Writing has always been my foundation. My purpose. My why. This is a story about how it took me ten years to accept it..
Young and Clueless
In 2008, I was a bright eyed journalism student at Wayne State University. I was surrounded by fellow students who shared the same passion for writing and media as I did. A requirement of my journalism program was to write for the university newspaper and after years of writing articles independently, I was elated that I would finally have the opportunity to write for a publication. My first published article was a birthday party for Hip Hop legend Doug E. Fresh. I was among rap royalty and at 17 years old, I felt I had arrived. This was it. A few weeks later, my program director informed me that I could no longer cover Arts & Entertainment stories and that I had to move over to hard news (yuck). So I went on to cover board meetings, gun control, local elections and more. I was miserable. Due to my lack of experience and ignorance, instead of using that moment to build my portfolio and build relationships, I decided that if I couldn’t be the next La La Anthony or someone of that nature, then I should do something else. I had only been in college for three months, but I felt I knew everything that I needed to know about navigating the journalism world. So entitled. So stupid.
I eventually changed my major to public relations since there were still writing components and it also gave me the chance to express my creativity. I loved my PR courses and I completed various internships. I also started writing for the school paper again with my own music column. This time it was on my own terms.
After undergrad, despite of my internships, I had trouble finding a job. Yes, I had a degree and experience and couldn’t find a job, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I got hired in a sales position that I hated. In the midst of my misery, I was hired as an entertainment writer for Yandy Smith’s Everything Girls Love website. Although I was writing about trivial things like Lil Wayne’s fall out with Birdman, I felt like I had purpose again. Do you see where I’m heading? Writing= Happy Ashleigh. I quit that sales job 6 months later and launched my PR company. Two years and numerous job rejections later, I was broke as a joke and had a handful of freelance PR clients and only 1 or 2 paid freelance clients. I was a mess physically, mentally and spiritually. “Hot mess” was an understatement.
The 'Ah Ha' Moment
Finally in 2017, I was hired full time as a marketing coordinator, a position I still hold today. I get to work with various entrepreneurs on their business journey’s and it’s amazing. I get almost a month of paid vacation days, my boss is an angel and overall I really enjoy my work.
However, during the last year no matter how fulfilling my PR and marketing career seemed to be, I still felt something was missing. The thing that started me on this path over 10 years ago. I wasn’t writing. Not much professionally or for fun. I feel over the last 10 years, I’ve put energy into other careers and projects because I’ve been too afraid and lazy to fully commit to being a writer again.
I created this site as a way to finally hold myself accountable for what I’ve been avoiding for years.This site represents a promise I’ve made to myself to no longer let fear get in the way of what I was created to do.
So here’s to the first step in the write right direction!