‘Dance like no one’s watching’ and other random thoughts

dance

It’s been about a month since my “hiatus” and I thought this was a good time to share a random thought and tell you some of what I’ve been up to. My random thought is this: Dance like no one’s watching. Don’t care what you look like or what people think. And don’t worry about the opinions of people that you honestly don’t really care about. What prompted this, you might ask. I was out and about and found myself spending entirely too much time caring about how I looked to other people so much so that I stopped being myself. It didn’t take me long to realize that not being myself is boring and caring too much about what others think is a waste. Live your life for you and no one else. At the end of the day, only you will have to deal with the consequence. Live your life to the fullest and don’t care who’s watching.

Now for what I’ve been up to…

  • Still working on book 2 and no, I won’t bore you with the details
  • I’m interested in exploring other modes of creative expression which is just a fancy way of saying I want to paint and write more poetry. I want to express my creativity in ways other than just writing books. I also want to challenge myself by painting(something I’m not really good at) and writing poetry (something I’ve never really considered, but I think there are thoughts bubbling up in my brain that can only be expressed through poetry.) I may share some of my poems or artwork, but knowing me, I’d probably forget :-) Hopefully, I’ll remember to share a poem or two.
  • And finally, congratulations are in order. I have had this blog for 2 years and a day (yesterday was my blogiversary and it completely slipped my mind.) Each year keeps getting better and better and I have learned so much about myself. This off-and-on log of my life has helped me so much and it’s a comfort to know that it and you all are always there. I have no idea what the future world will hold for NRJW, but if the last two years are of any indication, it will definitely be interesting.

<3 My

 

I’m disappearing again (Blog Hiatus)

Now, don’t get mad.

calm-down

If you remember my last post, I wrote that one of the things I wanted to do within 6 months was finish the sequel to Last Look Back (that book I published last year in case you forgot. Visit my website for more information about it, in case you really did forget.)

In order to finish the book in the time frame that I want to finish it, I have to take something off my plate and sadly, that thing will be this blog. Like the many breaks from this blog I’ve taken in the past, we know that it won’t be forever. How long it will be, not even I know, but I’ll come back to you guys. That’s a promise. I may pop up occasionally, just to update you in the midst of my writing, but I have no idea when that’ll be.

Also, I’ve just made a big Book Outlet purchase and it’s made me want to film a book collection video. If you’d like that video, hit the like button or comment below. Depending if you all want that video and how busy my schedule is, I hope to have it up sometime in July. 

I hope you all have a great summer and I’ll see you when I see you.
<3 My

In 6 months…

I’ve finally decided to stop babying myself and really work towards what I want. But, I can’t just make a list of things I want to do and then, do them. There needs to be a risk, something to lose if I don’t go after what I want because if there is no consequence, then there is less motivation to work towards my goals. I thought about it and prayed and the “In 6 months…” agreement was born.

In 6 months…

  • I’d like to have my driver’s license.  I’ve been lazy about working towards it and until now I haven’t needed it, but I’m 22 and it’s time to stop being lazy. I have places to go and I need to get there.
  • I want to have applied to grad school. You may remember my reluctance about going back to school which was a combination of not wanting to deal with homework assignments ever again and not knowing what I want to go to grad school for. But, now I know. I will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library Science, which in hindsight is perfect for me because of my love of books and I am surprised I haven’t thought about it sooner.
  • I want to have a job or be in the process of getting a job. Having a job and my own money is very important to me. To be able to save up for what I want (i.e. a car once I have my license of course) and being able to buy what I want is something that I really want to be able to do.
  • I’m going to finish book 2. I’m currently working on it, but as you know, I’ve stepped back from worrying about sales which is the usual motivation for writing book. Despite sales, I need to finish this book for me because writing is what I love to do.
  • The next two goals are fitness-based. I want to be able to do a standard push-up and I want to be able to run a mile. I wanted fitness goals because it’ll give me something to work towards when I exercise. Also, they’re something I’ve always wanted to do, so why not do them.

If I don’t complete the above to the best of my ability then I, Myiesha “My” Speight, will have to give up one of my favorite books for every item I don’t complete. So, say if I only complete 5 out of the 6 items on this list then I only have to give away 1 book, but just thinking about letting go of just one of my favorite books is torture so you better believe I will be doing everything in my power to make sure that that doesn’t happen. I will post an update in September (in 3 months) so you all can know how I’m doing. Also, feel free to make a list of your own with your own forfeit or consequence. I guarantee it’ll give you the push you need to finally work towards your goal. It definitely did it for me.

<3 My

It’s been a year already

megrad

 

On May 16, 2014, I graduated from college. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. It’s been 365 days (give or take a day) and I can’t believe all that has happened and all that has changed. For one, my dream has changed, but it also hasn’t. It was always my dream to be a New York Times Bestselling author. I thought that was what I wanted and the only thing that mattered was achieving that. As I looked at the publishing process and what it really meant to be a NYTBA, it forced me to question what it really meant to be a NYTBA and figure out if that was what I really wanted. Is the title of New York Times Bestselling author what is most important to me or is reaching Bestselling status and having my work recognized by billions of people what I want?

For me, what’s important is knowing that there is someone that enjoys my books.  The validation and the recognition doesn’t really matter. The title would be amazing, but won’t change me as a writer or how I feel about my writing. Who doesn’t want recognition and accolades and awards, but what really matters is being able to share my stories with whoever will listen and to provide a place of refuge for the girl like me that didn’t fit in and found comfort in books. It doesn’t matter how many books are sold, just that someone find themselves at home in my book.

All I want to do it write these books and not stress about sales, but the funny thing about that is, I need to make a living somehow. I always felt like a traitor when I even thought of making a living on anything other than writing. I thought that writing was the only way I should be making money, but then I remembered a quote by Casey Neistat:

 “I always made a living, so I could make movies. I never made movies to try and make a living. And I think that is a big mistake that a lot of newcomers do is that they focus on how can my passion pay me. And I think that is a terrible place to start. If the reason why you’re doing anything creative is to make a living, then you are doing it wrong. You get into it because it is a true passion. It’s something you believe in. Or don’t get into it at all.

Every time I read this quote, I’m reminded of the genius of it. Trying to make a living off of my writing after only being out of school for a year has been stressful, so why not make a living doing something else? I could still do something that I love and this would allow to write as I please, at my own pace and not have to stress about it. It’s taken me a year to really get it and I am glad I finally did. This year has been a much needed break. I’ve learned so much about myself and the real world. This year has been a non-stop lesson and I’m thankful for every minute of it even when it was hard. This year has been a lot harder than I expected. I wasn’t prepared for the transition between college and the real world, but now I’m ready for the next stop.Now that this year is over, it’s time for me to get back to work.It’s time for me to search for a job. It’s time for me to do more, but just because I make a living doing something else doesn’t mean writing isn’t my one true passion or that I’m just going to forget about in my pursuit of a living. I’ll still be writing. I’ll still be posting on this blog and I definitely won’t be forgetting about the newsletter.  During this year, that’s one thing I know for sure, I will never stop writing. I know reality likes to rear it’s ugly head, but never forget your passion. It makes you who you are.

<3 My

I’ve had a revelation…again

If you’ve been following the blog for a while you know that I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to promote my book/ myself. It’s been hard finding something that works and something that I will keep up consistently. The most used form of online promotion is social media, but I’m sorry to say, it’s just not my thing. Even if I’m a millennial (that’s supposed to love all things social media), I find it pointless and unnecessarily time-consuming.

gasp lol

I can hear the chorus of shocked gasps already, but what can I say? Since I’m not the biggest social media fan and 75% of my business is online, you can imagine how difficult it has been to get myself out there. This doesn’t mean I haven’t tried social media at all. Believe me, I’ve tried and every time I tweet or post a Facebook status on the blog’s Facebook page, it all just feels so pointless. As I type it, I wonder if anyone is even reading it, do they care what I have to say, is this going to make a difference to my platform or am I just wasting my time? Needless to say, I’ve had a little existential crisis with this promoting. I had to take a step back and ask myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. It took me a while to come back to the internet world. If you were wondering why I was ghost for a month, now you know why.

I had to remind myself of why I do what I do. Why do I post? Why do I tweet? It is and will always be because I love to write and I genuinely want to help people with what I’ve learned and the craziness that is my life. Even though I knew this already, it needs frequent repeating. Everything I do should reflect who I am and who I want to be. I shouldn’t  just be tweeting or on social media because it will help build my platform and get me out there. I should be on social media to help and to give useful information. I think that sometimes we forget that social media has a purpose and though it is beneficial in building your platform, that shouldn’t be the only reason you’re on there. For one, people will catch on that you don’t really care about what you’re saying and are just trying to get your name seen. No one likes that person and I definitely don’t want to be that person.

I may never be a social media maven, but that means I need some way to stay in contact with you outside of this blog. I’ve been doing some research and I think I’ve come up with something.

*Enormous drum roll please*

I’m going to do a newsletter!

Geez, I hope that wasn’t an anti-climatic announcement. Hear me out! A newsletter.  A No Rules, Just words newsletter filled with tips, exclusive content, awesomeness, and much, much more to help us get through this craziness that is life. It’ll keep me from having to end out random tweets that I don’t really care about to people that probably don’t care. Instead, I’ll get to create a newsletter for people that want to read them and give them information that will hopefully help them. As long as it helps at least one person, I’ll be happy and feel like I’m really doing something.This doesn’t mean I’ll stay off social media altogether. This just allow me to use another avenue to speak with you all.

If you’d like to sign up for the newsletter, please fill out the contact form below. Also, I’m open to any ideas you all might have as to what I should put in the newsletter so please put them in the contact form as well and for now the newsletter will be called NRJW Monthly. If you have any other ideas for names, also put that in the form. Maybe we can vote on some of the best ideas.

<3 My

Weight doesn’t matter!

weight2

I think I have FINALLY come to the conclusion that how much I weigh doesn’t matter. It’s no secret that I have a love-hate-and more hate relationship with my weight. It seems that no matter how much work I do, I don’t lose any weight.

For the entire month of April, I worked out 6 days a week. That may sound excessive to some, but it was simply doing something active whether it was going for a walk or doing a half hour of cardio. For most of the month, I did an exercise plan designed by Blogilates, a certified Fitness channel on YouTube. I’ve enjoyed the month of being more active, challenging myself with the exercises and overall, getting stronger.

During the month, I told myself I wouldn’t weigh myself. In fact, I hadn’t weighed myself in a while before then, at least a couple of months. Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I thought weighing myself was a good idea. Maybe it was just wishful thinking that the scale would reflect how good I was feeling. It did not. I was feeling pretty good about myself until I got on the scale and saw that I weighed 238.6 pounds. *gasp* I gained 10 pounds since my last weigh-in!!! I looked at the scale, like, seriously? I didn’t even lose a pound. This made me reflect on the month. Should I have eaten better? Eaten less fast food? Maybe I should have worked out more?

You want to know what my answer is to that? A resounding no! I worked out 6 days a week and that’s hard enough without also depriving myself of any food worth eating. Of course, I don’t gorge myself or eat more than I need to. I feel like I’m eating a lot better with the occasional fast food day, so that makes the lack of weight loss that much more depressing. And I know what you’re thinking, I should consider a diet. I’ll be honest, I enjoy life and food way too much to starve myself on a diet. I refuse to, so I won’t. Sure, my body isn’t as toned as I’d like and I’ll never look like a supermodel, but I’m happy and I’m getting in better shape than I’ve been in a while. Besides muscle weighs more than fat so there’s a good chance I’ll weigh more no matter what I do.

When met with a problem(like weight loss), you have two options either fix it or accept it. I’ve learned to accept my weight and my every bit of cellulite. This doesn’t mean I’ll stop working out, but it does mean I’ll stop stressing out about it. Worrying about my weight is doing nothing for my self-esteem and worrying is definitely not going to make me lose weight any faster, so, say it with me, “Weight Doesn’t Matter!!!”

Join the conversation: How do you feel about weight loss, exercise and all things fitness? Does weight matter to you?

<3 My

M<3: Favorites of the moment

I haven’t posted  M<3: Book Recommendations in a while. I’ve been lazy about posting them here and also am trying to limit the number of posts I do each week. The recommendation on top of my regular post was getting a little much, but if you still want to read about the books I’ve been liking, they’re on my goodreads page here.

Now to make up for slacking, I’m going to let you all know what I’ve been loving so far this year.

Favorite Movies

beyond the lights

Beyond the Lights: Wanted to see it in the theaters when it came out and I finally got to see it this year. Loved it so much!!!

book thief

The Book Thief: So poetic. The script was so beautifully written. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. I tried to read the book and it was a little difficult too read, so I saw the movie instead. Now, I might have to read the book because the movie had me and the book is usually better.

Favorite Books

meant

Meant to Be: I already wrote how much I loved this book on goodreads. Check that out here.

fault

 

The Fault in our Stars: This book was great and twice as good as the movie which is what I saw first. The review is also on goodreads. Check it out here.

Favorite Hair Products

moisturizer

Moisturizer: Simply put, my scalp gets dry and I need to moisturize. This is the absolute best moisturizer I’ve found.

shampoo

Shampoo and Conditioner: It’s a shampoo and conditioner in one. Do I need to say more?

Favorite Places

inspiration corner

My inspiration corner: I’ve done a post about this before. It’s a corner across from my bed that has loads of inspirational quotes. I read them every once in a while to keep me motivated.

 

library

Library: Do I have to explain why I love the library? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Favorite Normal Person Activity

getting healthy

Exercise: I’ve been working out 3 days a week since late January and I’ve actually kept up with it. If you know me, you know (1) my relationship with exercise/my weight and (2) my inability to keep up with anything, so my keeping up with exercise is amazing. Especially since I’m enjoying myself and am even considering working out everyday. I can see the progress and I’m ready to do more.

Favorite random activities

learn

Learning new things: I’ve been learning German and how to write in shorthand. Why am I learning these? No idea. Will I use them in the future. No idea either, but I like learning new things and doing something I wouldn’t normal do.

What have you been loving so far this year?

Until Next Time!
<3 My

 

I’ve had a revelation…

Now don’t get excited and think I’ve figured out the cure for the common cold or the meaning of life. I’ve just gotten a step closer to better understanding what the heck I’m doing with my life. Get ready for a story:
stoytell
In two months, I would have been out of college for a year. In the ten months since I’ve graduated, I have been focusing on my writing and self-published my first novel. I am also currently working on the second book of the series. Sales of the first book have been okay, nothing earth-shattering, but still amazing when I realize that there are people out there reading my book. I would have been happy selling just one book, but sadly, I can’t live off of one book’s sale. I’ll talk more about that later.
When I graduated, my parents, mostly my mom, convinced me that I needed a year off to regroup, focus on me and my writing, and really think about what I want out of my life. So, I moved back home and spent the year doing just that. The ideal situation would have been that in the year, I finish my book, publish it, and then reap the benefits. The entire year, I was hoping for the ideal situation even though realistically, according to a publishing axiom, it takes about 3 books for an author to gain traction and get noticed.
Right now, I only have one book under my belt, so it’s unlikely I’ll be reaping many benefits anytime soon. Of course, I knew this year was supposed to be about me chilling out, but I couldn’t help wanting amazing book sales, too. I mean, who wouldn’t?
I’m an optimist (maybe sometimes to a fault) and when I graduated and started working on my book, my thoughts were all best case scenario and my book was going to sell amazingly. In reality (the enemy of the optimist), sales were slow and to be honest, it was beginning to stress me out. I thought the low sales were my fault and that I wasn’t doing enough or didn’t know enough about the craft or the business to be effective. Needless to say, it has been a little disheartening even if I have that publishing axiom in my mind and obviously know I probably won’t be discovered overnight. But where you’re expecting great sales and don’t get them, no amount of axioms and logic can make you feel better and on top of that, my year was a complete break meaning I haven’t been working so I could focus solely on my writing. So, that means I have low sales and no money. Luckily, I live at home and don’t have bills/rent/food to pay for, but still, it’s depressing. It’s depressing just writing this , but I promise this story is about to get a lot more positive real soon.
Where was I? So, I was sitting there, a little depressed, not sure what I should be doing next and then… I watch a YouTube video.You should already know my love of YouTube, but I don’t think I have ever found a video that I spoke to me as much as this one did.The video was words of wisdom from Casey Neistat, a filmmaker. Here’s the link if you would like to watch it in its entirety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxatKNdEw8w.
About 2 minutes in was what spoke to me. Casey said, “I always made a living so I could make movies. I never made movies to try and make a living. And I think that is a big mistake that a lot of newcomers do is that they focus on how can my passion pay me. And I think that is a terrible place to start. If the reason why you’re doing anything creative is to make a living, then you are doing it wrong. You get into it because it is a true passion. It’s something you believe in. Or don’t get into it at all.
I saw the video and it was like all of the lights came on. I was looking to my writing to make me money and to make a living when it would probably be a little easier to make a living so I can write. It made so much sense that I wondered why I hadn’t figured it out before. And just because I start working doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my writing. It just allows me to save up for what I need and  write without being a starving artist or having to stress  about sales. This way writing stays my passion and my love and I’m not looking to it to be my only source of income. I can write at my own pace without worry. I’ve been stressing myself out worrying about sales and writing as many books as possible, but now I know better and will do better.
I’m not sure who this is for. Maybe I just needed to write this out. Maybe there’s someone else out there in a similar situation that’s now comforted to know someone else is going though the same thing. I’m right there with you and am currently working for freelance writing jobs to “make my living.” If you happen to know of any, please send them my way. I’ve been doing a lot of searching on my own already, so if you all want, I can compile a list of all of the freelance job sites I’ve found into a blog post. Just let me know. I hope this post has helped someone and you all have enjoyed another peek into me trying to figure out my life.
 Until Next time!
<3 My

It’s okay not to post

I’m letting you know now that this post is going to be short. It might not even have a picture. I think I’m going to use this post as a reminder that it’s okay not to post. If a day or a week or even a month goes by and I haven’t posted then that’s okay. This blog isn’t my job, it isn’t a source of income, so I don’t technically have to post. If there isn’t anything I want to write about, I don’t have to post. If I’m just not feeling it, then I don’t have to post. I think I’ve gotten it in my head that I have to be consistent and I have to do this and I have to do that, but at the end of the day, this is supposed to be fun. If I force myself to do it, even when I don’t want to then it’s going to become a chore and I don’t want that. If you were hoping for a consistent schedule with engaging content all the time, then I am really sorry to disappoint you. Part of me thinks that because there are so many readers of this blog, I should be consistent and have regular content, but consistent is how I define it. Consistent is once a week, once every two weeks, once every month or even every three months. I am not stapled down a schedule (I think you all know how I feel about schedules) and I should be able to decide how often I post and if I get busy, be able to post less frequently.  If you’re wondering, I’m not saying this because of a comment I was given. I am just incredibly hard on myself when it comes to this blog, but I’m learning (and I hope all of you are okay with this) that it is okay not to post. When I post, you’ll have something funny and quirky to read and if I don’t, you have over 200 other blog posts to read and a plethora of other social media I’m on to explore. In all, I think that’s fair.

From your quirky writer friend,

My

P.S. I think I’m going to change up my ending from time to time, let me know what you think.