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.
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.
For the next six months, I have decided to write and publish a series of e-books. Today, I found a great article about publishing e-books on my digital sister and fellow author/blogger, Shonell Bacon’s LinkedIn page. It gave me some great tips for publishing my e-books. Click here to read it.
Do you have any plans to write an e-book? If yes, what resources are you using to write it?
What creative projects are you working on this spring and summer?
I am headed to Atlanta this week to participate in a conversation about fierce living online on April 10 with my digital sister, Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, founder of Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon. We’ll be talking about digital sisterhood and social media too. Copies of my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online will be available for sale. If you are in Atlanta, plan to attend the event which will be held at 4:00 p.m. in the NASA Auditorium in Spelman’s Science Center, 350 Spelman Lane, SW, Atlanta, Georgia.
PS: For Digital Sisters in Atlanta: Drop by the Digital Sisterhood Meet Up: Cocktails & Conversation on Creativity and meet me on April 9, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Proof and Provision at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, 659 Peachtree Street, NE. Click here to register on Eventbrite.
Today is the last day of February. Where did the month go? The days moved by so fast. They were filled with aha moments, blessings I had not expected, conversations that made me dig deeper, days spent on the grind, evenings spent hanging out with friends, focused energy sessions during meditation and yoga, and gratitude reflections.
This morning, I had a gratitude reflection about my Fierce Living practice. It inspired me to create #FierceLiving Friday, a weekly blog series that shares my thoughts on Fierce Living. For me, Fierce Living means being too bold for boundaries which starts from inside of the inside…. my spirit and heart. Click here to listen to today’s #FierceLiving Friday podcast.
This week, I am celebrating “Get Real On the Internet Week” created by Real Simple magazine. I am using this week and several articles from Real Simple‘s January issue to explore how I am going to express my Flowista spirit by incorporating more digital wellness moments into my life this year. The first article I read, “Finding Balance in A Wired World,” asked me if I was addicted to my digital devices. I was close to saying YES because the month of December was super busy due to Digital Sisterhood Month and then I reminded myself that I did slow down at the end of the month. I used two yoga workshops to slow down and recharge. They helped me settle into reflection mode where I was able to enter a period of stillness that opened the door to some juicy journaling sessions. Looking back, I can honestly say I was close to being addicted to my digital devices. Now that’s not something I want to get close to in 2014.
Would you describe yourself as addicted to your digital devices?
Today, I pulled out a Flowista collage I made while writing my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. Flowista is a Digital Sisterhood Leadership Archetype I identified and have used to remind myself to unplug from my digital devices and online activities.
The words and phrases on my Flowista collage are powerful reminders of my intention to be real on the Internet with self-care practices and regular unplugging moments.
Are you celebrating “Get Real On the Internet Week”? How?
To learn more about Digital Sisterhood, visit Amazon.com. The book is available for Kindle and as a paperback or hardback book.
This week, I am headed to Atlanta to speak at the second annual Women Interactive Creative Technology Conference that will be held at Spelman College on November 9. I am giving a tech talk on “Digital Sisters + Digital Citizens = Social Media Leaders.” My talk is rooted in one word: SERVE. It is an acronym that I call my secret ingredient for being an authentic Digital Sister, Digital Citizen, and Social Media Leader. Check it out below.
•S – SEE yourself as a social media leader. If you have at least one person who follows and/or interacts with you through your blog, web site, and/or social media sites, you have a platform of influence. Your influence impacts people in your online network. That makes you a leader. The moment that you see yourself as a social media leader, you begin to own your identity. Once you own your identity as a social media leader, you are faced with some important choices in how you interact online and offline in your relationships.
•E – EMBRACE digital civility practices in your online and offline interactions and relationships. Digital civility includes being respectful of others, especially in the midst of any disagreements. Treat people the way you would like to be treated.
•R – REMEMBER to UNPLUG from your digital life and practice SELF CARE by creating and following a digital wellness plan. Take breaks from your digital life. It will give you an opportunity to recharge and rest.
•V – VISIT and participate in a diverse group of online and offline communities to broaden your knowledge base and network.
•E – EXPRESS generosity in all you think, say, and do. Give back to others. Your generosity creates social capital in your online and offline relationships. Social capital is that warm, fuzzy feeling or positive impression you create about yourself in people’s hearts and minds. It paves the wave for unexpected blessings that manifest as collaborations, invitations to events, learning opportunities, partnerships, relationships with key people in your local/national/international networks, revenue generating streams, speaking engagements, and other forms of blessings.
Women Interactive is a two-day interactive technology festival for women who produce and share digital content with a special emphasis on women of color. It’s one of my favorite learning opportunities. I attended the festival last year and learned so much. If you are in Atlanta, join me at the event. Click here to register.
Today’s blog discusses how I use my digital presence for social good and to support Zuri Works for Women’s Health, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that creates national beauty, arts, and health programs that enhance the quality of life, improve their survivorship rates, and increase the health knowledge of women of color impacted by cancer. Click here to listen to my audio blog which includes a short excerpt from my new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (available on Amazon).
My first artist-in-residency was at Howard University (HU) Hospital from 2003 to 2009. During that time, I shared my gifts as an artist, poet, writer, Reiki practitioner, and yoga teacher with patients living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other illnesses. I also conducted staff workshops with the HU Hospital nurses. Click here to read my Flickr blog and see photos of my work.
After my contract with HU Hospital ended, I began working with wounded warriors, their family and friends, patients, and staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. For the past two years, I have created interactive Breast Cancer Awareness Month wall collages (see 2012 collage above) for the Walter Reed staff to pay tribute to their family and friends impacted by breast cancer. Staff use the collage to write their thoughts about breast cancer and their loved ones.
In addition to my Smith Center artist-in-residence work, I have also taught yoga classes as a volunteer and used my digital presence to support social good campaigns like Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, I was introduced to Zuri Works by Xina Eiland, my digital sister, PR coach, and publicist. I immediately fell in love with the organization’s mission and work right after I watched Andrene’s video about her cancer journey which began at 25 when she was a second year graduate student. Her story inspired me. Her cancer advocacy work that marries two of passions — health & art — moved me to donate a few hours of my coaching time to help Xina develop crowdfunding strategies for Zuri Work’s Indiegogo campaign.
The Indiegogo campaign will support The Exposures Project, a photo education exhibit shot by cancer survivors and THRIVERS which depicts survival stories of women that would otherwise go untold. Watch the powerful campaign video to learn more. I know you will be inspired like I was to give a financial donation. Click here today and make a donation before the campaign ends on October 24. Tell your family and friends to donate too!
This week, I get to show my love for Zuri Works in person at its Big Chop to Stop Cancer Anniversary Benefit. It will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1200 in DC. If you are in DC, join me for an absolutely fabulous event. Register here.
What’s Next for Me & Zuri Works
In a few weeks, I will launch my fundraising campaign for Zuri Works. It will invite my family, friends, Digital Sisterhood Network, clients, colleagues, and social media network to make a donation in honor of my December 18th birthday. Click here to learn how you can create a similar campaign.
Digital Sisterhood Book Graphic Design Process: This week, my amazing graphic designer, Dariela Cruz published a blog post about the work she did to make my book’s cover art come to life. Click here to read all about it.
Author Chat Video Series: On October 14, I hosted my first author chat for my Kickstarter donors. The chat was divided into two videos. See the links below. Let me know what you think about the videos in the comment section.
2) October 23 @ 9-10:00pm EST – Author Twitter Chat – Follow @digitalsisterhd on Twitter. Use the hashtag #digitalsisterhood and Tweetgrid.com, Tweetchat.com, or Hootsuite to participate in the conversation.