Remembering Charlie Murphy

I don’t explore interest in comedy through Black Board very much, but I’m an ethusiast of comedy. And it is with deep regret that I announce that legendary comedy writer and stand-up comedian, Charlie Murphy, has passed away.

News officials reported that Charlie Murphy, 57, passed after losing his battle against Leukemia. 

Charlie Murphy is the older brother of Eddie Murphy. But he’s mostly known for his writing, comedic acting, and narration on the infamous Chappelle Show. 

Personally speaking, Charlie Murphy is what many writers and comedians aspire to be. I looked up to him, followed his journey.

Charlie Murphy, thank you for paving the road for us. You will be missed. 

Pocket Full of Ideas, Stopped at Writer’s Block

Writer’s face a great deal of challenges. You’ve read how jobs and bills can get in the way. Sometimes, the worst enemy of an author, is well, the author. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had ideas about a chapter or short story binging around my brain. As soon as I get in front of a computer, I just go blank.

I was psyched about finishing a particular chapter today. All of sudden, I just flat-lined. I was totally lost between one scene and the next. I leaned toward writing a outline, but I didn’t want to ruin the spontaneity. Now there’s the wall, the Writer’s Block. No expenses paid, blocked by the subconscious.

Where should I go from here? I have a few other ideas to explore. I wonder…

Which way should I go?

Can’t Find a Niche for a Blog

I admit, the reason my blog goes weeks without an update is because I have no idea what to post. The initial focus for my WordPress Blog, Black Board, was to talk about my freelance writing career and self-publishing news.

Like any other working adult, I find it difficult to dedicate my time to my blog when there’s so much to do. What takes up most of my time is three social media accounts, two jobs, freelancing, a gaming hobby, and procrastinating.

Now, there’s a blog. The endless possibilities are almost overwhelming. A decision has to be made. For me, that decision was to talk about a self-publishing journey. The challenges of self-publishing are worth documenting.

Looking ahead, I have no clue what the next blog post is going to be. Anything that’s absolutely awesome is placed on the idea shelf for a self-publishing endeavor. So, I guess I playing this blog and niche thing by ear, or in this case, by brainstorm.

What good are FAQs and How-To blog posts? They don’t necessarily teach a person how to manage their blog.

But in the event that someone is searching for answers on what their blog content theme should be, I suppose you could post whatever comes to mind until you find something that sticks. Be sure it’s something you like rather than something that gets a click. You could run into blog that feels more like a chore.

What are your thoughts on blog niche? I’m short on answers and abundant in frustration. Comment if you have insight.

 

Return of the Resolution

With Christmas over, we’re all getting psyched for that moment, counting the last few seconds until, bang! 2017! Along with celebrations, there are declarations of change. How long they will last is up to whoever has made such a promise.

Those promises are known as New Years’ Resolutions, the promise we all want to follow through with as Father Time ushers us into the new year. However, consistency is more difficult than it seems when we attempt to alter our routines and old habits.

Sure, we all know the malarkey that comes with a resolution, but the fun in its creation and creativity is unparalleled.

Exercise the right to set a goal, yet push for stability. Once that first week passes by, prepare for procrastination. Fight it. Tell it, “Go to hell!”

For me, I have a few items on my list of things to accomplish in 2017.

My personal and somewhat realistic resolutions:

  • Increase persistence of freelance endeavors 
  • Blog more
  • Work on multiple projects at once 
  • Make better investments in regards to self-publishing

I’m certain that one of these will stick more than the next. They’re all great ideas, but they need some substance.

Maybe an alert on a smartphone will help. Or maybe I should just…

We’ll see what happens…

Do Hiring Managers Really Read Resumes?

It’s no secret. Some of us have our degrees with aspirations of entering an industry that we studied for or still studying for. The truth to career life is that you never know what it holds. Life is like a box of Raisinets, you never know which one is a raisin or a small marble of cocoa that missed its target.

And sometimes we miss. Job seekers go through education sifting through the process waiting on the machine to coat us with something scrumptious. We roll past other raisins thinking we’d get there first. Somehow, we get into wrong position and fall right off the periphery, missing the key component that makes us attractive.

So what do we do? We get up, dust off, and get back in the mix hoping to get picked.

Resumes are a lot like that. They start out  dried out and blank waiting patiently for the job seeker to put something delicious on its person. The brainstorm spins a tasty morsel in a bowl of memories, which job seekers drizzle neatly over the page. Voila.

Apply. Submit. Into the box it goes with other resumes wanting to be reviewed. Hopefully they’re taken serious.

Out of the batch, hiring managers select each piece–tasting each one and deciding which Raisinet was the best. But when you eat a Raisinet, do you really measure which one is best? Sadly enough, resumes are treated the same.

Sometimes that resume we spent all week to prepare is consumed without much thought. Does that mean job seekers should stop writing resumes and cover letters? No. It simply means that we have improve our recipe.

That’s why most recommend that resumes be one page–it’s short and sweet, a delicate quickness that’s appreciated and missed almost instantly. If it tastes great, the hiring manager will hum on it savoring it on their taste buds. That desire to savor the taste is the phone call or response email we get after we’ve applied for the job.

So do employers actually read our resumes? Yes. But not all of them considered. Don’t get discouraged. Keep exploring ways to improve.

 

How Marketing affects the Indie Author

If you’re anything like me, marketing feels like learning another language like a mysterious code fluently understood by suits and intimidating to the average person.

There’s no question. Marketing is an essential to creating a successful title. For indie authors, it’s a lot tougher considering that we do everything ourselves.

Thanks to social media, the average can attempt marketing techniques through promotion through social media. But what else can indie authors do besides post to social media? Should we invest into a marketing firm or should we implore a college student looking to make a buck or two.

How we market our brands is very important. A lot of times the conditions of our careers and our lives is like a dam hindering our ambitions to publish or finish that project you desire to share with the world.

At the earliest opportunity, try and post whatever you can to WordPress, Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn. Let’s encourage one another by sharing post, hitting like buttons, and funding campaigns.

Any action taken to market yourself is better than not taking action.

Update: Check out this list of resources. This describes what places give all authors a platform to market (promote) their literature. 
 

Got Genre?

As I’m building my brand as an indie-author, I write and read in different areas of the fiction world. In the past, I had no clear direction on what to do or what to write.

I began my career in college when I barely read anything, and my writing skills were staunched by lazy habits, parties, and college girls. 

Now, I miss those critical peer reviews. It was the perfect time to mold my skills. Live and learn. To all collegiate writers out there with aspirations to entertain from books or eBooks, appreciate the critiques from professors and course-mates. 

My go-to genre during those collegiate days was fantasy. I didn’t have much knowledge on fantasy. And my ignorance was displayed in less than 4000 words, a short story I called a chapter.

Back then, I didn’t want to write about “black stuff”. Y’know, the stereotypical buffoonery, demonizing Caucasians, and unrealistic religious interpretation. I wanted to do something different. 

Some of my inspiration came from video games, cartoons, TV shows, and some books. It’s a great well to draw from, but the best well was everyday life.

Since I’ve graduated from college, my relationship with reality has fluctuated. Characters, ideas,parallels, and plots were unpredictable. My brain was a mine field. My thoughts were triggers exploding on a word document. 

Within all the notes, outlines, research and short stories; I found my genre, Urban Fantasy.

For past five years, I wrote whatever plot or character came to mind. Most of my expertise was in short stories, so that was the area where I explored the most. 

Recently, I completed an urban themed short story collection. Some stories have fantasy elements, some don’t. 

But readers need more, therefore, I will include a novel and add another short story to the collection. 

Will I indulge in various genres? It may not be wise to some, but yes, I will visit different genres. 

There’s no turnng back! The outlines have collected some digital seniority. They’re old, faithful bullets waiting to be loaded in a story. 

So many ideas. So much to write.