*Two Years Ago*

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Two years ago I decided that I was going to revamp my blog and try to be more serious about my writing.  After all, I had received approval on my Institution Review Board (IRB) application for my dissertation so I felt my time freeing up and I was ready to write more creatively.

I felt like all the years of preparing to graduate since enrolling into my doctoral program at Nova Southeastern University in 2011 was finally about to pay off in a major way.  Let’s be real, since graduating from Ware County High School in 2000 and a six year enlistment in the United States Air Force (2001-2007), I had literally been in college off and on for 16 years pursuing various degrees.

*Doctor of Education; Higher Education Leadership (2016)

*Educational Specialist; Curriculum, Instruction, Management, and Administration (2010)

*Master of Public Administration (2009)

*Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Studies (2007)

Plus two associates degrees, you would think that writing would be the last thing on my mind.  Hell you’d probably even think that I had accomplished a lot in my own right academically but for me that still is not enough.

So I revamped my blog!  I was kidding myself thinking that this would be an easy journey and my name would ring supreme.  I learned very quickly that in this industry building a name for yourself and brand takes times.

I had the obnoxious idea to try to do a blog a day during that summer.  I had lame ideas like Motivation Monday, Thoughtful Tuesday, Wisdom Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, and Short Story Saturday.  I soon found myself burnt out and really not producing quality content.  I thought my posts were decent.  Now looking back it was just a bunch of fluff because I honestly just did not know what to do or what I was doing. I was trying some stuff out to see if it would work.

I managed to churn out chapters 4 and 5 of my dissertation and pick back up on my book project that I had outlined in 2013.  I was feeling like I was ready to put that story out to the world and I did, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching.

Now how does a busy mom like me balance work, school, and writing a book all at the same time is beyond me, but I had an inner strength to get some things done so I did.  I admit it to myself I am a fast burner because everything I set a timeline to do when I began teaching in 2008 was easily exceeded.

Still on the hunt for more, I now ponder the idea of pitching my book to publishing houses because I feel like there is a really great lessons that were learned for myself along the way.  These lessons are sure to touch the hearts of aspiring educators because it’s a lot behind the scenes that you often do not hear people talk about.

So hear I am fully exposed and ready to do the work because after listening to all of the experts, I can’t be afraid to fail.  Everyone of the EXPERTS  have shared a story of an idea flopping so I get it.

I am guilty of thinking that I had to have a logo and a big following to relevant.  But I’m learning that if I continue to be me, put my best effort forward, and stay true to myself then everything will fall into place in due time.

Now that I think about it, this time last year my focus was light and love.  But I’ve had to regroup and think about branding and narrowing my niche.  Yes!  Dare I say it, I truly see why the experts are the position that they are in and I’m striving day to day.

So my third book project is in the works and the personal approach I am taking it is why it has yet to be finished.  Just the other day  I was admiring my 12 year old because he was anxiously trying to print an essay earlier this week that is due tomorrow.  He was so frustrated because there was no ink but the overachiever in him got the best of him and all I could think was that he got that from me.  While on the other hand my 14 year old has a painting from his art class on display at the mall and I am in awe of his artistic ability and how his mind works.

I have taken time to really value the work that I have put into my two books. I have also realized that what I thought I knew two years ago was only the beginning.  I am just now beginning to scratch the surface and walk in my purpose.

Being that I am doing everything on my own as a one woman show, it feels good when the people who genuinely support me tap into my words and tell me how the things I write make them feel.  That is the impact I ultimately want to have.

When I began teaching I looked at each class period and asked myself how did I plan on touching 22 sometimes 27 minds at one time.  Then I quickly learned that if I touched one, then I had did my job.

Now as a writer I ponder the same thought.  How do I plan to reach the masses?  I’m realizing that if I get one new comment, then that’s a new soul that I have touched so I’m growing.

I have come so far to realize that all of this takes time, planning, patience, and hard work.  I am sure when the time is right for my first book to catapult it will.  I am confident that my brand will grow as long as I stick to being authentic and transparent.

Two years ago I made up in my mind that it was time to take my writing to next level.  And since hindsight is 20/20, who would have ever thought that 30 years ago in the streets of the projects, I’d grow up to be this woman on a mission to create the life I want to live, boss up, and be very unapologetic for daring to dream.

Keep coming back for more.

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I Have A Story To Tell

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I am often asked my age and when I boldly say that I am 36 years old I am then told that I don’t look my age and I have accomplished a lot to be so young.  Now when I think about being four years shy of 40 I feel like that I need to have more of my life in order.  That’s a lot of pressure I put on myself after already having two self-published books and a doctorates degree in the field of education.

Yes I know that I should chill out but I can’t!

I have also been told that there is no way they (individuals) could do what I have managed to do over the past 10 years.  I birthed the idea in me that writing is my purpose and I plan to pursue writing fiercely and fearlessly.

I have candid conversations with my friends about life, relationships, children, and my self-published books I still find it rather amazing that those that inquire the most have never peeked at my blog or downloaded a book, but I digress.  I wholeheartedly believe everyone has a story to tell, but I share my story with hopes to inspire.

All of my life I have written things down.  I have notebooks and old journals full of ideas that I keep telling myself I’m going to turn into books. However right now I’m honing my writing skills to write with more emotions and not so scholastically. Quite frankly I want to be a bestseller and one post at a time is going to get me there.

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My first book which I playfully refer to as my baby is about my teaching journey.  I highlight in detail in my recollection of how my teachers treated minority students in the classroom.  They were unfair and outright disrespectful at times.  Going to school in the mid 1990s versus now is very different, but let’s just say my brown face in a merged school  system was not kindly welcomed with all of the questions I posed on a regular basis.

I write to share my story because when I stepped into the field of teaching I was all the way GREEN!  I had no idea what I was getting myself into and found out very quickly at my inner-city middle school.  So here is the story that I want to tell!

Ironically, my stream of consciousness when it comes to writing in to unveil my truth, my background, my passion, and my drive.  I share my own life experiences and as a certified teacher this is my approach because I want people to learn from my risks and mistakes.  I feel that every lesson that I have learned over the years from my career, divorce, and relationships are teachable moments.

My blog serves as an extension of my mind as I search myself and relive the many places that I have been and recall some of my most painful truths.  It is no secret that I have been married twice and each one shaped a different part of  my continued existence.  It’s no secret that my sons are the absolute loves of life and there is nothing that I won’t do for them.  But a lot of times the journey that my life has taken has opened my eyes, made me extremely happy at times, and reclusive in some of my darkest moments.

My writing process is a self-healing process that takes me back to my feelings of the exact moments that I choose to write about.  Some days when I’m recalling love I feel so vulnerable, uncomfortable and exposed.  I often ask myself am I sharing too much?  Am I being as transparent as I proclaim to be?

I have had the idea about a new book, and I read and reread my work often to channel my likeness and flow of my chapters.  I have a black and white striped journal notebook that I jot down my many thoughts and ideas then revisit those jots and plan my attack to my project.  My sole purpose is to share my experiences and offer encouragement.

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My newest project I want to launch without a hitch and really step my game up as this will be my third book.  I write nonfiction and I feel that the thought-provoking inspiration and realness that I’m serving will be around for a long time.

I find the most time to write while I’m in school.  Being an English teacher, when my students write, I write too.  I am really taking my time with this next project because the content that I choosing to put into this book is the back story to who I am, my thought process and why I want to continuously share my story and my life.  I’m real life thinking beyond the books and want to be center stage encouraging, inspiring, and motivating.

Now my first book My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching went live by mistake and from that point forward I want to be more intentional with my products/books/minibooks/ultimate guides/etc.  Creating the the superb writing environment requires a little bit of white noise and spiral notebooks everywhere.  I write when the urge hits me and lot of times I save notes in my phone and refer back back to them when my ideas begin to connect.

I do not have a set time to write because I write part-time while teaching full-time.  I find myself admiring the writers with bigger audiences.  I’m not comparing my work to theirs, I just know that in due time it will be my turn.

I have a lot of stories to tell and whether I’m balled in the corner sitting on my feet at the end of my couch, sitting upright on the chaise lounge in my bedroom, or sitting in a meeting at school typing away; I’m moved by my thoughts and the words that are burning to get out at the moment.

Writing is one of my favorite things to do.  I can be as candid with my words as I choose and dare someone to hold my words against me.  I’m having fun on my writing journey. I am discovering my voice.  I am developing my flow.  Most importantly I’m taking my time and I am having fun.

I’m doing my personal best even with the amount of pressure I put on my shoulders to be a great writer.  I feel like I am getting better each day and I know for those that follow me they can see my growth.

Whenever I’m asked what is my dream job, I say to sit on someone island writing books because I want to be a well known author.  I’m continuing my journey to writing greatness.

Leave a comment if you like what you’ve read so far and visit Amazon to check out my book reviews.

What No One Tells You About Blogging 2018

When I made the choice to write more, work on building my brand (which I’m still sorting through) publishing my book, and networking, I had no clue about the amount of time I would spend obsessing about the details.  Matter of fact I got side-tracked, off track, and overwhelmed by my vision and everything I was trying to do.

For a creative with a fluid stream of thought, bottling up my emotions into multiple blog posts is delicate.  It is also nerve wrecking because you want your audience to believe in your brand.

I have read numerous social media posts about brand building, mail list, and content launching, I begin to ask myself “Am I doing something wrong?”   I have even completed a few email challenges which is why after my last starter kit download I decided to revamp my epic blog… originally posted August 13, 2016.

What No One Tells You About Blogging

So I thought that I had it all figured out then and sadly, I didn’t then and I’m still figuring things out now.  I’m still tackling the same topics of the experts, products, social media, and the effort it takes.  But I’m also adding another component…NETWORKING!

The Experts

The first thing no one tells you is that the blogging industry is full of experts that have been around for YEARS!  They are the gurus, the go-tos, the coaches, and the mold.  They have been building steadily for five or more years and have their niche, audience, and branding down to a science.  They use every technology tool imaginable and create material that us novice bloggers are working hard at some day creating ourselves.  Having had to learn how to pitch ideas, and step out of faith allowed them to establish platforms and connections that further build their credibility.  I could name a few experts but there is no need, if you simply google them they are everywhere.  So now I’m trying to get in where I fit in so that I can grow my audience and build my platform.  To be an influencer you must learn to move and network like one.  Starting can be hard but they too were once where we are.

The Products:  Workbooks/Workshops/Webinars

In information overload keeping up with the trending concepts is overwhelming. Lifestyle, fashion, inspirational, relationships, everyone is offering advice.  There is tons of help being offered at low and high prices.  Some tools are even available as free downloads and starter kits that are helpful.  Others are confusing as shit so I keep what I like and toss what I found useless.  I’ll be honest some things are more complicated inside some of these free email courses.  Since I’m Type-A, I need things to be simple and spelled out.  If I’m stressed out reading these helpful “tidbits”, I wonder what these creators felt like when they were writing.  Oddly, in start-up, investing in books, workshops, webinars, and other online content comes with an expensive price tag.  It is exciting to see gifs dancing all over your screen, then as soon as you decide you are interested, you are hit with costs ranging from free to hundreds of dollars.  Now I admit some of the leadpages and magnets are fire as hell, but my next big investment is going to be a newer laptop before I go all out.  Besides I still teach full-time so blogging has yet to pay my bills.  But I’m working on it. Don’t go broke investing, take it one day at at time (note to self).

Social Media

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It is up to you to separate your personal life and your business life. Presenting your content on various sites is time consuming and intimidating.  Trying to follow a content checklist to be sure to create, share, tweet, stumble, tumble, press, pin and repost across multiple social sites is both beneficial and aggravating.  I’ll be the first to admit that my posts, my blogs, and my images were not that great when I got started but I can definitely see how I have grown.  Graphics really make a big difference, now if I could just get more into some of the other tools like mailchimp to help me with list buiding, I’d be 100% in the game.  In between using the pen name LaTilya Rashon for Amazon but TilyaRealEyes for everything else I can see how everything is starting to come together.  Setting yourself aside is worth it if your followers engage in your content.  But no one tells you that you need to recycle, update, and revise your content continuously to make it more appealing.  Which is why I’m offering this blog update.  Whew!

All I can say is let 2018 be my year for greater GROWTH!  With that being said, next time you see your favorite blogger, note that they aren’t creating new content as often as you thought. So your content should be consistent.  Be impactful! Shared content impresses followers and lasts longer.

It Is Not Easy

In the beginning of the week, your ideas are fresh, your journals are attached to your hand, and your fingers skip along the home row keys on your keyboard as your ideas flow.  In the middle of the week none of your ideas are formulating and you think that your writing needs an overhaul.  By the end of week you are in tears because no one seems to be paying attention to your work.  It is discouraging!  To top it all off you are expected to follow different people each day, leave meaningful comments on others’ post, and respond to the people that write to you.

Establishing your network and doing your research is important. But be reminded that plenty of others have felt this very same way. I am learning that there is no true right or wrong way to create but as a creative you have to be mindful of your voice and the style you create for yourself.  Bloggers write to establish their platforms, create useful products, and produce content driven to keep their audience engaged.

No one is telling your the perfect formula for creation, because you have to do the work!

xoxo

Live~Reflect~Write~Learn

I was asked the other day when was I going to drop another book.  Standing surprised by the question I asked, “What book?”  My colleague looked at me and said, “The one you keep dropping snippets of on your blog.”

THANK YOU!

 

Hearing these words of affirmation for my writing gave me an ounce of energy I needed because this school term, my son’s football schedule, and tending to all of the other things I have to do is a bit cumbersome but I make it work.  I’ve been told I make what I do look easy, and I resent that statement sometimes and want to throw in the towel but I am reminded that I have two little boys (even though they are not so little anymore) that are depending on me.life-is-the-word-typography-1024x576

Today’s journey is about living~reflecting~writing~learning~

LIVE|Sometimes you have to live a life uninterrupted by fear.  It is something about that damn comfort zone that will make you second guess everything you contemplate doing.  But risks are worth taking because there is truly a reward for everything you set out to do.  In all sincerity you learn what you want more in life by taking risks and you walk away from risky situations that could cause more harm than good.  You simply cannot be afraid to live because of fear of failure.  We are all going to fail at something at some point in our lives, so the lesson there is to not make the same mistake again that will result in failure.  We fail at school (academic probation was my dismissal from the University of Florida…LOL), we fail at career moves (the wanderers), we fail at relationships (friendships, family, courting, and even marriage), and we fail sometimes at realizing our greatness.  However, we can’t let the mistakes of our past or even the unsteadiness of our future keep us from moving forward in our sometimes awkward realities.  It has been said that fear means two things, face everything and run or face everything and rise.  I CHOOSE TO RISE!

REFLECT|A lot of times I think about my right steps.  Other times I reconsider my wrong moves and see where things went to the left.  We cannot predict the future.  We have no idea from day to day what to expect or the results of each forthcoming day.  It is not a bad idea to reflect on self and how you have handled situations in your life because there is always a better way to handle things in hindsight.  Your growth is contingent upon what you can withstand, endure, and at all cost opportunities to better yourself.  There are truly going to be many “not so” proud moments in your life but were those moments fueled by malice intent?  We will all be good in the end especially if our hearts are good and our intentions are pure.  Reflect on your true self and if you like what you see, keep being you because somebody is going to feel it.

WRITE|I celebrate my glows and woes of life to create a trail of things I did to the best of my ability and my opportunities to grow.  I literally write down everything.  I have journals that chronicle my high school years, one for each year.  I have multiple notebooks that have chronicled my life from marriage to childbirth, career moves, and book outlines.  You have a story to tell.  We all have a story to tell.  Writing becomes an outlet as you see your words take form and manifest into your life.  Setting goals, making a list, and checking it twice becomes empowering when you see the things you have ventured out to do come to fruition.  Writing is therapeutic and it is a process.  My writing takes on many forms and inspires many people (they inbox me and tell me so).  Celebrate the good and the bad because no experience is ever a waste.  Write until your heart is content and you get your story out, even if you don’t share it.

LEARN|Life will grab you by the neck and make you immovable.  Everyday will not be a cake walk and we will face many obstacles but we must learn how to navigate through them.  Navigate life in such a way that we respect our setbacks but embrace our triumphs.  Through trial and error I discover things about me that have been hidden in my heart that makes me susceptible to the truth.  We all have to be willing to learn more about ourselves in order to reach our fullest potential.  You have to work hard for what you want and learn how to turn every no into a search for a yes that creates an opportunity for you to dig deeper into who you are.  Life is about learning and truly for the living…so are you alive or among the walking dead?

~Live~Reflect~Write~Learn~ is more than a logo or mantra.  It is how you survive.  It is how you thrive.  Those four words govern your existence.  You have the right to live the life you want to live.  Reflect on the divine individual that you are ever evolving into. Write down your goals because the plan for your life is predestined, nothing is going to happen that is not supposed to happen.  Learn more about who you are because being you is your super power.

We will take many paths and detours in life but we should not be deterred by what does not happen.  So if a book derives from all of this, so be it.  Right now I’m just living, reflecting, writing, and learning.

~LaTilya Rashon

 

Create Your Vision

I would be remissed to say that the recent release of my second inspirational book, Brown Sugar Magic: Goal Setting and Reflections Journal has been met with lukewarm acceptance and I want to change that reception.  Receiving the “likes” on my social media is okay, but in true entrepreneurial spirit I would like to see those “likes” convert to sales.

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I have been dealing with so much lately over these past six months, between a divorce being finalized, regaining control of my finances now as single mom, and closing out a school year, I’m surprised I got this second book out, but it was something that I HAD to do.

Yesterday after feeling like I had hit a brick wall emotionally and feeling a twinge of being burned out I laid across my bed and began listening to a couple of podcasts by Cara Alwill Leyba.  Her message is clear and distinct and it pushed me to look back at my “do what you love” notebook and really plan out my course of action for these next few months.

I have to remind myself that yes it has only been a year, and my need to be good at everything I do is taking over my thought processes and essentially making me overthink EVERYTHING in my life.  I had taken to Facebook and joined all of these groups and I find that this blogging industry is SATURATED.  Everybody is creating a lot of the same things and the competition is STEEP.  Even though regionally everyone is spread out, and there are some small hubs of creators in the same area, I see why now more than ever I must stake my claim in this creative industry and CREATE MY VISION!

So I see for myself in my vision and my future:

BROWN SUGAR MAGIC

I want Brown Sugar Magic to be my main inspirational platform.  Creating my vision started with setting some realistic and achievable goals for myself.  Through planning a course of action to take and being unafraid to put my words on paper, self-publishing my first book was a personal goal that I accomplished.  My education was not pursued haphazardly, I was deliberate and intentional as I attained higher degrees of education.  I know what it’s like and even sometimes find it overwhelming to want to do one thing but then have to revamp that objective or goal to take care of smaller things first.  God planned my path for me and he innately gave me the ability to aspire for great things and become successful in my own right.

If I can inspire someone to be SMART about their choices in life as they design their future, be in touch with their needs and take care of themselves before they have nothing to offer to the people around them; I take on the role.  Additionally, I want to help African-American women and girls build themselves up to only rely on their independence to see them through life.  That’s not to say that having help in life is not good, but this is to say be able to help yourself so that if you are ever in the position to have to do for yourself, YOU ARE NOT HELPLESS!  As I walk in my purpose, my dream, and define my vision; I will celebrate my setbacks, imperfect moments, and my growth.  I see this as a way to encourage many others.

SPEAKING AND HOSTING

All throughout school I was constantly reminded by my teachers about my continuous talking in class.  I was a fast learner and completed my work often times ahead of my classmates so I was always looking for someone to talk to.  It could have been the fact that I was an only child but that would be an excuse.  I simply just love to talk.  The cheerleader in me wants to be in the limelight spreading inspiration, joy, and motivation.  I have a lot to say about coming from a SINGLE parent home and PERSERVERING through the STEREOTYPES that were placed on me.  I have had to be disciplined, make tough decisions, and show my resiliency to get to this place in my 35 years of life.  I say this time and time again, I DEFY stereotypes and my authentic rawness at times is just the dose of reality people need to know that LIFE
AIN’T FAIR! Put me on a stage…I will rock the party, keep you engaged, but most importantly MOTIVATE!

BOOKS AND BLOGGING

Ever since being told by a teacher my senior year in high school that “MY PEOPLE“ need me, I get tickled at the thought of her saying that often.  I love books and have read what I like over the years and always knew that one day I would write a book of my own.  My flagship book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching chronicles my transition into what was spoke on to me at the age of 18.  If my people need me, whether it be teachers, African-American women and girls, writers, or whomever feels inspired by my words, I’m glad to be of SERVICE.  I have always wanted to write, and the urgency I feel to be great will take time, after all, I teach full-time and pursue my writing when I am not in the classroom.  I blog as much as possible and I am continuing to find inspiration and write what I think people need to read from me.  Writing what I consider to be my first epic blog, What No One Tells You About Blogging, was the tip of the iceberg.  One day my persistence with pay off!  I am establishing my voice.  This creative journey is personal.

THE EXTRAS

If an ebook, writer’s apparel and other products surface as I make my stamp then so be it.  Anybody can make a t-shirt, cup, bag, and other doodads and it will sell, but I want to be as consistent with my message that I anticipate being with these other endeavors. The ones that are selling everything under the moon, make it look easy from books to lip gloss.  However, I’m learning that when you have a concrete audience, it is doable to make those kinds of sales.  Because I’m still new to this I will limit my conversation on that.

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If it takes me a few years to get this entrepreneurial niche down pact, I will do what I have do.

~LaTilya Rashon

 

10 Things I’m Proud Of

When you are grateful.  Fear disappears and abundance appears. ~Anthony Robbins

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I have been inspired by list posts and recently took a second look at my 35 Randoms Thoughts on the eve of my 35th birthday and the 7 Things You Should Do in 2017 and my oh my have I enlightened my own self.

I am in such a different space in my life from the restart of my blog (March 2016) as I pursue my writing and grabbing opportunities to express myself (Pursue Your Dream Career).  I love lists….I write everything down and look back at the things I affirm in myself and feel a sense of pride when things come to fruition.

Right now there are so many thoughts in my head about what I’m trying to do and where I’m trying to go and I know that the next few years are going to push me closer to my purpose.  In the meantime I’ll just focus right here at Tilyarealeyes.com and put things into the atmosphere and watch them come full circle.  

So here’s to the 10 Things I’m Proud Of

10.  I began my college journey at the University of Florida the glorious summer of 2000.  My #1 school of choice and I had a blast…my very first Blue & White weekend, being introduced to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. by way of the fabulous Mu Epsilon Chapter…endless memories…oh what a time I had.

9.  Due to the fun I had at UF, I subsequently enlisted into the United States Air Force and spent six wonderful years on active duty.  I met some amazing people…but I also walked away with 2 associate degrees and my bachelors when I separated in 2007…Honorable Discharge…Veteran Status

8.  I have given birth to the most amazing little boys on the side of heaven.  I’m supposed to be proud as their mother…that damn Lil Phil (3.4.04) waited 20 hours to make his appearance into this world…after contracting, I stalled at 5 centimeters so a c-section it became and he’s still stubborn to this day.. #Big   Then came the baby, my Preston (2.9.06) my little genius and scheduled c-section.  He melts my heart…so innocent…so sweet…so caring… #Little

7. My trials and tribulations in life remind me that everyone struggles at times and it is a part of life but it’s ultimately about how you handle things.  I have no choice but to be resilient…I have children to take care of.  I am defined by my experiences and that is what completes me.  db42f1c66ab6b254f78baae55b330a64

Taking a deeper look though, my first name has 7 letters in it…L.A.T.I.L.Y.A.

Loyal…Ambitious…Talented…Intelligent…Loveable…Yummy…Amazing

My journey makes me aware of who I am…7…the number of completion!

6.  I have been in the traditional classroom for 9 years and I love it!  It’s not easy each day or each year.  In time middle school will be my foundation as I move up to the next level.

5.  Five years ago…April 2012 I closed on my first home…ALL by MYSELF at the age of 30. God is so Good!  These past 5 months have shook me up…my marriage ended…a financial setback…but I’m home!  The devil got busy, but I’m grounded in what’s mine and I give it all to God.

4. I have survived what might drive others crazy.  I am not ashamed of my second divorce, nope not one bit.  Marriage 1 changed me, matured me, and birthed me my 2 delicious babies.  Marriage 2 taught me what I deserve and I don’t deserve to be cheated on, lied to, disrespected, or unappreciated.  It was not all bad but the truth of the matter it was a struggle.  I have my dignity and I learned my lesson. I’m not sure if 3 times is the charm… Who Knows…But You Already Knew That…I Want The Magic.

3.  Writing my book, My Fourth Year in Middle School will always be a proud moment.  Personal, honest and something I always wanted to do.  So stay tuned for my next body of work.  Because I’m super critical of myself, when The Journey to Here is complete it will be because I’m ready for you to see it.  Being a creative is not easy…I’m passionate about MY words and how I intricately weave them together.

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2.  My education!  I’m modest about it, but having someone speak life in me and say, “You should introduce yourself as Dr. Williams”, it is a constant reminder of my accomplishments.  Surround yourself with people that SPEAK LIFE into your existence, your being, your soul, your day…those are the kind of people to have on your team. Community College of the Air Force…Thomas Edison State College (now University)…Bellevue University…Nova Southeastern University…Since 2000 I pursued my education and ultimately became Dr. LaTilya Williams.  No easy feat…but yes I did it.

1. My spirituality!  I luh God!  He is the author of my life.  Without him I would not be able to stand strong.  I am where I am in life because of him and I embrace all of my blessings.  My life is changing for the Good…the Great…the Better.

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A New Way to Think About Blogging

A New Way to Think About Bloggingcropped-photo-1430165558479-de3cf8cf14782.jpeg

Breaking into a market that is bustling with creativity is not an easy feat once you have decided to share your words and your voice with the masses.  Becoming an author you are choosing to write compelling stories that tell of heroism and out of this world adventures.  As a blogger you cover beauty, inspiration, lifestyles, and other social woes that need a platform.  Some writers are content driven entrepreneurs with classes, tips and workshops based on written curriculum designed to help you grow your business so presentation is everything.  

Writers appeal to your senses and hope to gain respected audiences and followers of their works.  Because writing is personal and is time consuming, there are writing mechanics needed in order to invoke your audience.  You will gain a broader audience when you pay close attention to the five areas writers should focus on that will keep readers engaged.

Choosing a Topic

This may sound very easy, but sometimes writing takes on a mind of its own and very soon you lose your intended direction.  There are a plethora of subjects to cover, but choose topics that you have experience in and can be looked upon as an expert.  Start with your interests, hobbies, your career and look to your family.  The most intimate and exciting parts of your life will help you create a list long enough to generate content for weeks or even months.  Write from your heart. You can always revisit previous pieces and update them when new trends arise.

Hooking Your Audience

No one wants to read boring titles because that directly attributes to boring content.  Asking an interesting question or making a strong statement will immediately grab your reader’s attention.  The purpose behind writing is to hook your target audience and keep them hungry for your work.  Command the reader’s attention by being deliberate with your words.  Reader’s want to be exposed to new ideas, but will never know the greatness of a writer’s words if they are not drawn in completely.  Don’t be afraid to push the envelope and say what everyone is thinking.

Provide Background Information

In order to provide background information you have to draw from your experiences.  Readers do not want to hear from experts all of the time.  Readers want to hear from everyday people, walking through life experiencing some of the same victories and defeats.  They want to know what your experience was like when you tried online dating, they want to hear your quirky first date stories, and all of the other things writers dive into as their niche.  I couldn’t possibly take anyone serious that had no experience in my areas of interest but constantly cranked out material on that topic like a sausage mill.  So be true to what you like and be unafraid to share your feelings.  Readers will always come back for the heartfelt messages.

Establish Your Voice

A writer’s diction is everything!  Your word choice is what pushes as article, critique, review, novel, or blog post along.  The more vivid your words are in your descriptions and explanations, the better your piece will read.  Create a word flow that makes your writing distinctive.  When writers find a format and style that attracts readers repeatedly, they have established their concrete voice.  Readers will be able to spot their favorite writers by the words and tone used in each publication.  Once you have established your voice, test the limits of that voice and you’ll be amazed at how your words come to life.

Write Coherently

Ask yourself if your writing sounds natural?  If your writing does not sound natural when you read it, it is not going to win big with your audience.The writing process is brutal! Be organized going into your topics that way all of your ideas are connected.  Make the points throughout your writing you want readers to pay attention to.  Your details should be specific and thought provoking.  Planning, drafting, revising and editing is necessary in order to get the intended outcome of a written piece of work.  Organize your writing so that it flows easily and does not leave your reader with questions at the end.

Insert yourself into your writing, not being afraid to expose your truth and lessons learned. Let your voice resonate in your writing.  Push the envelope and say exactly what you want to say.