Being a professional writer means being able to write even when you don’t feel like it. Inspiration is overrated. That said, I know that when we do feel inspired to write what we create is much more, well, inspiring! It’s powerful and authentic and resonates with our readers in a way they can barely put into words. When we write something inspired it moves our readers. It moves us! And it feels like magic.
But here’s the thing, we can’t just sit around waiting for inspiration to hit us. We have to chase after it. Early American author Jack London said it best: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
My friend and teaching colleague Kwoya Maples always says there’s no such thing as writer’s block. You just have to be willing to write things that aren’t all that great. In other words, we have to remember that writing is a practice. This is exactly why I love blogging. And if you’re struggling to find something to blog about, just think of all the things you’re into right now. I am certain you’ll find inspiration from one of them. Or better yet, you could write a post sharing what you’re into and why — which is exactly what I’m in the mood to do right now.
Here’s what I’m currently listening to, watching, reading, and obsessing over.
The past couple of months have been quite exciting for Audrey Atkins of the popular blog Folkways Nowadays. Not only did she publish her debut essay collection They Call Me Orange Juice with Archway Publishing, but she also attended BookExpo 2018 at the Javits Center in New York where her new book was on display at Archway Publishing’s booth!
Audrey is the See Jane Write Member of the Month for June 2018 for these reasons and so many more.
If you’re in the Birmingham area you can buy a copy of They Call Me Orange Juice at Audrey’s book launch party 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 15 at Rojo, 2921 Highland Avenue. There will be light hors-d’oeuvres provided, books will be sold and signed, and Audrey will do a short reading.
In the meantime, read on to learn more about Audrey’s book and her blog and why she loves being a part of See Jane Write.
On March 24, 2018, I crossed off dream that had been on my bucket list for years. On March 24, 2018, I gave a TED Talk at TEDxBirmingham on writing, feminism, and how sharing your story can change the world. You can watch it here.
I think all writers should add “Deliver a TED Talk” to their list of goals and not just because it’s something I’ve done. The work that goes into composing a TED Talk can sharpen your writing skills and the preparation that goes into successfully delivering a TED Talk will improve your public speaking skills, which will come in handy when you’re asked to speak at a writing or blogging conference or when you’re doing a reading to promote your latest book.
Before you can deliver a good TED Talk you have to write one. I’m going to help you do just that with this post. And while the tips I’m going to offer you helped me write a strong talk, these are also steps that could be used to write a strong op-ed or personal essay.
It’s come up in sessions with my therapist, in chats with my best friends, and even in Bible studies I’ve been reading on the YouVersion app.
And I’ve realized that I honestly don’t know the answer. I’m no longer sure of what I want for my career as a writer, blogger, or teacher. Or maybe I do know what I want but I’m afraid I don’t deserve it.
Whatever the case may be, my #1 goal for June is to rewrite my vision statement for my life. I’ll start with a simple prompt: It is the year 2023 and I am so proud of the life I have created. And from there I’ll let my imagination go wild.
But I am not just a dreamer. I am a doer, too. Here are my 4 action-oriented goals for June: