A few weeks ago, I took a leap of faith and stepped out of my comfort zone.
Growing up, I have always dealt with fear and I am currently learning how to not allow anxiety and overthinking take over me. I was searching online for writing internships and I could not come across anything I found an interest in. I then realized that I may need to invest into an online subscription with Black Girls in Media. Black Girls in Media is an online subscription, networking organization for Minority women of color in the media industry, founded by Tasha McCaskiel. At first when deciding if I wanted to subscribe, I was hesitant because I was setting myself on a budget and wondered what this platform would get me that I could not find anywhere else. Little did I know this investment was one of the best decisions I could have made, it allowed me to be a part of a network of female entrepreneurs and phenomenal women in media. As a result, I was able to discover a post to write for this blog.
I want to thank NaTyshca Pickett, the founder of Arizona Coffea Magazine and this Blog, Coffea Topics, for seeing the potential in my writing. I had never written for a blog before, but I saw the opportunity and went after it. I have always wanted to write but due to fear, I held back. Over the last two years, I have been writing as a screenwriter for my web series titled ‘Risen8theSeries’, I am currently working on releasing. I knew God had been telling me to blog for a while but as I mentioned, I had always crippled with fear.
My advice is if you see an opportunity to go for it. When I applied, I didn't have any blog samples, but I reached out to NaTyshca and she informed me I could still apply with two writing samples. It was out of my comfort zone, but I knew I needed to face my fears. With hard work, doing research on blogging, and prayer I was able to produce two blog samples. Now the process was not smooth, I would overthink what I wanted to write, how I wanted to write, and then I realized I simply just needed to write. Once I allowed my thoughts to flow from what was on the inside of me the writing came out naturally.
As I mentioned earlier, I had been perfecting my craft as I screenwriter for the last two years. Screenwriting is about developing characters, a plot, and creating a world that will transition onto the screen. Blogging, on the other hand, is different, it's a different structure but as I started to write I realized I was sharing my story and what I felt passionate about which is similar to when I would screen-write. Blogging allows me to use my voice in a way I had never done before. It was as if I was writing in a journal for the world to see.
I would also often overthink how would people consider me as a writer, I knew I could screen write but could I transition into blogging. Those were questions I would constantly ask myself as I would brainstorm and start working on my writing samples. Which I realized was a form of overthinking. According to Merriam-Webster, overthinking is to think too much about (something): to put too much time into thinking about or analyzing (something) in a way that is more harmful than helpful.
I was allowing the fear of the unknown to determine my outcome, which I later found out it was only holding me back from reaching my true potential. With this being my first blog piece, I am still finding my niche and voice as a writer. However, with time and consistency, I know it will come. Have you ever thought wow this task/assignment will be hard to accomplish? But when you try it out you later realize that wasn’t so bad? That’s how I felt when I finished my blog samples. I am currently taking that experience and learning to apply it to all parts of my life. I am growing and learning every day how I can allow my faith to be bigger than my fears. I hope as you read how I was able to face my fears it encourages you to choose faith over fear! “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe”. (Saint Augustine)
Here are some ways you can get over your fear and choose faith!
1. Just start, and do not look back! Do not allow procrastination to get the best of you. What you can do today, do not put it off until tomorrow. I know that statement is easier said than done because I am currently working on applying this to my life. But ask yourself some questions. What is the purpose behind this? How will I make an impact? What are the short term and long term affects this will have on my life?
2. Write out what your goals are and pick the ones you want to accomplish first. Some advice I was given by one of my mentors, Nikki Brown Walker, is Dream big! Don’t limit your goals but prioritize what goals you want to tackle first so you can start seeing results. As someone who gets overwhelmed this method works best for me.
3. Get into a network/community of people where you can build personal and professional relationships with. Social media has a lot of online communities such as Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
4. Watch inspirational podcasts or online videos and read books that will help you reach your goals!
A scripture that always sticks out to me when I am becoming anxious or dealing with fear is 2 Timothy 1:7
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline”.
Please share how you have conquered faith over fear.
For as long as I could remember writing has been my vice. My escape from reality. I loved how I could use words to transform any situation to make for a happier ending. So it was no surprise when I went to college and majored in journalism.
While in college, I honed my skill of story telling, even winning awards for best news stories in statewide and regional competitions. However, after college, I lost that spark or love for writing along the way. Well, I didn't lose my love for writing, but the confidence that once exude through my pores, somehow diminished. Starting life after college was an intimidating journey and though I continued with my writing, I never pursued a career in journalism. It may have had something to do with being in a new city, away from familiarity and I was in survival mode. The dream of becoming a professional journalist was just that, a dream.
I instead, took a "safer" route and became a social worker, which then led me to pursue education and become a teacher. I had the chance to shape the minds of our future generation. It was in the field of teaching when my spark came back. I taught in low income schools, so for many of the students, seeing a Black teacher in the classroom was a first for them.
I would teach my students about going for their dreams and being confident in themselves, the opposite of everything I was living. I wanted them to follow through on what I've taught them, but I needed to practice what I preached. I started slow with blogging for other platforms. I knew this would help build my portfolio. From there, I begin to look for people to interview for topics and events. This step of courage, landed me my first celebrity interview with WNBA Star Bridget Pettis. I was one of the first journalists in Phoenix, AZ to interview her about her community garden, Project Roots AZ. I knew then that I was on to something and I had to keep going.
I was scared with every step that I made, however, I knew there was purpose with me taking those steps, so I kept going. I saw the end result, a vision I had for years. I knew that with each small step I took, it brought me closer to my goal.
This time, I went a little deeper and decided I wanted to launch a magazine. The interview the Bridget Pettis encouraged me to tell the story of the people in the Black community. It encouraged me to be an agent of change. For too long, the narrative in the media showed the Black culture of everything but its greatness. It wasn't until the global outpouring of justice for Black lives when others wanted to get on board and highlight the Black culture.
The thing about my magazine is that it isn't for a publicity stunt to gain sales or popularity. I'm in this for the long haul, long after the noise dies down. I'm here to shine a light on the amazing people, food, innovations, etc. that the Black community has to offer.
The journey I'm on is exhilarating, unpredictable and bigger than me. I am walking in my purpose and it feels so good. For the first time, I feel alive. I get excited with what I'm doing and I'm grateful for the bumps in the road and the knocks on the head. They were needed to help me appreciate where I am today.