A Little More About Me: My Journey as a Writer this Past Year

I wanted to take some time out to write a little bit about what my goals for this blog and my personal goals are and my journey to get there. My vision is to create a brand for the multi-dimensional femme identified person that represents lifestyle interests and social justice as two things that are not mutually exclusive. More specifically, I want to create a blog that discusses art, fashion, pop culture, and socio-political issues from the perspective of a feminist, queer, woman of color. However, as I continue to build this brand, I’m not sure that I always make those things clear. It’s a work in progress. Now that I am writing full-time (at least for now), I have more of an opportunity to delve further into this adventure.

As those of you who have been reading this blog from the start know, it all began with me trying to figure out how to incorporate my desire to write into my life as more than just a hobby. Secondly, I wanted to figure out a way to return to my passion for social justice since my legal career unexpectedly took me in the opposite direction over the years. Neither writing or fighting for social justice are easy goals or things that would necessarily earn me a living, but last year, I decided that I was ready for the challenge. So, I started this blog,  began freelance writing, and have been learning so many things along the way.

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One thing I’ve had to deal with while pursuing my writing career is the fact that I don’t have a degree in any writing-related fields. Instead, I have a degree in psychology and in law. Because of this, I have had no formal training in creative writing or journalism and not much professional (non-legal) writing experience, as I know many other writers have. While it has been a challenge to break into the writing game, I know that everything happens for a reason. My experiences as a counselor and as an attorney have given me a perspective that is invaluable. I learned so much about people when I worked in social services and as an attorney, I learned tons about the reasons behind certain social injustices, as well as the politics of the professional world. These experiences influence a lot of my writing.

Another thing I’ve had to learn over the past year is the practice of writing. While I don’t have too many issues getting words down on paper, I struggle with having the ability to write a passionate and informed piece in a short amount of time. For example, the social and political climate today is such that something huge seems to be happening all of the time. It is very hard to keep up with everything but, as a writer, I still want to write about it all. As events happen, I have limited time to gather information, make sure it is accurate, and formulate a concise piece of writing that people can understand and relate to. Articles pop out all over the place as events occur and it’s challenging to be ahead of the curve to compete with publications and blogs that churn out articles like clockwork.

It’s hard to write about all of the things that happen every day as soon as they happen but I realize that I should give myself a break sometimes. When I look at my day, I see that I don’t have the entire day to devote to my writing. Although I now “write” full-time, most of what I spend time doing is related to building my brand and business. It’s tough balancing my desire to write with my need to create a business out of my brand so that I can make a living. It is also very important to me that my brand includes activism so expanding it to meet that goal is also time-consuming. I know that it is a lot of creatives’ realities that they must maintain a source of income while feeding their passions so I remind myself of this and balance my time the best way I can. I remember the days when I couldn’t wait until I had more time to devote to writing but I understand now that time management is still a struggle even when you are a full-time writer. So I’m continuing to try to get better at turning out a great piece of writing in a limited amount of time. One of the things I’ve been doing is challenging myself to publish an article every week on my blog instead of once or twice a month like I was doing when I had a 9-5 job.

 

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I think the hardest thing I had to learn was that as important (and fun) as working on my blog is, I need to put a little bit more time into freelance writing because that’s part of where the making-a-living aspect of this journey comes in. It has helped a lot to break down all of these different aspects of my writing career so that I don’t get overwhelmed and take time out of each day to work on them one at a time. So I’ve been trying to be more consistent with building The Glam Femme and taking care of myself personally, aka paying my bills, all while keeping my long-term goals in mind.

At the end of the day, my focus is writing and making a difference in people’s lives. Besides making The Glam Femme a powerful brand, my long-term ambition is to be a published author of both fiction and nonfiction books. I want to write books that tell stories about people like me. I want more of a variety of people to be able to see themselves in fictional characters. I want to teach others about different people so that they will gain new perspectives. I want my writing to create the change that I want to see in the world.

I also plan to start a nonprofit organization so that I can make tangible change. One of the biggest areas of concern for me is helping children in the school system, where I believe that many of our societal issues can be addressed. Also, I want to use my experience in the legal field to be an advocate for the voiceless and the people who have not been allowed the justice they deserve.

I know that all my goals are just as multidimensional as I am but to me, the picture comes together very clearly as something that I can achieve as a whole. Some may say that it is too much to take on but I’m enjoying every minute of bringing it all together and that lets me know that this is what I’m meant to be doing. Most importantly, I know that whatever happens, I want to show other people that it is OK to follow their dreams no matter how much of a jump it is from their current lives. If you want to change the path you are on, be brave and take the first step towards your goals. Your destiny awaits you.

Feel free to leave a comment below about some things you are learning on your own journey!

Stuart Weitzman

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