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Create an Inspiring Workspace

workspace graphic

“A woman must have… a room of her own if she is to write.” – Virginia Woolf

I never needed a room of my own to write, but I longed for one anyway.

As a girl when I shared a room with my younger brother I found a way to write my really bad poetry in spite of all the chaos that little brothers can bring. (I love you, C.J.!)

But when I finally got a room of my own at age 12, I felt like a queen reigning over her queendom. My bad poetry got a bit better and I started writing short stories, too.

Fast forward to adulthood and at age 25 I found myself sharing my room again — this time with my husband. I continued to write nonetheless. No longer much of a poet or fiction writer, I was busy writing articles for newspapers and magazines, blog posts for websites, and personal essays for myself.

I could and would write anywhere — at our dining room table, on our sofa, in our bed. But that famous quote from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own stayed in my head and I kept dreaming of a home office.

Last year, when my husband and I became first-time homeowners and traded in our two-bedroom apartment for a three-bedroom house, my dream came true.

I love my whole house from its high ceilings to its hardwood floors, but my office is the apple of my eye. And the reactions my girlfriends give when they see it for the first time cause me to swell with joy.

“Oh my gosh! Hashtag goals!” one person said.

“This is a YouTube office!” exclaimed another friend.

“Your office is like a Pinterest board come to life,” declared someone else.

But I’m not writing this post just to brag about how dope my office is. I want to offer a few tips to help you create an inspiring workspace of your own.

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This Time It’s Personal

you are your brand

How do I juggle building both my business and my personal brand?

For over a year I’ve struggled with this question and would discuss it with anyone who’d listen.

Everyone I asked agreed that I did indeed need to build my personal brand. But when I’d ask how I was to create consistent content for and properly promote both I was met with shoulder shrugs.

You see, I do A LOT. In addition to being the founder of See Jane Write, I’m a full-time teacher and a part-time freelance writer. And save for the occasional intern and event volunteers (and my incredibly supportive husband), the See Jane Write team is made of me, myself, and I. So how can I find time to build two brands on top of all of that?!

Then some conversations with a few friends got me thinking. “You are Jane,” they said.

I never thought about it that way. See Jane Write started as a writing group for women that eventually became an award-winning membership organization and business. I don’t see myself as Jane. The women who rock with me are all Jane.

“But you built this. See Jane Write, as it is now, wouldn’t and couldn’t exist without you,” they insisted.

And that’s when I began to realize that See Jane Write is my personal brand, or at least it could be if I got personal.

And so after more than 12 months of mulling this over I made a decision to treat the See Jane Write brand as my personal brand, to share more personal stories of trials and triumphs on the See Jane Write blog, and to give my followers a behind-the-scenes look into my professional and personal life on the @seejavaciawrite channels on all social platforms including Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. I made a decision to get real while also remaining relevant.

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How to Shop Like a Fashion Blogger

megan and jeniese graphic

In my next writing life I want to be a fashion blogger. I love reading about fashion. I love thinking about fashion. I love planning outfits for special occasions and everyday looks.

There’s only one problem — I hate to shop. And this weekend I’m attempting to revamp my wardrobe as I prepare to return to the classroom for the 2016-2017 school year and try to upgrade my look as I prepare to take my personal brand and business to the next level.

To get my mind right for this adventure, last week I watched a webinar by fashion blogger Jeniese Hosey of The Jenesaisquoi and style coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth. The webinar was meant to teach us attendees “How to Know Where to Shop and What to Buy…Without Breaking the Bank.”

I knew it would be helpful. Jeniese is one of my favorite fashion bloggers and two years ago I was a student in Megan’s virtual style coaching program, Style Yourself Chic, a program that helped me improve my look in a way that gave me the confidence to turn my blog into a business. Now it’s time to turn that business into an empire! And I want to look good while I do so.

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5 Things Women Writers & Bloggers Should Try This Month

5 things to try Aug 2016

As I sat in my home office with a notebook and my favorite planner before me, preparing to set my goals for this month, I heard a voice whisper to me. That voice said: “Don’t lose yourself.”

No, I’m not presumptuous enough to say that this voice was the voice of God. I believe this voice was my inner warrior woman that speaks to me often and helps me survive circumstances I can’t control and the consequences of my own foolishness, too.

And so, as I set my goals for August, I kept those words in mind.

Losing myself would be easy to do this month. This month the 2016-2017 school year begins, which means I go back to juggling my full-time job with all my part-time hustle. So in the midst of it all I have to make sure that working on my side hustle doesn’t result in treating myself like a side piece.

I can’t lose myself in teaching. And as much as I love my blog and my business, I can’t lose myself in See Jane Write, either.

Instead, I must find myself by writing for myself, while also making boss babe moves.

Here are five things I’m going to do this month and perhaps you should give them a try, too.

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How Days Off Can Improve Your Writing

give yourself a break

I used to pride myself on being a workaholic. Javacia “No Days Off” Bowser I called myself.

My work ethic is necessary if I’m going to do all the things I want to do: teach, write, and build a business.

But this “all work and no play” attitude makes Javacia a dull and crabby girl. And it makes me a sick girl, too.

These days I try to take off one day each week. I don’t always succeed, but I stick to this more often than not and it’s made a world of difference.

So, as we enter 4th of July weekend, I urge you to give yourself a break. Take a day off.

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How to Turn 35

35

Dear Javacia,

When you turn 35, you must celebrate all month long. When you turn 35, you must celebrate first with a look back. You will discover that 34 was quite the year.

Thirty-four was the year you built your labor of love—See Jane Write—into a business and learned that if you take yourself seriously as an entrepreneur, other people will, too. Your 2015 “Top 40 Under 40” award from the Birmingham Business Journal is proof.

Thirty-four was the year you and your husband bought a house, something you never thought you could do. When you were younger, you saw homeownership as something reserved for folks from wealthy families. Your family never had much money. Even though your parents worked very, very hard, they always struggled to make ends meet. They weren’t able to purchase a house and you saw your fair share of eviction notices taped to the front door. But 34 was the year you declared you would go after all those things you once believed were beyond your reach—and it worked.

Thirty-four was the year you were deemed “inspirational.” Because of your work with See Jane Write, Girls on the Run Birmingham recognized you among other local “Women Who Inspire,” such as legendary TV news anchor Brenda Ladun. At the awards ceremony, you felt like a fraud because that night you didn’t feel “inspirational,” you felt like a mess. You were in the midst of one of your most stressful times of the year, a time when you were ready to quit everything. You spent most of the evening in tears. Then several women came to you sharing how you had changed their lives simply by inspiring them to share their stories and write their truth. Thirty-four was the year you realized you could be a mess and still be inspirational…

Read this entire article at B-Metro.com

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