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Phoenix Ash

 

What are you building? Are you proud of it? Are you shouting about it from the rooftops? In this episode, Phoenix will be sharing why she is no longer keeping quiet about what she is building. Instead, she is sharing the excitement with her friends so that everyone can be involved in the creation process. Get excited because big things are coming!

For show notes, resources, and more, visit: https://www.saywharadio.com/listen/lifeasp/

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Phoenix: Hey, what’s up, was good good people. What’s the deal? Did you enjoy your holiday? Did you enjoy your long weekend? I hope you had a long weekend. I had the most relaxing weekend I’ve had in forever. So welcome to Life As P, let’s get started. You can hear it in my energy, right? I’m pumped. Allergies kicking my behind, but I’m still pumped. What’s up? If you are a first time listener, thank you. I appreciate it. No matter how you found me. I appreciate everyone who’s been retweeting, who’s been putting it on their Facebook putting the show on their Instagram. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Love the DMS, love the conversations we’re having let’s keep it going.

Yo, what’s up? What are you building? Because that’s what I want to talk about? What are you building? Share with me? What are you building? Get up in my DMs, tell me listen, this is what I need prayer for this is what I need encouragement for, this is what I need help with, you know, not necessarily gonna be the person to help you, but you know, might help you with encouragement or point you in the right direction. Or maybe I am the person to help you. But you know, sometimes people say make moves the silence. Like, yo, if you’re too quiet about it, the people who get help, you don’t know what you’re doing. You know what I’m saying? So you got to figure out how to balance that. But I’m so hyped because, you know, I don’t know, if you guys know that there’s a new show coming to say what radio soon it’s going to be so bomb. The corporate side of me is definitely going to be like, yo, all turnt up over that show, or whatever. But it’s so dope. And, you know, just listening to the ideas that’s being spewed around the new show. I’m thinking about, you know, tables, right. So everybody’s like, you know, I want a seat at the table, I’m bringing my own chair to the table. And if you guys have listened to me for even a little bit, and you know, I love y’all, my trusty listeners who have been with me for a minute. But if you guys have been listening to me for a minute, you know that I come from the school of thought about building my own table. And we were talking about, I think we were talking about diversity inclusion. And then I was like shifting it and was just like, you know, in my own life and creative life, you know, particularly when you are a writer, photographer, anything like we sometimes go after, like, when I wrote music, I went after the music labels, right? We go after who’s the person who’s gonna sign us, we go after the person, or the people, the companies that’s going to invest in us, like, invest in me, let me add to your company, let me add to your roster, and trying to convince them to buy into what we’re doing. So that we can get paid to do what we love. And the older I get, the more I come back around to building my own table to just doing me doing what I need to do to get my stuff out there. And you know, sometimes it’s aligning with a company, sometimes it’s not, sometimes it’s me by myself, sometimes it’s not. But just knowing that I’m building my own table, and rather than chasing a seat at someone else’s table, I’m inviting people to come sit at mine, right? I’m inviting you to come sit at mine. This is what I’m building. And I’m getting more clear as time goes on what I’m building and how I’m going to build it. And like I said, sometimes it means partnering or aligning with a different company. And sometimes it doesn’t. And you know, there’s a fluctuation, some you know, I’m in one season and another season, but it’s all part of building my table and inviting people to come sit at it. And if it becomes our table, I’m good with that. I’m good with that. I don’t need to, you know, stomp my feet and say my my mind my mind, right? I want it to be inclusive. I want us to all get this money together.

I want us to all chase our dreams together, get our goals together. But I’m like, you know, when I say chase our dreams. I’m feeling like a little less of chasing and a little more of building. I’m going to build my dream. I’m going to create my dream and know what I want to do. I know what I like to do and I’m going to keep creating. And again, I may be invited to partner with someone or I may initiate a conversation that is geared in The line of partnership, but it’s me building my table, and I really think is just a shift in perspective, some of the things that we do are going to be the same, some of the conversations that we have may be very similar. But the perspective is slightly different, right? Because I’m tired to chasing, I’m tired of running, I’m tired of, you know, oh, it’s in my grasp, or I have to talk to you in order for you to give me something or in order for you to have your mind open and recognize my talent, right. And I’ve been here before, I’ve been here before, those who know who’ve been with the show, this show was born out of me wanting to document my journey. When I quit corporate, to become a full time writer, I wanted to invest in myself see what I could do. And I published five books in that time, self published, taught myself the self publishing game, it was hard as hell and I still have not mastered it, I’m so lucky that this time around, when I put out my next piece of work, if I choose to do it, as a self publisher, I’m so happy that I have resources now, right back, then I didn’t know that there was somebody I could pay to format the book, I didn’t know that it’s probably not best that I’m my own editor. You know, I can edit and I’m pretty good, which is great. Because when I extend my stuff to the editors, usually very little that they have to give back. But still it’s great to have a second set of eyes, they catch stuff that you don’t catch, they let you know, like, you know, this sentence doesn’t make sense. It’s very confusing. It may make sense to you. But you have to take heed that you know, it may not make sense to someone who’s outside of your own mind. You know, I didn’t know that. You know, I remember my first book, I used the Amazon cover, you know, and people could like, like, notice it right away, like, Oh, I know, you guys. It was so generic. But you know, I did what I had to do to get it out. And I went through my steps. And then, you know, I learned I met some people in the business, you know, they gave me tips of where to go to get different covers. And now I have a community, which is so amazing. And you know, thank God that I, you know, got signed, not just because I was realizing a piece of my dream, but because I was introduced to so many people that supported me, that let me support them. And we pulled our tools together. You know, I love writing synopses for my friends books. I love that. I love it. I love knowing that the person who created my cover is my home girl. I love that. I love knowing oh no, I got the name at the top of my head who I’m gonna go to formatting. I love that. I’ve got several people who can roll off my tongue that I can go to for a cover. I love that and who’s gonna work with me and who’s going know, I’m picky, who’s going to know I’m a back and forth kind of person who knows that, you know, I’m gonna start all over the place, and then I’m gonna narrow it down and it’s going to get clear, who can manage that, you know, their temperaments can manage that. I love that. I love that. So this journey has definitely yielded a lot of fruit. And I’m at the place where I’m just like, Okay, let’s look at the table that I’m building, and who I’m inviting to sit down. Because I’ve been building this table and there are times where I didn’t recognize that I was putting the legs on. I didn’t recognize I thought I was still chasing that I’m looking I’m like, no, no, no, the tables getting built. It’s getting built and let’s let’s invite some people to sit down and have a seat and bring their gifts to the table. And let’s let’s all eat together. And let’s pour it in together. And I love that idea. You know, again, if you followed me for any length of time, you know, I can’t wait to have a reason to cheer you on. I can’t wait. I want to see you go get that right now my timeline on Twitter. Oh my god, it’s full of people falling in love these fresh new relationships. Or maybe they’re not so new. They’re new to me. Right? Because people are at the place where they’re comfortable sharing it publicly. And I’m just like, oh my god, I get to watch ya’ll fall in love. I love this. I love this. It’s not just professionally but personally I love watching ya’ll fall in love. I hate people who are trolls and be like oh your girl ugly, or she fat oh, I thought you would do better all that. Like shut up, sit down, you probably you know miserable. But I love that and I want to do that for your dreams, your goals, your aspirations, you know you want to write for TV, I want to write for TV, let’s write for TV together.

Let’s create something, you know, you want to write music and you are you know recording and streaming your music. I love that, you know I want to support it. You know I don’t like the random like hey, listen to this. I’ve never met you never talk to you. At least get up in my DM and have a conversation and say how are you? I would like you to listen to it or whatever but don’t just like randomly stuff. And I get the random stuff right which I try not to black people who are like that because when I was doing my web series on YouTube, Saved by the blood when I was doing that I didn’t know how to go about stuff, right? So I was on Twitter randomly tagging people who just was associated with the business. And this one lady got so irritated with me. And you know, I mean, I guess now I can apologize or whatever, she probably forgot about it, but so I get it, I get it, because you don’t know how to do it. And, to this day, I kind of still don’t really know how to do it, which is why I have someone who handles marketing, thank God for chass. But we’re building these tables. And sometimes I’m like, I’m gonna build my table, you build your table. And like, let’s just push the tables together. Let’s just scoot the tables together, and, you know, share our gifts across each other’s tables. Because I, you know, I don’t know if I’m egotistical, or I’m a Brooklyn girl. I don’t know. You know, Jamaican descent. I don’t know, I don’t know what’s contributing to the fact that I can’t stand, can’t stand sitting at anybody’s feet waiting for them to recognize the gifts that’s within me. Like, that irritates my soul. And I have a very hard time maintaining that. Look at me, look at me, look at me, can’t you see my gifts? Can’t you see what I can contribute? Can’t you see that, you know, I’m worth your investment. Can’t you see I’m worth your time. Can’t you see I’m talented. I am like, over it. I’m so tired of it. So tired of it. Because I know my worth. I know, I know that in the areas in which I practice I’m KickAss. I know that. Okay, I know, I’ve been doing it long enough. I’ve seen enough of the work. I’ve got my feedback enough. I’ve, you know, made my critiques had other people critique, I’ve seen enough to know that now I do this, whether it be writing books, and telling stories, whether it be creating ideas for television, whether it be podcasting, sharing my dream, sharing my goal, sharing what I’ve learned, speaking in front of a crowd coaching, I do this, I do this. And so if you are not going to like sow into me, because I’m showing you I do this, that’s cool. You don’t have to ride this train, but the train is going to go regardless. Okay, we’re moving regardless, and I got dinner plates on mine, okay, we’re eating, we’re eating. And it took me some time to realize it in this season. Because like I said, I’ve been here before, you know, when

I quit corporate, I was thinking this way I’ve been here before, you know, there’s several times where I have to be reminded, and you know, I feel like spring is a good time. You know, we’re rolling in the summer, the sun is out, the energy is flowing, you know, let’s take that energy. Let’s use it. Let’s give ourselves fuel and momentum, to get to the next level of our table, of ours, build what you want. Build your dream, you know, I’ve talked about before, what my circle is looking like, and I wish I could find that episode. But I ain’t got that kind of patience to go look for it. But you know, where I was talking about what I wanted my circle to look like and what pieces I want there and how I want it to flow. And it’s really looking like that. Now I was talking to my girlfriend, Deidre last night, and we had this long conversation, and we just laughed, and we talked about our strengths and our struggles and our loves. And, you know, we were brutally honest about who we were and what we were feeling and what we didn’t understand, and how we were working through it. And I love that for us. I love that because we’re each other’s safe spaces. And when we get off the phone, we are empowered to make changes to move forward to flip things around in our minds, so that we can better evaluate what it is that we’re looking at. We’re using each other’s experiences to switch up our glasses, so to speak, to be able to get more of a 360 view of our situation, so that we can move forward. You know, I saw on this one guy’s Instagram, he posted a clip and I think it was Rick Ross, who was speaking. And the quote that stood out to me was when he said, You know, I don’t And then don’t get me wrong, right? I’m not putting quotes up because this may not be like, perfect, but it was something to the effect of like, I don’t care if it takes one year, six years, 10 years, 20 years. I’m not trying to move fast or quickly. I’m trying to move correctly. So maybe he said quickly and correctly, because that sounds like real poetic. Like, I’m not trying to move quickly, I’m trying to move correctly. That’s more poetic to me. So we’re gonna go with that. We’re gonna go with that. And sometimes we’re in such a rush to chase that dream. Such a rush to reach that pinnacle. Not that you shouldn’t have the gusto to go get it. And especially when you know that there’s another goal behind it. A lot of us were like, yeah, I want to reach this, because this is going to help me get to that. For me, I want to reach this. And I’m not necessarily sure what the that is. But I know that that exists. There is something behind this. There was a time when I was scared to reach a goal, because I thought that there was nothing else after that. And that was the pin, what am I gonna do? But I’m older now, why is now it’s like, oh, there’ll be something. There’ll be something, something to do after that trust. But yeah, what I love to, you know, live as a writer and make a living strictly off my writing and podcasting. Absolutely. I would love to create show content for television regularly. And that be my regular nine to five, that I’m creating content, I’m selling content. And I’m moving to the next content. And maybe I’m contributing to some of the scripts and, you know, some of the directing and some of the details. I was watching something on directing yesterday. And I was like, whoo, I think I could do that. So maybe that’s my that afterwards.

I don’t know. But I’m very excited that there are things and I’m more focused on moving correctly. Will I make mistakes? Absolutely, but correct for me, correct for because a lot of my mistakes I took listen, my first novel, In Her Makeup, I self published that. It’s still out as self published, by the way, so please pick it up. And if you pick it up, and you read it, please leave me a review, it definitely could use some more reviews. And again, that’s In Her Makeup. It’s also on Audible if you’re an audible listener. But I swear, I uploaded that book like 16, 17 times, because I don’t know how to format. Okay, I don’t know how to format for a book. And so what I kept doing is I put it up, and then they give you the like, the draft or the whatever it’s called the proof. And it will look jacked up like pages have done, I mean like, okay, and I had to like look and say, All right, if I move this this way, and do this that way, then how does it look. And then I would have to put it up and it takes like half a day like to put it up and then for them to go through and say your proof is ready, and then send it back to you or more than half a day, nights, I would have to go to sleep and just wait for it to come back. And then when you do the cover, having to send the person who’s doing your cover the amount of pages that it is and so that they could do when the right size, but even then sometimes it doesn’t, Amazon doesn’t take it as the right size. And so you have to make adjustments. And you know, and then if you want to do audible, you have to change the size, because audible covers take a different size than the Kindle cover or the paperback cover it’s a lot, it’s a lot. But I had to figure it out. And I had to study it, and I had to do it. And it will forever be one of my proudest moments to still know that that book is out. It’s published, it’s available for sale. It’s when you know, some people have looked at my cover and been like, you know, maybe you want a different cover. Maybe people are just tired of seeing this cover. If you change the cover, maybe you’ll get more sales or whatever with this book. And it’s a possibility and I contemplated, I contemplated I just have to make sure that the cover that’s on now, I have a copy somewhere in my library so that I could keep it because my home girl is on that cover. And I was like in dire need of someone, the person that I wanted to be on the cover, like backed out on me and said I couldn’t use that picture at the last minute. And my home girl was like, you can use whatever picture you want. And I was like, Oh my God. And you know, I just went through her pictures and we found something. And that means a lot to me. You know, there’s a story behind that there’s a love behind that, there’s a connection behind that, there’s a bond. And I have so much pride in that piece of work. And it took me so long. I was writing that book forever. Forever. Because I didn’t know when I was going to publish that book I wrote it took me a couple of years. Couple of years. So when I got with a publisher, and they was like, we want you to put out a book every month. I was like, Yeah? I ain’t doing that That ain’t my style. You know I need 80 drafts. Now granted, I finally got the hang of not needing 80 drafts. But I still you know I’m not really at the place where I’m putting out a book a month because I have a life outside of writing, right? I have to work for my sponsor, I have to earn the money that allows me to invest in my writing, earn the money that allows me to maintain my lifestyle so that my writing isn’t stressful because I can’t pay my bills or I’m struggling to pay my bills, or I absolutely need to pay my bills or what I produce. So I’m creating a life where my creativity can flourish and it’s not stressful. And I’m still trying to balance that, still trying to figure it out. But now that I’m more concentrated on building my table and aligning myself with like minded people, I see the flourishing. You know, for those of you who don’t know, I finally finished Savage Fever, I finally finished up the finale, it’s, it’s written, it’s gone to readers, I’ve gotten some feedback, I did my read through, this week it’s going to the editor. So it’s looking like, you know, Fourth of July weekend release, maybe, I don’t know, let’s see, I’m gonna put in the atmosphere.

And I’m on to the next book. And I’m not sure if I’m going to self publish that next book, or if I want to do it under someone else, or whatever, but I’m looking at my table and how it’s being built in who I’m aligning myself with. You know, I have some really good friends in the industry who are just like my loves, you know, Aubrey Pen, Chastity Snow, or who goes by Simoni. You know, Katrina Anderson, I so much love her. She goes by Kayshanae or Kayshane, she is an amazing writer. And trusts me with her synapses, every time I love that, I so love writing for her it’s great. And, you know, Butterfly Brooks, that was like my mentor, when I first got in the industry, like she really pointed me in the right direction got me aligned with the right groups, and a lot of people that I’ve met since then I’ve met because of the seeds, she’s sowed in me, and told me where to be, and who to talk to, and who to query to get, you know, a publishing deal. And she really believes in my work, and I’m just so grateful, so thankful that I’ve had these people in my life, KL and just everybody Ashantae just everybody who, Jessica, who’s just like, I don’t know, I just love Kima Oh, my God, I love Kima she’s so sweet. But anyway, right, we’re not going to turn this into a whole shout out session. But I already did. But anyway, just, you know, building the table of just like minded souls, and people who are chasing their dreams and people who are happy to be a resource and happy to accept you as one of their resources. My girl went to, like, you know, just having personal conversations and, and having people to talk to to know what it is to be a writer and balance your personal life. And, you know, not quite having the solution. But, but making sure that you get that to yourself. And that’s all part of my building. It’s all part of my building. Because, you know, I’ve recognized that there have been some works, I’ve done some stuff, which you know, Simoni is very clear about very, very clear about that I’ve done some stuff that wasn’t truly respected when I did it. And then platforms were created afterwards. So I’ve recognized that there is an element to my DNA that has innovation within it. And so I am a builder. I am a builder did things you know, I created way before Empire, I created a television show that’s very similar, whatever, you know, I remember getting torn down because I was releasing episodes of Savage Fever, and that they were short episodes, and they were only about like, 13,000 words. And for you guys who don’t know, you know, that’s probably not even a novella. Right? It’s, it’s a short, but I was doing it on purpose, because I wanted it to mimic television right and have these episodes. So if it took you about an hour to read, that’s great, because by the hour television show, and that’s where my mind was. And I remember getting totally disrespected, about the releasing that in the way that I did. And then, you know, not long after that Amazon created a platform for writers to release stories in episodes, and release shorts that contribute to these episodes. And of course, you know, the person who, you know, basically poked fun at me for what I was doing never turned around and say, oh, you know, whatever. Maybe they don’t believe in a new platform or whatever. But I recognize that innovation is within me. And you know, sometimes we let the world convince us that recognizing our innovation or recognizing our gifts is conceit. And oh, you tooting your own flute, man, if you don’t represent you, and tell the world about the things that you are able to do, who will ever know who will ever know to at least investigate to see if what you say is true. You know, when I put out a book, what I’m saying to the world is I can write, I can tell a story, and I’m asking you to read my book and investigate what I’m saying is true, because I damn sure can it damn sure can. And I want that for you. I want you to know, like, you damn sure can do this. This is what you do. You’ve been doing it for this long you’ve been studying your craft, you even got degreed in your craft, you got certified you got you, you made the right connections, who people who taught you either through mistakes and messed up, you know, I’ve had messed up relationships with writers where it was just like, oh, never do that again.

But it’s lessons that needed to be learned, ways that I needed to learn to maneuver mindsets that I, you know, didn’t fathom but needed to become familiar with because they were different from mine. And it helps me in navigating the industry, which you know, I don’t know everything. I’m not perfect. I’m still struggling in some areas, but I’m happy. I’m happy because I’m living it I’m doing it finally broke whatever it was, that was the barrier that was stopping me from writing last year. You know, I feel like I broke that. I’m doing it. I’m good. And it wasn’t a block because I don’t believe in blocks. I believe like if you feel blocked to tell one story, start writing another and write out the crap. If it’s shit, write, the write the shit out to get it out your system to get to the good stuff. There’s something good somewhere, I didn’t have a block. I had a lack of motivation. I was overwhelmed. And I felt like I was obligated to do certain things. And I don’t work well with obligation, not when it comes to something that I love like that. Because putting something out just because it’s fast. So just because people are looking for it, it’s not my thing. I want it to be quality, because at the end of the day, the quality is the thing that sits with you. You don’t remember that I got it out once a month, you don’t remember that I hurried up and got it out because you were looking for it. You remember that the writing was shit. You remember that the story you read rushed. That’s what you remember. And that’s what you put in writing on the Amazon review. That’s what you put in writing on Good Reads. Those are things that end up sticking with me. So no, I’m not going to rush, I’m going to give you quality, and I’m going to figure out how to get myself to the table of quality before I produce something for you. Because I have to be proud of it, and I have to be confident and if you tear me down anyway, I have to be able to not agree with you. I don’t want to be like yeah it was kind of crappy. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to do that. So I’m building. I’m not chasing I’m building and it shows damn good.

So what are you building? What are you doing? You’re gonna put your table next to mine. Like what are we gonna do? Let me know. All right, that’s my soapbox. I’m pumped. If you hear music in the background is because the neighborhood is jumping for summer. But I don’t know if you care it is bassy though. I’m like That’s what’s up. Anyhow, I love you guys. Thank you and for all of you guys who think I still live in Delaware. I do not I live in Maryland and we will eventually change the intro, get off my ass with that. We will change it. Anyway, I love you until the next time when we can exchange power peace.

 

 

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Life As P...Episode 177