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10/06/2013

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Destiny is knowing your path and staying on it
.
-Nai'lah Carter


It’s been too long since I’ve posted a blog. Things have been stressful, and chaotic in my life. As of lately, the calamities are somewhat settling. 
  
Even though writing has been done in minimal capacity over the past few months, I have been thinking. I said a year ago that I would be able to quit my full-time job and be able to live off my residuals as a full-time Writer. During this time, there’s been a grandeur of changes that have rearranged my perspective. 
  
I was recently promoted over the summer and I’m working in a group where my expertise is valued. This is the first time in all my life that I could truly say that I love what I’m doing. I thought I would only
feel that way about my writing but I’m so happy when it comes to that aspect of my life. I no longer see my 9 to 5 as a job but as a career. I am testimony that hard work pays off!

Even though I’m very vague in indulging into conversations about my personal life; I can say that things took some HUGE twists and turns! I’m still trying to sort things out so bear with me if mentally I’m still…not there. 
  
During a random conversation with a very dear friend last week, I found myself brainstorming ideas.

When it comes to this writing, you guys know I’m not conceited but I do know that I am A BEAST! There’s nothing I can’t write nor is there anything I’m not willing to sacrifice when it comes to my gift. The sky is the limit!

However, I am my biggest critic so I find that I criticize myself a lot—I am pursuing to develop ways to critique rather than criticize. It’s definitely a journey but God makes no mistakes. For the last 7 years, I’ve been trying to leave the company that I work for. I felt undervalued and unappreciated. Little did I realize that He was preparing me for the position I’m in today. I utilize the skills I learn in my position today, to strengthen the woman I am going to be. I find that I apply the knowledge I acquire from my leaders, not to the position per se but to the place where I am currently heading. 
  
By day, I am doing something I love but it is not my ultimate dream job. My dream job is to be a world renowned Writer. Everything that is occurring now, is strengthening me to do so. It’s easy to give up. It’s easy to become content but I want more! I want all that I deserve! I want all that my heart desires. 
 
Destiny is knowing your path and staying on it. I am truly happy with where I am, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. I realize that God is working behind the scenes and I am willing to believe in and allow him to write the script of MY life!
 
The purpose for this blog is to inform you, my dedicated readers that I plan on stepping onto newer grounds. I’m going to start Vlogging—if you know me you can commiserate how terrified I am of public speaking.
 
I’m still doing some research and I’m practicing, practicing, practicing. I am super excited and I hope that you all continue to support me. You have all inspired me! I am humbly grateful for your dedication to my blog and my Writing World. 
 
 I won’t go into details about my new Campaign but I can tell you that it would be worth the wait. 


Stay tuned…
 Nai’lah
 
 
I work too much or at least that’s what I’ve been told. Different people  have noticed my hustle and tell me that I need to slow down. Some have even said, “hey, you need to stop!” So my thing is this…I’m working at achieving a certain goal. I’m an aspiring writer, mother, wife, with a fulltime job who’s nursing an 8 month old. At times I get weary, at times I want to quit because I feel overwhelmed. However when I think about giving up something in the back of my mind tells me to FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT! So I WRITE, and I WRITE and I WRITE some more. 
 
There are so many stories within that are dying to be told. It’s not that I’m aiming for perfection though I’m a perfectionist…Shhh…I want to illustrate the best of me to my readers! I have so many projects that could’ve been completed so long ago but I want to know that the story is being told the way I envisioned it.  Masterpieces take a long time to come to fruition so I take things one day at a time. 

I don’t expect other people to understand my plight nor do I expect them to empathize with my circumstances. Heck, they don’t even have to respect what I do. The people that matter—respect my hustle and determination so to everyone else...your opinion of me doesn’t phase me. I care for my kids—I cook daily, provide a healthy environment for my children, support their endeavors and after I’ve done my mommy/wifely duties; I write. If my writing takes me into the wee hours of the mornings and I only get 2-3 hours of sleep then that’s my
choice.
 
I aspire to be…and I will but nothing worth having ever comes easily. When opportunity comes knocking I WILL BE READY! My hard work will reap the rewards I so desperately seek. To my fellow writers who experience anything similar…please speak out! I’d love to hear your stories.
 
 
Since last year I’ve been saying, ‘this is my year’. I guess you can say it’s wishful thinking then again a lot of great things happened for me last year. Mentally, I’ve become much stronger. Though I wasn’t fortunate to have had some miracle happen where I could quit my job and do this writing fulltime; I was blessed with another amazing gift—the birth of my daughter. I’m not sure if other mothers feel the same but my kids give me a sense of urgency. I know that I need to get things rolling and do so quickly for them.  

Yes, last year I was on a roll but this year I’m much more focused. I have several pieces of work that are completed and ready to be shopped around.  My next step is to find either an agent or a manager. I’m still doing my research on both. One essential ideal shared is that an agent sells your work whereas a manager is willing to build your career. I’m pretty much leaning towards seeking a manager but at the end of the day I will need both. 
 
In efforts to help illustrate that I am a phenomenal writer, I plan on entering my script at a few renowned competitions and or fellowships. Even if I don’t win the competitions; I do hope to place well as this will give me an edge other new writers may not attain. 

I know that my time is coming so there’s no way I’m going to slow down. Having a baby in the mix of all my chaos just makes things a bit more challenging but not impossible. My 9-5 job has been eating up a great deal of my time so I will have to continue to juggle it all. I have to keep fighting against all odds. I have to keep pushing myself even on the days I don’t have the energy to do so. This hard work will be rewarded with the success I’ve always dreamed about. I will make it and I’m going to continue to strive until I do! 
 
To all my aspiring writers out there; don’t give up—2013 is our year! We have to continue to hash these books, plays, Spec scripts, and Feature film scripts out and speak this success in existence! Our time isn’t coming; it’s here

Wishing you all the best,
Nai’lah
 
 
A woman sent a profound request that demanded all of my attention. Unfortunately for me, I’ve been swamped with work and my household duties which left me with little to no time to respond.

The email went something like this…

Nai’lah,
I’m bringing this question to your attention because for the most part, I believe that every writer has encountered this problem at one point. For most of my life I have been invalidated as a writer. People have this notion that because I don’t have a 9 to 5 occupation, my life is meaningless. Not because I don’t have mountains of money; it doesn’t mean that I’m not working. Sometimes, I feel like quitting so as to shut them up! But I won’t be defeated by their ignorance. This is my passion and my existence; I just want some empathy.

When I read this, I could relate 100%. Though I am a working mom and an aspiring writer doesn’t remotely remove me from these feelings that you attain. However, if you don’t mind me saying, the issue doesn’t lie in being a writer, but in being…a woman. Often times, the things that we do are unseen or undervalued. You, me and every other woman around the entire globe face these very issues daily—we cook, clean, care for our kids in their time of illness, take them to games and practice, help with homework and we do so with a smile on our faces and love in our hearts. We do it all daily with lack of sleep and we’re expected to get up and go, go, go no matter what. Stay-at-home Moms, working Moms, full-time Aspiring…whatevers: Writers, Singers, Actors, Models…women with dreams are all combined into one as we all face the same challenges!

I received my B.A. in English and to find a job with a Liberal Arts degree seems like a hoax—we aren’t taken seriously. Graduating at the top of your class is unimportant. It seems as if the world thinks we breezed through college. It’s as if we didn’t have to write twenty and thirty page research papers, or as if we didn’t have to take the same general electives or work twice as hard as the average college student. So when you wonder if I can relate, my dear… trust me; I can. I work for a company that makes a mockery of my degree. Some of my coworkers attain higher positions than I; they lack the expertise, and professionalism I acquire. While on vacation, I’ve covered for them, and on several instances; I’ve even trained them on different applications. Since my degree isn’t a technical one; I continue to be overlooked.

For years, I found myself disgruntle and down right, bitter when it came to going to work. I hated every minute of it until a few months ago when I had my daughter. Instead of looking at my current circumstances and dreading and waiting for tomorrow, I started living in today! In doing so, I motivated myself by every deterrence and by every condescending act I faced—because I was and am bigger than this! This—my current situation is my humble beginnings—I am destined to something greater but I have to live through this to get where I’m trying to go! I live in today but I’m looking for tomorrow. NO one can make me feel as if I’m less than what I’m worth because I cherish who I am!

Here’s the thing, you need not worry about how you’re valued in another person’s mind. Worry about how you see yourself. See your worth, appreciate your talent. You should worry about how your kids or your spouse/significant other/family and friends see/s you. Anyone after that… tell them to, kick rocks! Kick rocks simply means, for them to go about their business and let them allow you to go about yours! You should focus your energy on your craft. I live for my writing so I can commiserate with your feelings towards it. You can’t worry yourself with another person’s perception of you, you can’t worry if they can empathize with your situation. They’re trying to deter you from what you were destined to do!

I always have to be myself… I try being nice and do the right thing. If you’re like me then this is your downfall too. If they don’t understand your plight as a Writer, after you’ve reasoned with them then tell them, in plain English to go F**K themselves!

 
 
I’m pretty sure you all are aware of the concept of Speed Reading; it’s a method that attempts to increase the rate of reading without reducing comprehension or retention. Studies show that even though the human eye fixates on each word and space during the process; speed reading occurs when the number of times the eye pauses is minimized. 

As I was putting my daughter down for a nap, I thought about two hours earlier when I put her down for a nap. I quickly cleaned the kitchen as my time is limited; I have to rush to do everything. I took out my notes for the TV-series that I was working on then turned on the laptop. The moment I opened the Word document, she woke up. I swear she must have laid down for all of twenty minutes. 
  
I had to tend to my baby. About thirty minutes later, I got her to settle down in her swing. As the animals rotated on her mobile, I hurried over to my laptop to realize before turning it on that it was time to get my son off the school bus.
  
Now, three hours later—she decides that she’s tired. Ready to take advantage of this time to get some writing done; I put her in her crib prematurely. She instantaneously wakes up and starts fussing. I had to rock and sing to her for her to finally fall asleep. I tip toed out the room.
 
As a result I came up with a writing method I’m sure most others/parents may find helpful: Speed writing--what is this you may
ask
? Well, Speed writing is a method where you have no idea what time restraint you’re working on. Like a bomb getting ready to explode—down to the last few seconds; as soon as your keys hit the keyboard all you have to be concerned with is writing and doing so quickly! 
 
Similar to the concept of speed reading, you will have to write without reading what you’ve written. In my blog about “Free-writing” I talked about writing without editing. Leave the editing for the editing stages. We all know that you can’t possibly be objective when writing your first draft of anything.  
 
In a nutshell, Speed Writing is your effort to making time to write. Between work, the kids, soccer/football/basketball practices/games, family, friends; you find time—no matter how short a duration to write. I’ve been writing for all but 30minutes so far but I’m pretty sure the moment I dig into this TV-series and start concentrating; she’s going to get up. LOL. OH the joys of motherhood. 
 
Let me know how this works if at all. 

Wishing you all the best,
Nai’lah
 
 
It’s my privilege to be a part of this amazing experience. Suzie Car has tagged me for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. The purpose of this promo is to be able to discover new books you may not have heard about or for works that are still in progress. This is week 20 and I am required to answer the following 10 questions then list 5 other authors will do as I’ve done—next Wednesday. Here goes nothing:

Q:   What is the working title of your book?
A:   You have what it takes.

Q:  Where did the idea come from for the book?
A:  When I launched http://nailahcarter.com I received so many accolades for my thoughts, words and voice. People thanked me just for being me. Something about helping others moved me and I found myself trying to find more ways to do so. I thought about all the advice I had given others over the years and the struggles I encountered which caused me to be who I am today. 
 
My readers look at me and see the results of an ongoing battle: seeing my worth, and, loving and cherishing myself. Though blinded to my strengths; I never gave up on finding my path. 

As I pondered on how I could help others, I realized my true passion. Through my words I show my readers my humility and honesty so candidly that is true to the real, me. I used my experiences to help them accept their weaknesses as they embrace their strengths. This book is my effort to not only help aspiring Writers like myself but to help women and/or young girls who may be seeking direction to becoming who the desire to be. 

I merely scratched the surface with the first draft of this book; however, by the final draft I knew that I hit home. Once my readers turn the pages of this book, they will learn more about themselves through my reflections. When you write from the heart, the purpose is transparent on the page. My goal was to uplift and empower but most importantly to show women/young girls that no matter what turmoil you face; you have what it takes to get where you’re trying to go.

 
Q:  What genre does your book fall under?
A:  This is a self-help/motivational book.

 Q:  Which actors would you choose to play  your characters in a movie rendition?
A:  Well, even though this book isn’t a novel; it tells a story…my story. If somehow a producer were to create this book in movie format and still leave viewers with thought provoking and reflecting questions, I’d have to say that I’d want Tracee Ellis Ross to be considered for the role. I think that she has the skill to portray me. I also think she’s gorgeous with that thick, curly, funky hair with big beautiful eyes.

Q:  What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A:  This book will inspire women to set and achieve goals beyond expectations. 
 
Q:  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A:   I self-published this book.

Q:  How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A:  Hmm…let me think. It took me about 2-3 months to write this book. When I worked on my drafts, I found myself rewriting and elaborating and digging deeper and deeper until about 4 months. 

Q:  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A:   I’d compare this book’s purpose to “Emotional Intelligence” by Travis Bradberry.
 
Q:  Who or What inspired you to write this book?
A:   My life, my siblings, my children, my friends then my readers inspired me to venture in this project. It was therapeutic!

Q:  What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A:   I think it means everything to an individual to believe in him/herself. Hustlers have an interesting motto that I firmly believe in: “Go hard or go home!” If you aspire to be someone or aspire to achieve something, then follow my steps!
 
If you’re a Writer like me (for instance), you must understand that readers sense when you’re not being ‘real’. When I write, I’m honest and true to my voice, my stories and my characters but most importantly; I’m true to my readers. When you pick up something that I’ve written, whether it’s a novel, screenplay short story, poem; I can guarantee you that it will change your life. My goal is to help you and I do so by being …me by discussing things others fail to. 
  
Whatever you aspire to be…I pray that you stick it out and see it to the
end!

 
 
Wow, I enjoyed that! So for next week’s Blog Hop please check out what the following Writers have to offer:

Maria A. Karamitsos
Janet King
Shannon MacLeod
David Foyle
Amber Meadows
Handsome Hansel
 
 
Wow, just got an idea… I was tweeting about my chaotic and stressful day that lies ahead and the perfect poem came to my head. I tribute this poem to the great, Maya Angelou:
 
Still,
  I write
!

 
Eyes burn from
exhaustion.
Around the
clock 
I’m
  going…
going…
 going…nonstop!
 
Depleting my
energy? NO!
I’ve depleted
all strength…STILL
I wake up, hold
my head high
Because my kids
need me to.

Leading by
example:
I find
prowess
not because I
want to 
But ‘cus I have
to be
Great
  …for
 them.

I am running
out of patience,
zeal,  appeal…
why is the
life of a writer
  …so strenuous?
 
NO matter what
struggles I face
Or calamities
that come my way
Or the things I
thought were going right
but found out
were going wrong
No matter how
many times I feel like 
I’m at the end
of my rope…
My tears create
words
 and
  stories
that crave to
  be told. 

NO matter
what’s occurring
  I’m a writer 
by day, 
  by night, 
by soul,
  by flight
I fight
  and
will fight for my dreams
  and
for what I believe.

In pain ...sometimes 
But through the
duress..
  still…
I write!
 
 
 I’m sitting here promoting my web and I thought that it was funny the way ideas come to me, now. I remembered when I first started writing it was so difficult for me to choose the best title for my pieces. There would be five or six poems or short stories with the title, “Untitled”. It was such a challenge for me; I started naming my files “Untitled 1” “Untitled 2” and so on.

People ask, ‘what’s so important about a title?” A title should be the premise of a piece—whether it’s a poem, short story, blog, or book. I’ve learned to switch things up and title my pieces with a concept, for instance—sometimes I use it to throw off my readers i.e. get them to focus on a title that makes them ponder on one idea so subconsciously they’re looking for this concept throughout the piece then I write about something completely different. There’s a way to handle this however, you have to construct the piece so that it blows their mind—not puzzle them. If done correctly, as they read the last line of your piece; they have no choice but to reread because what you’ve written was so moving and/or because it caught them off guard.

Every writer’s style is different so you have to work the way you see fit. I aim at having a ‘back story’. If you read anything I’ve written—mostly my poems and stories, you will notice that there’s a surface story but if you look closely you will realize that there’s something deeper within.

My advice to selecting a title is, to know your purpose. If you understand what you would like your readers to take with them then you’ll know how to title your work.  I normally don’t title my pieces until I’ve written it. Sometimes I start off with a title and then free-write on the concept at hand.  Having a title may help me focus but sometimes during the writing process, my idea may have transformed into something different. Again, you have to understand your style and know what works best for you.

So, write, write and write something. If you’re a new writer, or a seasoned one that struggles with selecting titles, don’t fret—when the perfect title comes to you; you’ll know.

Keep writing!
Nai’lah

 
 
So many people ask me this question all of the time. While I believe that I should be doing so much more, other people commend me on being an inspiration and ask the question, how do you do it?

Lately I’ve been depressed and it can possibly result from overexertion. I always try to do more than I should. Never is it my intention to outdo the next individual because I’m solely concerned about being the best me; I am cognizant of the benefits I would like to sow from life. Nothing falls on your lap. If you want to attain something, you have to work at achieving it. I’m never going to say that I didn’t make it as a Professional Writer because I was afraid or too lazy to try. I’m going to continue motivating myself each and every day.

To answer the question everyone has been asking: it’s my children. They make me who I am. If it’s one thing I know I’m good at…it’s being a mom. I want to be someone my kids can look up to. It is essential for them to understand that life can be harsh but you have to roll with the punches, pick yourself up when you fall and fight even if all odds are against you.

My weakness is fear of failing so I overextend myself and it is literally catching up to me. I’m beginning to see how important it is to have time to relax and recuperate. I feel as if I’m living outside of my body. I can’t remember a thing! I’m always ripping and running. At nights, I wake up to nurse and care for my daughter and it seems more systematic than anything. Half of the times I don’t recall what transpired after I went to bed. Subconsciously I knew I woke up to feed her but the memory is vague.

I’m really unsure as to how things get done sometimes. I just know that if I don’t do anything nothing will be accomplished. Life is too short and I want to leave a positive imprint in the hearts of others. I’ve always had to fight and standup for myself. I’m doing this because it’s my destiny. I am clay, broken from the mold of my mother. I am not living by what society conforms as the ‘norm’. I am existing through my words—I am a writer who was chosen to inspire and strengthen others. If after all that I’ve been through, I can smile and keep my head held high; anyone can seek tranquility from within.


 
 
 Before I went out on maternity leave I used to be so frustrated with my current situation. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for all that God blessed me with but was upset with myself because I wasn’t where I wanted to be.

I’m a writer that wasn’t writing for a living. Even though I attained my degree with a 3.7 grade point average; I’m not using it. I eagerly want the liberty to wake up and write but most importantly to be compensated for my talent. In my current position, I’m not doing anything remotely close to what I want to do.

I would tweet all day about how much I hated my job. I was steadily trying to find something else…anything else. I went out on maternity leave and couldn’t have been happier. When it was time to return, I was struggling with separation anxiety and depression.

Realizing that my situation is stagnant; I started mentally preparing myself for my return. By the time I was back to work I had this notion: no matter how long it takes; I will consciously and subconsciously make every effort to achieve my goals to become a full-time writer. My situation hasn’t changed but I feel much better. I no longer dread being at work; I understand that this is only for a time. With hard work and determination; I will achieve all my goals. I accept my 9-5 job and I’m grateful that I can provide for my children. A lot of people do not have that luxury so instead of complaining about what I don’t have; I’m appreciating the things I attain. God is good when he’s ready to bless me with more; I’ll gladly accept it. For now, I’ve adjusted my attitude and looking in the future instead of the present. I am a great writer and I will be rewarded with the acclamation I deserve. I made a decision to think positive and this has helped tremendously. I have this new found tranquility that helps me through my struggles.

If you’re a ‘starving artist’ like me and you can relate to this blog, try adjusting your lenses. Trust me; you’ll be less perturbed because your vision will not focus on what’s NOT right but on the things that are.