A KICK[in the ass from a reader]START: PLANNING FOR YEAR 3
By Jorge Antonio Vallejos
I am in my office: my room. My ass is on the hardwood floor, boxes of books are all around me, stacks of The New Yorker are to my right, the T.V is on with no volume, and Bro Hymn by Pennywise is blasting on my laptop.
The chorus is a yell from the crowd that hypes me up as my fingers dance across my MAC.
This wasn’t the case a few weeks ago. Actually, the last 4 weeks were time off. Time for me to think, read, journal, clean my work space and home, swim, eat, and breathe in clean air. For 7 days I was in north-east Quebec at a cabin with my friend Paula, a fellow booklover, and I had the opportunity to rest. A much needed rest. A much appreciated rest. A rest period that was prepping my body, mind, and spirit for year 3 of blackcoffeepoet.com.
Yes, year 3! September 18, 2012 makes is two years that I’ve been an online writer with my third year starting the next day.
When I started blackcoffeepoet.com I committed to two years. Two years of learning my craft via reading a ton of books that I would review, journal about, and interview their authors.
I’ve done what I said I would do, and more.
But it’s not enough in my eyes. I’m not done. There are projects I planned that have not been realized and dreams not fulfilled.
I remember being in university and talking to the student President of the college for which I was an Editor-in-Chief of the college paper, The Window. We both were in leadership positions and we both talked about two things:
1. It’s lonely at the top
2. 8 months is not enough time to run a paper in my case, a student body in his case.
The two years that I’ve been running blackcoffeepoet.com has flown by. Most of it has been awesome, but there have also been some down times: burn out; feelings of being unappreciated; being disrespected by some writers and publishers; and no reciprocation by some people that I’ve helped out.
I’ve come to realize how a lot of writers can be very selfish and narcissistic.
But the good people and events make it worthwhile.
The ups have been:
- the many thanks I’ve gotten from people worldwide
- having my videos used in college and university classrooms
- hearing people on the street yell “Black Coffee Poet!” or “Hey BCP!”
- having a mother ask me to mentor her son in prison
- using my site to bring awareness to important topics such as Canada’s 800 missing and murdered Aboriginal women, the Reen Virk murder, and the forgotten women of the December 6 vigil in Canada, Trans Day of Remembrance
- being read on every continent and getting speaking and teaching gigs
- having Racialicious.com post my stuff on their site
- being named a volunteer at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre
- interviewing my favorite poet: Chrystos
- being named 1 of 5 Top blogs to read by www.firstpeoplesnewdirections.org
And there’s more, but those are 10 awesome reasons to keep at what I’m doing!
A happy moment came recently via a comment from one of my reader’s, a teacher in Philadelphia:
BCP, where are you? School is starting!
I’m back and I’m planning for year 3 which starts next week.
A kick in the ass from a reader is just what I needed.