Beautiful photo of a scene from the CAABJ: Eat Drink and Be Merry Soiree(Location subject to change)
Usually, I comb the Charlotte area looking for a story that pops or an event that gets my juices erupting— you know, the good creative stuff that no one else is even thinking about writing.
I want to be the first! Yes, I’m territorial about my stories, and not to mention, it’s important for Interrupedblogs.com to feature positive and engaging highlights.
I don’t write about all events, and I don’t write about every person I MEET because this blog spot is not for everyone… That’s that.
So, let me just get to the reason for my professional surge online…
This past weekend, I attended the CAABJ (Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalist), Christmas soiree.
Literally, the name CAABJ catapults me to another level of self-awareness and awe.
The CAABJ is a wonderful invasion of news casters, journalist, photographers, radio personalities, and media sources (http://www.caabj.org/)
The organization huddles monthly and then they meet for their 4th of July Cookout, as well as movie night, at the Studio Grill: Epic Center. They also host a bowling tournament, in addition to a annual holiday celebration, that’s in conjunction with their News Excellence ceremony (My favorite part of the evening).
And speaking of News Excellence, doesn’t the CAABJ sound like a wonderful organization to be part of?
Relax. I’m not trying to sell you! Well, maybe a little:)
It was something that I needed to be part of, and quick.
I heard about their commitment to the community, their scholarship program, the groups strong alliance, as well as their award ceremony for the first time in 2013.
Man, when I learned about the possibility of being victorious in their due ceremony, it was go-time… I was gonna prove that I HAD the good makeup of being a superior journalist…
Here’s the kicker, my journalist journey began in 2012 under the leadership of Urban Tymes Magazine.
Of course, I was brand stinken new to the field of journalism—and yet, I still wanted to be respected as a professional writer although I was somewhat an offspring.
I didn’t care. I figured, “Since I’ve written books, writing about people shouldn’t be that hard…”
It wasn’t hard at all… I wrote several commentaries in 2011 for Urban Tymes Magazine before submitting my first pitch, “And then Came Elijah” January of 2012.
I felt really good about that story, and I wanted to do more---I did write about many other things. So, I assumed I was this wonderful, flawless, objective (rule 1050: never give opinions) writer. Nobody couldn’t tell my arrogant self (at the time) anything pertaining to the craft of journalism (Snickering)…
Let’s get to the cheese:
I submitted a story for the News Excellence contest that was profoundly endearing to me-- maybe, not to anyone else, but definitely to me…
I prepared for the win of this contest. I didn’t pray cause I had it in the bag.
I waited eagerly for the ceremonial day and strutted in fabulously—cause I’m like “Yo, I’m professional! (Nobody cared! LOL... In fact, there was a cute joke going around the room about the well-dressed people that nobody knew). Of course, it was Carey Digsby (Mr. Urban), William Wilson( William Wilson Clothing), and arrogant, Tawanda.
When the ceremony began, I had this smile on my face, and my confidence was revved up to 1,000,000,000…
I’m chuckling as I type this...
Don’t laugh, but my ego ducked out of the room after about 30 minutes of sitting, without as much as a wave or a goodbye—no one ever mentioned this (Insert TAWANDA here) great writers name.
Many awards were handed out to recipients that day, and I noticed that each of their stories was more intriguing than the last… The highlights that the CAABJ acknowledged were gripping coverage’s by meticulous journalist who’d been working in their FIELD and gift for a very long time.
Whoa, did the CAABJ forget that this awesome-sauce professional was sitting there with the other journalist (cause I don't recall getting an award)? LOL… I was crushed behind a dimpled and painted smile. The insides of my stomach bled with tears… I was mortified and disappointed because I thought I knew everything about writing.
Maaaaan, I told all my friends. They supported me and we all agreed that an award would be mines. We agreed! LOL...
I felt like an ostrich hiding her ridiculously tall neck and head into a hole out of embarrassment from the shock of not winning.
At that moment, I knew that I needed to learn more, write more, and do more… Expect the unexpected and be okay with that.
Believe it or not, the CAABJ grew me in the instance I didn’t win anything.
I’ve won an award for the last 2 years from the CAABJ… Yes, I won in 2014 and 2015...
I’m still learning my craft. I’ve worked with many professionals whom challenge my work. I accept the challenges because I DON’T have a pompous attitude. We saw where that got me in 2013…
I've also learned that it's okay to be confident. You should allow your mind to grasp a handful of confidence with anything that you do. It takes courage and extra mental-oomph to accomplish anything, and I mean anything.
Be confident and willing to learn.
Here's where confidence get's tricky: I don't care how long you've done this thing that you love. That does not mean you know everything. Many people make mistakes(Steve Harvey). Many people learn from those mishaps and move on.
More than likely, you'll remain stagnant when you're kinda cocky and arrogant. This is when you pigeonhole yourself and never get any further than your starting point--whatever that may be.
And, if it's a contest, or maybe you're contending for something because of this crazy God-given- talent that you've been blessed with... Expect the unexpected. You won't win everything, but damn-- hot-toe-mighty, at least you gave it your best!
I pray about my intentions and I also include those thoughts or intended actions on my vision board. I'm not telling you to do what I do... I'm simply saying that sometimes, faith-forwardness without the egotism helps...
For me, whether there's a triumph or failure, I expect the unexpected, and I am unambiguously okay with that..
Regarding the CAABJ, I’m just honored to be in attendance each year with so many brilliant men and women from the Charlotte area and surrounding…
Psst! I was already winning when I enlisted with the CAABJ in 2013, I just didn’t know it.
(Don't slash my hand because the letter "I" is in this blog a million times)
Attention African American journalists and aspiring journalist: If you are looking to be part of a wonderful organization, the CAABJ is a magnificent place to start (http://www.caabj.org/p/blog-page.html)
They CAABJ is currently accepting membership at discounted prices (http://www.caabj.org/p/joinrenew-caabj-membership.html).
CAABJ Eat Drink and be Merry Christmas Soiree