While sitting in the Writing for the Web workshop sponsored by the Community Media Workshop this weekend, I had a couple of revelations. First, I could have successfully taught that class since I have been blogging for almost three years now. Second, as a journalist and blogger, I am enjoying the best of both of both writing worlds.
As I thought about my writing lot in life, I can honestly say that I’m blessed. I did not go to school for writing, but I am good at what I do. I’m not saying that out of conceit; I’m saying it with confidence. It took years to get to this point.I write or blog every day; I read everyday; and I following blogs on writing and blogging so I can stay abreast of what’s happening in those arenas to make sure I’m on point. Even with all of those things, I realize that I still have a lot to learn and I’m working it.
When did I realize I was experiencing the best of both worlds?
Three years ago while attending the Unity Journalist of Color conference here in Chicago. I had just left my job to pursue my passion of writing. I was supposed to be a freelance journalist and got a bit discouraged about the lack of response to my queries to different publications. In hindsight, I think I should have been more disappointed in my lack of effort to make that happen. Around that time, blogging was becoming a bit more popular, and there was a bit of tension between journalists and bloggers. I loved it. From my understanding, journalists were a little upset about these people coming into their territory and gaining credibility as news sources. Many bloggers don’t have formal writing or media training, yet, some have more influence than trained media people. Sweet!
Anyway, I decided to start my first blog during that time while reading Blogging for Dummies. I have been blogging ever since.
As for my journalism journey, it started over nine years ago with the first edition of my newsletter, Shorty In Da House. I didn’t know that writing was gift; other people recognized it and started planting that seed. The first person to give me a chance was Hurley Green, Managing Editor of the Chicago Independent Bulletin newspaper, a Chicago South Side publication. Thanks Hurley!
To date, my work can be found online and print. In addition to Shorty, which transitioned from print to online, I’ve been working with the Independent Bulletin Newspaper for over five years and have worked with Chi-Town Daily News. I’ve been published in Mahogany Magazine, N’Digo Magazine, Sister Speaks online publication. Currently, I’m the editor of True Elegance Magazine and contribute to Gapers Block, and have been submitting query letters to local and national publications.
Ahh, my writing and blogging life is a good life. Now, I just have to loosen up and work my humor writing and learn grant writing. Oh, I forgot to mention. I have been blessed with free Investigative Journalism classes through the Ethnic News Media program at the Community Media Workshop.
Now, that’s purpose!