, looked down and saw a number 20 pounds less than the number I saw the last time I’d weighed myself.

“Your scale is broken,” I declared to the nice nurse practitioner filling out my paperwork. She just laughed and assured me it was not. I didn’t believe her. When I got home I weighed myself again and those 20 pounds were still nowhere to be found. “Maybe my scale is broken, too,” I thought.

Last week my fellow teachers and I returned to work after a two and a half month summer break and that’s when I realized those scales must have been right.

“Oh my gosh! Javacia, you look great!” one co-worker exclaimed. “Wow! You got so skinny!” said another. “Girl, what did you do?” a colleague asked.

Good question. What did I do? And how can I use the same principles I used to lose weight to help me with my writing and blogging goals?

I’ve realized that there are four things that helped me lose weight: mindset, movement, motivation, and momentum.

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A Room of One’s Own

During my first year of teaching, my classroom looked as if it belonged to a 40-something-year-old white man. Why? Because before I was hired it did belong to a 40-something-year-old white man and when his classroom became my classroom I didn’t bother to change anything.

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5 Life Lessons from Vic Styles

Sometimes you meet certain people who are so interesting and so inspiring you just know your life will be different because you met them. This is how I felt about the woman behind the blog and the brand Vic Styles when I first met her last year at a Boss Babes Brunch she hosted in Birmingham. I later had the pleasure of interviewing her for B-Metro magazine.

Though based in L.A., Vic has family in Alabama so she visits the Magic City often. During her most recent trip, she spoke at a Bloggers Night Out event hosted by the organizers of the upcoming Magic City Fashion Week. Vic is a full-time lifestyle blogger who has figured out how to essentially get paid to live her life and be herself. In a recent interview with 21Ninety, Vic described herself as a “freelance life-liver.”

Since Vic is living what is nearly every blogger’s dream, you can be sure the room reserved at Blue Monkey Lounge last Wednesday evening for Bloggers Night Out was packed. Here are five gems dropped by Vic that I really needed to hear.

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My New (School) Year Resolutions

I’m making plans for a beautiful school year.

As a teacher I get to make New Year Resolutions not once, but twice a year. Every August marks the start of a new school year and another chance to set goals and intentions for my teaching career and all other parts of my life. 

Here are my resolutions for the 2017-2018 school year:
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How to Start and Grow Your Email List

One of the biggest mistakes I see writers and bloggers making nowadays is failing to start and grow an email list. EVERYONE NEEDS AN EMAIL LIST. If you’re a blogger you can use your list to promote your blog posts. If you’re an entrepreneur, you can use your list to promote the products or services that you offer. If you’re an author you can use your list to promote your books and your readings. If you’re a freelance journalist, you can use your list to promote your articles and to stay connected to your contacts, who will ultimately help you generate more story ideas and writing opportunities.

Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll only email people when you want something from them. A good rule of thumb to follow is give, give, give, ask. Be sure you’ve offered valuable content FOR FREE before you ask your list to buy from you.

Yes, growing your social media following is important, too, but you don’t own social media. Algorithm changes can and do affect if your followers actually see your content. Therefore, growing your list should be your priority.

If you want to start and grow your email list, but you’re not quite sure how to do so, keep reading!

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