0 comments on “#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 5 WRITE”

#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 5 WRITE

Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday!

WRITE is #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 5. During the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland two weeks ago, I participated in a “Blog to Book” panel discussion with Automattic conference organizer Andrea Middleton and my fellow authors and bloggers Cecilia Gunther, Christine Lee, Jerry Mahoney, and Mary Laura Philpott. After the discussion, I had several conversations with people about how I used blogging to write and publish my books “Love’s Troubadours” (novel), “That Which Awakens Me” (creative memoir), and “Digital Sisterhood” (technology memoir).


Here are 8 tips I shared during my post panel conversations to inspire bloggers to WRITE their blogs with the intention of creating content for books they plan to publish.

1) Write your blog posts freely and fully with your authentic voice and passion.

2) Write your blog posts without censure.

3) Create or use a daily (Creative Every Day) or monthly challenge (Art Every Day Month and National Novel Writing in November and National Poetry Month in April) to establish a regular blogging practice and generate content you for your book. I used National Poetry Month in 2008 and 2009 to prepare content for my creative memoir. Currently, I am using National Poetry Month to prepare content for my e-book series.

4) Launch a blogging series to create content for your books. I’m currently writing a blogging series about being 50. I plan to use the content for my e-book series.

5) If you have been blogging for 5 or 10 years, select your favorite blog posts during the time period and prepare and publish an anniversary blog book or e-book.

6) Make a podcast series featuring your thoughts for book content. Select key points or the core messages from the podcast series and include them as your book content.

7) Record video blogs, pick out the most relevant points, and prepare content for the book.

8) For Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest Users: Use your photos on these social media channels for inspiration to write a short update that can be used later as book content.

Photo Credit: Marcia Johnston

0 comments on “#FierceLiving Friday: #FierceLivingat50 Lesson 4 BELIEVE”

#FierceLiving Friday: #FierceLivingat50 Lesson 4 BELIEVE

Happy #FierceLiving Friday!

#FierceLivingat50 Lesson 4 is BELIEVE. I was reminded of the power of belief in oneself during photojournalist and travel blogger Erick Prince-Heaggans’ talk on “Around the World in 80 Posts” at the Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon last weekend.

Erick shared how he transformed his passion for photography, service to others, storytelling, writing, and travel into a fulfilling career and life. As he spoke, I thought, “wow he’s got a strong belief in himself and his dreams.” To learn more about him, visit MinorityNomad.com.

One of the most important gifts I have given myself is a series of affirmations: I BELIEVE in myself. I BELIEVE all things are possible in my life. I BELIEVE I deserve the best. Affirming these three statements helps me strengthen my belief in myself, dream big, push past and overcome my limitations, and manifest my dreams.

What do you believe about yourself?

How do you strengthen your beliefs?

2 comments on “#CreativityThursday: #Creativityat50 Lesson 4 PRACTICE”

#CreativityThursday: #Creativityat50 Lesson 4 PRACTICE

Happy #CreativityThursday!

#Creativityat50 Lesson 4 is PRACTICE. One thing I know for sure after living and working as a creative professional for 20+ years is that my creative expression deepens, expands, and improves the more I practice it.



While I was at the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon last weekend, I attended two great photography sessions led by Joe Boydston and Sheri Bigelow, members of the Automattic team. During their sessions, I learned several smartphone photography tips including getting close up to an image and low on the ground to take photos, framing a photo, and turning photos into black and white for a different look. Their tips were easy and simple to follow That’s why I started practicing them right after their sessions. Check out my practice photo (based on framing tip) I took while looking out of my hotel room.

Did you attend the Press Publish photography sessions? What did you learn?


Here’s a photo from my Monday afternoon walk on 16th Street, NW in Washington, DC. I used the get low tip to take it.

Do you like to take photos with your smartphone? What kind of photos do you take? Any special tips for taking photos?

1 comment on “#DigitalSisterhood Wednesday: #DigitalSisterhoodat50 Lesson 4 CONNECTION”

#DigitalSisterhood Wednesday: #DigitalSisterhoodat50 Lesson 4 CONNECTION


Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday Digital Sisters!

CONNECTION is #DigitalSisterhoodat50  Lesson 4. Last weekend, I experienced an abundance of soulful #DigitalSisterhood connections during the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland, Oregon. On my flight to Portland, I sat next to author and blogger Mary Laura Philpott. We had no idea we were headed to the same conference until we landed and started chatting about why we were in Portland. And within seconds, I felt that special #DigitalSisterhood connection.


We both walked to baggage claim to meet Kathryn Presner, a WordPress developer, and to grab a cab to the hotel. Kathryn is a hugger, conversationalist, and has a groovy sense of humor. Our cab ride to the hotel cemented our #DigitalSisterhood bond.

A few hours later, I met Jen Mylo and Andrea Middleton, the phenomenal Press Publish organizers at the speakers meeting. My #DigitalSisterhood bond with Jen and Andrea was formed virtually during our first Google Hangout in February. Our face-to-face meeting was filled with an abundance of #DigitalSisterhood love. Both ladies are super kind, generous, nurturing, and organized. They really should run the world!


During the speakers meeting, I met authors and bloggers Cecilia Gunther and Christine Lee. They are powerhouses in their own right with lots of witty humor and conversation. My #DigitalSisterhood bond emerged after several conversations during the conference.

After the speakers meeting, I had a chance to finally thank Michelle Langston, a WordPress developer who helped me redesign my web site, in person. Our #DigitalSisterhood bond formed while we worked on the web site in March. Meeting her, participating and learning about new WordPress themes in her session, receiving her technical support in the Happiness Lab, and hanging out with her during the speaker dinner and trip to Powell’s bookstore was a blessing!


Throughout the conference, I met, chatted with, and formed #DigitalSisterhood bonds with Kronda Adair of Karvel Digital, author/blogger Kelly Bejelly, writer Jeanne Faulkner, doula/blogger Kendra Atkins-Boyce, Norma the “Naughty Poetess,” and so many more amazing women.


On Saturday evening, my #DigitalSisterhood connections expanded tremendously when I met and hung out with blogger Ariel Meadow Stallings and WordPress team members Marjorie Asturias, Josepha Hayden, Anne McCarthy, Grace Park, and Grace Jiyoung at the Press Publish dinner and visit to Powell’s bookstore. I left Portland with a new tribe of Digital Sisters.

Did you attend Press Publish?

Who did you form #DigitalSisterhood connections wth?

Photo Credit: Mary Laura Philpott

2 comments on “#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 4 B.L.O.G.”

#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 4 B.L.O.G.

Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday!

Speaking at Press Publish - Photo Credit: Christine Holsey
Speaking at Press Publish – Photo Credit: Christine Holsey

#InternetGeekat50 Lesson 4 is B.L.O.G. Last weekend, I attended the WordPress Press Publish Portland Conference. I shared my B.L.O.G. mantra and how I began blogging for personal reasons and evolved into a social media leader for the White House during my “Blogging for Obama” session. Here’s what B.L.O.G. stands for:

B – Be yourself in your blogging process

L – Love the stories you tell on your blog.

O – Open yourself to new ideas and opportunities.

G – Give back.

I have included a more detailed description that I used in my session presentation below.

Photo Credit: Jerry Mahoney
Photo Credit: Jerry Mahoney

B – Be yourself in your blogging process. Give yourself space to manage the fluctuation of your energy, focus, and passion with digital wellness. I define digital wellness as a gift you give yourself to help manage your time online with mindful self-care practices. Mindful self-care practices encourage you to slow down, become aware of how you spend your time online, and identify and take small steps towards having a healthier digital life. Examples include breathing exercises, journaling, massage, meditation, physical movement (walking, running, yoga, and aerobic classes), rest (naps and a good night’s sleep), setting time boundaries, and using time management tools (HootSuite, TweetDeck, and an editorial calendar) to schedule your blog and social media posts (excerpt from my book Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

I started blogging as a result of a writing block in my novel-writing process for Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One in 2005. My book editor urged me to blog to create a daily writing practice. Guess what? He was right. It worked because I wrote for myself. I didn’t think about attracting or pleasing an audience. I just wrote to express my thoughts about my book and its characters.
Photo Credit: Marcia Johnston
Photo Credit: Marcia Johnston

My blogging helped me connect with a diverse group of bloggers and social media influencers who discussed topics relevant to my novel and its characters. It also created an audience for my book before it was published. When my book was published, I started telling stories about my writing journey, the lessons I learned during the publishing process, background information about the novel’s characters, book readings, and radio and television interviews. These efforts led me to share stories about my life as an artist and yoga teacher. I ended up creating two different blogs and blog space on numerous online communities and social networking sites. That’s when trouble began. Blogger burnout. In 2008, I was overwhelmed by my self-made digital footprint. Following the advice of my life coach, I took a leave of absence from my blog. Stepping away from the blogging process helped me recharge. I also realized that I was in control of how much I blogged and it was okay to take breaks. So when blogger burnout happened again in 2011, I didn’t hesitate in taking a break. That same year, I decided to institute a monthly unplugging practice that turned into the Digital Sisterhood Unplugged Weekend.


yogameL – Love the stories you are telling on your blog. Tap into what you are most passionate about. I tapped into my passion for yoga, creativity, and being an Internet geek as a guide in what I share on my blog. I also maintain three other blogs that reflect my passion for women in social media (Digital Sisterhood Network), digital citizenship, and my DC life and love for all things POTUS, FLOTUS, and the White House. I don’t maintain a regular editorial calendar for these blogs. I post when I feel called to or have a project I am working on that calls for blogging.

O – Open yourself to new ideas and opportunities. I opened myself up to new ideas and opportunities when I started going to blogging conferences and local social media and tech events including Blogging While Brown, BlogHer, Blogalicious, BlissDom, Feminism 2.0, Latinos in Social Media, She’s Geeky DC, Social Justice Camp DC, Social Media Club DC, Social Media Week DC, and DC Digital Capital Week. These experiences helped me establish relationships and build community with a diverse group of people. My connections and interactions exposed me to new ideas and opportunities to express and share my passion for:
jleeke-obamacampaignoffice ananda-obamaphonebank2
My greatest opportunities have occurred as a result of my passion for President Barack Obama. In 2008, I used my digital presence and yoga teaching skills to support his first Presidential campaign. During President Obama’s second campaign in 2012, my father and I volunteered in the Prince George’s County, Maryland campaign office. We also used our blogs and social media platforms to discuss the Obama campaign. After the election, I searched for ways to increase my support and began applying to participate in the White House Social events. Last year, I was selected by the White House to serve as a social media leader for the State of the Union, French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande, and the Tumblr Q&A session on education. The U.S. Department of State invited me to serve in a similar capacity during the International Women of Courage Award Ceremony.
French Arrival Ceremony, February 2014 - Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
French Arrival Ceremony, February 2014 – Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
International Women of Courage Award Ceremony, February 2014 - Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State
International Women of Courage Award Ceremony, February 2014 – Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State
G – Give back. Use your blogging and social media skills to give back to causes, communities, and organizations you care about. I have used my blogging and social media skills to serve as a technology volunteer for Blogalicious Meetups in 2009-2012, CrisisCampDC and Chilean Earthquake in 2010, Andy Shallal’s DC Mayoral Campaign in 2013-14, and BlogHer’s Veteran Blogger Mentor Program in 2014. I have also given back through the Digital Citizenship Project and Digital Citizenship Month.
Photo Credit: Badge designed by Dariela Cruz
Photo Credit: Badge designed by Dariela Cruz
Many thanks to Automattic WordPress developer and designer Michelle Langston for working with me to redesign AnandaLeeke.com. Like many people, I had an older website in addition to my blog. During her session “A Tale of Two Sites: A Case Study,” Michelle discussed how we worked together to combine my two sites into one that would truly express my personality and meet my online goals. I participated by sharing the web content challenges I faced and how I overcame my fears with her support.
Michelle and me at Press Publish
Michelle and me at Press Publish

TRANSFORMATIVE is the best word to describe my Press Publish experience. I invite you to read my #Storify blogs which feature social media highlights including tweets and photos that I hope will give you an idea as to why the conference was so transformative for me.

Click here to learn more about Press Publish and the upcoming April 18th conference in Phoenix, Arizona. REGISTER NOW so you can have a TRANSFORMATIVE experience too.

0 comments on “I’m Hosting Press Publish’s Community Conversation on Blogging Burnout”

I’m Hosting Press Publish’s Community Conversation on Blogging Burnout

Photo Credit: http://presspublish.events
Photo Credit: http://presspublish.events

Greeting All,

This week, I am hosting a Community Conversation on Blogging Burnout for the Press Publish Conference and Community. It is giving me an opportunity to meet, greet, and interact with people who are attending the Press Publish Conference I’m speaking at on March 28 in Portland, Oregon. Check out the conversation below.

If you need tips on how to manage blogging burnout, I encourage you to read the Digital Sisterhood Network blog post on creating a digital wellness plan (an excerpt from my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online) the #DSUnplugged Weekend resources.

Is it time to take a blogging break?
Is it time to take a blogging break?

Press Publish

My first tango with blogging burnout happened shortly after I published my first novel. I had spent many months pushing myself to use my blog to market my book. My “joie de vivre” for blogging about my journey as an artist and author died a little more each week I chose to turn up the volume on my marketing efforts. I became a marketing machine on steroids. I wasn’t having fun. My stories about my creative journey were missing in action. It took several conversations with people close to me to realize I needed to step back from the blog, rest, and regroup. When I finally made that decision, it was the best thing I could have done because it created space for me to take a mini break. That space allowed me to rest and rediscover my “joie de vivre” for blogging.

Have you ever experienced burn out from…

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