I’m gonna be real:

The standard advice for picking back up with your blog after not blogging for a long time is to not point out the obvious. You are supposed to write as if you never stopped, and ignore the glaring hole in your archives.

Well, I’m not going to do that. I haven’t written a dang thing in a very long time, and I want to talk about why.

In a fit of starts and stops, I’ve broached this topic before in detail here, here, and here.  Each time I think I’ve chipped away a bit at the source of my silence, but I’ve never just said: “Dude, I haven’t written because I have not motivated myself to do so.

Yes, I am busy. Between my job, my passion, and all the other things I seem to do in between, it doesn’t leave me with much free time, but it’s not the reason.

You might understand that feeling. It’s the angst that comes with knowing you need, want to do something and not doing it.

It’s writing down ideas that you think about constantly but never exploring them.

It’s eating one more donut when you know you don’t need to or want to.

And at the most basic level it’s turning your alarm clock off, choosing to sleep fitfully for another hour rather than get up and do what you need to do to push you forward.

Emphasis on fitfully because don’t even try to tell me that “extra” sleep is comfortable. You can’t get peace of mind when you are too busy mentally beating yourself up for not being strong enough.

Some will call is strength, focus, or even aptitude, but I call it self motivation.

It’s easier to make a change when someone else is pushing you, guilting you, or shaming you into it, right?

But to motivate yourself? To push yourself to take one more step when you just want to sit the fuck down?

Baby, that’s hard.

And that is what I’ve grappled with. Not motivating myself to write even though at times it feels as if all the words and ideas I want to express are choking me.

So what can we do? How can you motivate yourself to keep moving on those days when you just don’t want to?

A ha! I’ll tell you exactly what got me to where I am right now: typing this up for you all.


Seek Inspiration Daily

Seriously. I am not kidding.

I sought out the motivation. I actively looked for it. I went hunting, if you will, and here are the ideas I’m going to pass on to you all.

Motivation and inspiration are like food. You need it in order to keep your mind operating at it’s max level. And just like food, you can make some bad motivating choices (comparing yourself to other people, faking yourself out on Facebook thinking that you are looking for that one-off inspirational graphic when what you are really doing is procrastinating) or you can make healthy choices that will keep you pumped up throughout the day. That can be a song, a video,  blog posts, the Bible, whatever it is that gets you in the right mindset to go forth and rock it.

Just remember that “seeking” is the key idea here. You can’t sit around and wait to get motivated. You have to actively seek out inspiration that applies to what you want to focus on.

Speaking of which…


Recognize Distractions

In this post I won’t jump ahead to eliminating distractions (although that is the next step), we’re going to talk about recognizing them first.

You guys, we have soooooo many things to distract us these days, and honestly? A lot of it is crap that we don’t need, and things we are using to actively distract ourselves from:

  1. pondering how much we want to move forward with our goals
  2. numb the pain of doing jack diddle squat about our goals.

There are only two categories of distractions….which one are you falling in right now?


Stop Saying “I’m Busy”

Yo, I am the QUEEN of this. Let me tell it, I am always busy. And while yes, I do spend a lot of time doing necessary, yet unhelpful things that take up time (riding the subway), what’s to stop me from writing on the train?


The truth is, if you want it, you will figure out a way to get it, do it, make it, create, etc. You will carve out a moment, you will cut out the distractions, you will seek the motivation.

If you can’t make the time to be awesome, then what kind of life are you trying to lead?


I firmly believe that anyone can do this. The first step is to be real with yourself, and call out your own bullshit.


It’s good to be back.

Amber J.


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I set out to write a different post. I thought about big splashy titles like “Letting Go Of PERFECTION in 2015” and “What Do You Need To Do To Be Successful in 2015?” but none of these were tickling my pickle.

So, I did what I recommend to anyone with a case of writer’s block, I went back and looked at what I wrote last year.

The post, What Made You Jealous This Year? (A Different Way To Set Your New Year’s Goals), not only jump started my creativity, it allowed me to clearly see what I’ve accomplished this year.

And I believe that before you jump into the nitty gritty of thinking about what you want to do this year, you have to look at what you have DONE this year, and take a second to be grateful/proud of those things.

So, before I list the things that made me jealous this year a.k.a. the goals I will be working on for 2015, I want to take a second to be grateful for the goals I’ve achieved in 2014.

Here’s the breakdown:

Last year I said I was Jealous of: Career Change Announcements

A Goal I Achieved This Year Was:  A  Career Change Announcement!

In addition to starting a new day job that allows me to do pretty much all of the things I love (marketing, branding, social media, and teaching), I’ve been able to shift away from freelance writing, and start using the skills I’ve built as a journalist to help entrepreneurs and business owners to develop brand strategies that have some serious soul. I love nothing more than seeing people with good ideas flourish!

Last year I said I was Jealous of: Travel

A Goal I Achieved This Year Was: Traveled to several new places, and got my hinny out on the beach, hunny!

Ya’ll, last year people’s travel pics killed me. I wanted sand! I wanted sun! And none of that happened in 2013. The only place I flew to was home for my high school reunion. Fun, but not enough to quell my adventurous spirit.

This year I went to South Carolina (Myrtle Beach and Charleston), to Boston (where I ended up driving myself, a friend, and three strangers after our bus broke down on the side of the road!), and now I’m heading to Vermont to ring in the New Year. Next year will also be a big year for travel as well.

Last year I said I was Jealous of: People Who Were Merging Passion Projects With Careers

A Goal I Achieved This Year Was:  See #1 above :)

Okay, so now that we’ve gotten 2013-14 out of the way, can we talk about 2014-15, now?


Bring It,Organized and Community Focused Bloggers:  I’m a part of so many great groups on Facebook (pretty much the best thing about Facebook these days), that I’ve started to kick myself for sitting on my ideas of building a group for The Fab Life Project. I’d love to have a space where we can talk about goals for biz and life, and give support to each other as people that are DETERMINED to live life beyond the status quo.

Quick Crowdsourcing: Is this something you’d want to be a part of? Let me know in the comments!

Speakers + Workshop Leaders: Dude! I have so many ideas for workshops I’d like to lead, webinars I want to run, and speeches that I want to give, but this dream has fallen on the way, way back burner of things that I want to pursue. However, every time I read about someone giving a talk, or preparing for a workshop, I feel that twinge inside that lets me know, I need to get on the ball with this.

People Who Are Very Organized: I’m not the messiest person, but I also know that a lot of areas in my life could stand for me to be more organized, or have more structure in place so that I can spend less time thinking about the little things, and more time getting stuff done.

I just read this really great article on The Week about productivity that actually made a lot of sense to be, as usually I find some productivity tips to be extreme (Sleep is a non negotiable for me. I need my beauty rest!). But those were some tips I could groove too.

So, what made you jealous in 2014? 



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Raise your hand if you have plans to launch a business , or dig deeper into a business idea in the new year?

Now,  I’m going to ask you to get real with me, and with yourself, if I had asked you this question last year around this time, how many of you would have the same response?

And now another question, how does that make you feel?

I’ve been there before. Kicking around business ideas for years on end. Telling myself that this, that, and the third had to be just right before I could set up shop. When I worked primarily as a freelancer, it took me awhile before I was able to put myself out there, and advertise my services. And even today, now that I’m doing more branding and marketing strategies for businesses, I still have moments when I want turn my back on all of the discomfort and questioning that comes with putting your ideas out there.

So, what are the three things that are causing you to slow your roll?


You Don’t Really Believe In Yourself

Straight up, putting yourself out there as a business owner takes guts. It takes guts to believe that you can do what it takes to get clients, and more importantly, follow up with good work. Ever heard the term, “fake it till you make it?” Yeah, well people with a belief issue, can’t find the courage to fake it. They are sitting on the sidelines, silently willing themselves to get off the bench, yet they stay glued.

So how can you develop more self confident in your business abilities?

By doing the work.

There is really no way, no tip, and or trick around this one. Confidence is just like a muscle. The more you use it, you build it up.  You don’t have to make leaps, you don’t even have to make strides at first. A baby step will totally do. But you must make a move.


You Don’t Allow Yourself To Focus

If your business ideas are all over the place, or you are coming up with like five ideas every other day, then I’ll keep it real with you: you aren’t allowing yourself to dig into the type of deep focus that basically allows you to be OBSESSED with your dream, and what you really, really want to create.

Dude, I get it. I’m also one of those people that comes up with a million ideas, and dagnabit, a good number of them are good! But, truthfully, if you are spreading yourself too thin when you haven’t taken the time to develop one thing that you just effin rock at, you won’t be able to move toward your other ideas.

Emile, over at Puttylike, is all about the power of the “over arching theme” meaning, is there a theme that ties your interests together?

My overarching theme at TFLP is “Freedom”. Freedom to define happiness and success on your terms, freedom through entrepreneurship. Freedom to be who you really are.

Freeeeedooooom, freeeeeeedom, freeeeedom!

Okay, I think you get the idea.

What types of overarching themes can connect your interests to one another, until you get to the point where you can hire people to help you execute your other ideas?


You’re Refusing To Launch

Perhaps you’re waiting until everything looks “perfect”. Or you’re stuck in comparison land, drowning your sorrows in wine because your blog or website, or biz idea doesn’t look like all of the websites you’ve been digging through rather than focusing on what you have to offer.

It’s killing your vibe big time, and you need to let it go,

Everyone had to start somewhere. And if the person who has a biz that you admire/covet has been around for awhile, I’m sure they had a starter site that looked pretty crappy too.

But guess what?

They launched. They started. They accepted that it was a work in progress, and they got it out there.


You can too, my friend.



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*Note: This post is for all of my bloggers and reluctant writers who need a gentle kick in the hinny of their creativity.


There will be those days when you look at your blog, and with a quickness, you shut that tab DOWN. You walk away from your computer, look at it sideways, and find recluse in whatever distracting task you can possibly get your hands on as quick as possible.

Yes, you’ve set goals. Yes, you feel as if your readers are virtually giving you the side eye, because the only thing jumping on your site these days is crickets, but you don’t care about any of that because dagnabbit, you just don’t feel like writing a damn thing.

I feel you my sisters (and brothers). There have been many times when I didn’t feel like writing. Didn’t even want to THINK about writing, and I’d be lying if I said I forced myself to do it anyway.  In most cases I didn’t.

But in the good name of all that is delightful, and the shit parade that is about to become a barrage of “New Years Resolution” themed-posts, I wanted you to be prepared.

Introducing, my tips for what to do when you don’t feel like writing a damn thing.

You are going to promise yourself that this year you will show up, and show out on your blog weekly. And you’re…I mean we’re not going to break that promise, right?


So, here are my three ideas/suggestions for things to get your creative mojo flowing. Bookmark this because I have a feeling we’ll need a nifty reminder very, very soon.


Number One: Read Something That Inspires You

When I feel as if I have nothing to write about, it usually means that I need to come out of my writerly hibernation chamber a.k.a. my room, and go chat with people or read a good book, article, blog post, something with words that inspires me to get in touch with the words I want to kick out of my head.

I try not to overdo it. It’s super easy to fall into the Internet’s black hole of awesomeness and overwhelm, so you’ve got to watch it. Limit yourself to reading two blog posts, or purposely discover a new blog that challenges the way you see the world, and then retreat to get your wordsmith on.

Good writing makes you want to write. It invokes that antsy feeling that usually translates into you not being able to do something until you verbally vomit. Okay, that’s kinda gross, but you get where I’m going with it, right?

Read to write. It’s a good idea.


Number Two: Watch Something That Inspires You

Dude, get thee to and watch something that makes your brain shout. Creativity abounds in that camp. Just don’t get depressed because you haven’t been invited to give your TEDx talk that that you’ve been practicing in the mirror yet.

Watching something inspiring, funny, or thought provoking can jumpstart your creative juices, and inspire you to want to explore some thoughts that have been bouncing around in your head for awhile.  One of my fav inspiring talks that I could watch over, and over (okay, have watched over and over), is this one by educator, Rita Pierson. It’s seven minutes of amazingness.

Totally unrelated to the TED genre is this skit by Katt Williams. It’s a few years old, but dude, if you overheard me watching it, you’d think it was for the first time. It’s totally rated R for some of the language, but I swear this video never gets old to me. I laugh every.single. time.  It doesn’t do much to encourage me to write in the way of thinking of topics, but laughter is good for the soul, so therefore I’ll claim it as a cure for writer’s block.

Watch something!


Number Three: Read Your Old Blog Posts

Sometimes reading what you’ve wrote before can give you new life and perspective on things you want to write about today. Case in point: this post.

Clearly, writers block was attempting to creep up on me. But I combated it with a trip down memory lane. Seeing the love I’ve put into my blog in the past inspired me to not only keep going, but it renewed my energy and perspective on why I enjoy this so much, and sometimes you just need that.

Go ahead, get lost in your archives right quick. I’ll still be here upon your return.


Number Four: Kick It Old School: Write On Paper

Step away from the screen, my friend. I know I’m all Gen Y/ Millennial, so that means I’m supposed to be obsessed with all things technological, but I love paper. Seriously. Take me to the nearest Staples and watch me lose my shit.

Paper represents endless possibilities to me. Thoughts just waiting to drop on the page.  And best of all, if you mess up, or decide you want to say something in a different way, you can cross it out without losing your previous thought that, in a little bit , might actually work better. Paper gives you a space to be messy in a way that typing onto a digital writing pad just doesn’t.

Give yourself some space to just create to jog your brain, and wake it up, and then start writing. Refine, and rock with it.  Just make sure in all of your excitement, you don’t write illegibly, and then blame me later when you’re squinting at your notepad, and trying to type up your post for the big screen.

Alright, that’s what I got. *Drops Bic pen and walks away*


Tell me, what could be number five? To all of my reluctant writers out there, what inspires you to put the pep in your step and get to work?

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By now you’ve probably seen it, heard about it at the least, and spent more than a few minutes “ooo-ing and ahhh-ing” it from every angle at the most.

Yes, I’m talking about Solange Knowles’ wedding dress. No, I don’t really spend much time writing about pop culture, but this particular topic fit within the frame of something I wanted to explore.

Fierce, honey!


A few months back, a reader hit me up on Twitter and asked me to write about how not everyone wants that white, picket-fence life,  and how there are other life choices out there beyond getting married, popping out kids, and doing the “typical thing”.

I pondered it. And had this been a few years ago, I probably would have been down to ride out, and roll over those picket fence notions, but instead I’ll do something different: challenge you to define your relationship state for yourself.

In terms of what you want, what you never wanted, what you feel pressured to aspire to,  what hasn’t worked out, and what you are afraid of.

Back in the day no one questioned the validity of choosing to go about your life in the way the ancestors have mostly done it. It made sense, and the options were few.

Now, we have more access to more choices. We can travel further, delay commitments, and control so many aspects of our fertility.

And this has caused some chaos.


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