Write Like an Olympian

magic city half
Olympians and I have a lot in common, but not because I’ve run a couple half marathons.

I’ve never played organized team sports a day in my life (because all those childhood games of kickball in the parking lot of our Ensley apartment complex don’t count). Nonetheless, I am obsessed with the Olympics. Gymnastics, swimming, soccer — I love it all! I’m even excited about fencing this year thanks to Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim woman who observes hijab to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.

So if you see me within the next few weeks and I look exhausted it’s not because my busy schedule of being a writer, teacher, and entrepreneur has caught up with me. It’s because I’ve been staying up all night watching the Olympic games.

Even though I am not a serious athlete I admire them and I relate to them because of their discipline and drive.

We writers and athletes have a lot in common. We both, if we want to be excellent at what we do, must practice. We must practice even when we don’t feel like. We must practice even when life sucks.


7 Ways to Build Buzz for Your Blog, Book or Brand

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We had a packed house Saturday at the See Jane Write workshop, How to Build Buzz.

During this free workshop I shared with attendees the story of how I’ve grown See Jane Write from a small women’s writing group and BlogSpot blog to an award-winning business.

It all started on March 24, 2011 when I gathered with a group of about 14 women at a local Mexican restaurant. Most of these women I had never met before, but these women and I all had one thing in common — we all loved to write. And I’d gathered them there that evening  to ask them what they wanted and needed from a women’s writing group. This meeting would be the first See Jane Write event.

Two months later See Jane Write hosted a workshop on Twitter that drew 40 women.

Two months after that we hosted a panel discussion that drew 75 women.

See Jane Write was in full swing!

We had a packed house at “How To Build Buzz” Photo Credit: Christina J. Wade

Eventually I started to get quite a bit of attention because of See Jane Write and even started winning awards. In 2012 I received the SMART Award from the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, an award given to local women who are doing innovative things in business, education, or the arts. In 2015 I was named one of the city’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Birmingham Business Journal and just this year Southern Living magazine included me on its list of Innovators Changing the South, a list that included the likes of the iconic Dolly Parton and actress Reese Witherspoon.

After this recognition people started to ask me my secret. They wanted to how I was getting so much attention for myself and my brand. And I told them, “I know how to make a scene!” In other words, I got really good at self-promotion.

If you’re still stuck in the mindset that self-promotion is somehow dirty or wrong, read this.

Go on! I’ll wait…

Now here are the seven ways I build buzz and make a scene!


How to Be a Confident Writer

be a confident writer

Last month I asked the ladies of See Jane Write what they were struggling with most regarding writing and blogging. The same word came up again and again: confidence.

One member told me, “I need help with building writing confidence. I seem to have lost mine!”

A member of the See Jane Write Facebook group said, “Some days I swear a brilliant, authentic writer lives inside me and is waiting to be born. I keep suffocating her by not writing. Can I get a session for writers that lack confidence?”

Here’s the thing: there’s no magic potion for writing confidence. Is there a session, seminar, or workshop that I could host that will boost your confidence? Maybe. But it’s probably not what you had in mind.


Why Self-Promotion Isn’t Selfish


Most days I pose a question to the ladies of the See Jane Write Facebook group designed to help us get to know one another better. Recently, I asked, “What are your superpowers?”

For mine I listed “teaching, writing, inspiring people, connecting people and cultivating community.” One superpower I failed to mention, though, is my knack for building buzz.

Earlier this year when Southern Living magazine included me in its list of Innovators Changing the South, I wrote a blog post about how I believe I’ve received recognition such as this and a number of other awards and opportunities because I’m good at self-promotion.

I know that for many people, especially women and especially writers, self-promotion feels dirty. Perhaps it even feels selfish. But you’ve got it all wrong.

If you have something truly valuable to offer others, you’re actually being selfish if you don’t promote it!

If your blog post could make someone’s day, if your book could change someone’s life, if your business could solve someone’s biggest problem, why would you keep that to yourself?

Self-promotion seems dirty because it’s usually done in a pushy, forceful, and slimy way. But despite how it sounds, “self-promotion” shouldn’t be simply about promoting yourself. It should be about letting someone know that you have something they need and that you want to help.

Perhaps you’ve gone so long shunning self-promotion that now you’re not even sure where to start. No worries. I got you, girl!

On Saturday, July 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I’ll be hosting a FREE workshop at DISCO on how to build buzz.


Meet Joi Miner

joi miner

If you’re coming to the See Jane Write 5th Anniversary Party tomorrow you should prepare yourself to meet a host of interesting female writers and bloggers. One of the most interesting women in the room will be poet, author, editor, and motivational speaker Joi Miner.