Guess who saw Drake live in concert, TWICE?

Guess who saw Drake live in concert, TWICE?

So Drake came to London for his Assassination tour and since he was doing a total of seven shows, my friends and I knew we were always going to more than one show. Cause it’s Drakeeeeeeeee, so we thought why not spend our coins seeing that fine ass man perform more than once?

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I went to his first show on the 1st of April and his last show on the 11th of April last month. This blog post is long overdue but I’ve just been so busy that I didn’t have the chance to write about the nights sooner and export some of my Snapchat videos.

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But anyways, back to the concerts!

Drake performed well at both shows that I went to, but I will say that I definitely preferred the last show. The energy that night was absolutely amazing and I mostly definitely believe that it was because I had alcohol in my system which was very much needed!

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He performed songs off his recent album Scorpion for both nights, which was okay but I got really excited when he took us all the way back down memory lane and performed songs off his old albums Take Care, Nothing Was The Same, More Life, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Views. I truly had the time of my life performing songs just as loud as Drake was. He brought out a lot of artists, mostly UK ones but Future came out on night 1 and J Cole was brought out to close the show on night 2 which was a great surprise!

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Quick breakdown of the nights:

• Venue: 02 Arena

• Rating for Night 1: 7/10

• Rating for Night 2: 9/10

• Duration: Just under 2 hours

As per usual I’ve attached videos from the concerts. Both night one and two videos are included.

– Jo xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Marathon Continues…

The Marathon Continues…

So for the past two weeks, I have been mourning for a man that I did not know personally nor a man I’ve ever spoken to in this lifetime. I also have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Nipsey Hussle, not because I didn’t like the man, but simply because he was one of those artists that I didn’t find the time to listen to when he was still alive. And I really hate that this tragic event is what made me start to appreciate his music because he was a great, talented rapper! A really great one. I also knew of Nipsey because of his relationship with a woman, who I believe is one of the most beautiful women I have ever laid eyes on,  a true natural beauty – Ms Lauren London.

I was completely aware of their relationship like many people were. And I am truly heartbroken for Lauren. I’m heartbroken for her, their kids, Nipsey’s mother, brother and his entire family. I can’t even imagine the type of pain Lauren is going through, losing her soulmate like that, someone who she called her sanctuary. Do you know what type of man you have to be, to be a woman’s sanctuary? That right there is a REAL MAN. A real, rare man.

Hearing her speech at Nipsey’s memorial really had me crying like a big baby. The entire memorial had me crying. But it also made me realise how great of a man Nipsey truly was. An extremely intelligent man. He was someone who loved others, respected others and protected others. He gave back to his community and uplifted others – to put it simply, he was a real nigga and it’s so terrible how he died. But his legacy will truly live on forever. Not just through his music, through his children, through his family but through all of us who recognise how great of a man he was. An inspiring man who never folded.

I didn’t have much to write in this post but I knew that I wanted to write something because Nipsey and his family have been on my mind and in my prayers for the entire duration of this month so far. There are times where I’m just doing me, living my life and then I’m hit with the sudden fact that Nipsey’s really dead. And he’s never coming back. But I know he’s in a much better place. A place much better than this cruel world we live in.

Rest in Power, Nip. You won’t be forgotten. The marathon continues!

Jo xo

Competition in the African-American & Urban Fiction Book Industry

Competition in the African-American & Urban Fiction Book Industry

Okay… I’m going to keep this particular blog post short and sweet today because this particular topic tends to get associated with a lot of negativity and that’s not what I’m about at all.

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Competition in this book industry, that I happen to be a big part of, wasn’t something that I really used to think about until last year. Take into consideration that I’ve been writing under Royalty Publishing House for 3 years. (Yes, that’s my job! I write novels for an American publishing house.) It will be 4 years in April that I first signed with Royalty.

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When I originally started, my main focus (still my focus till this day in fact) was just publishing books and securing the bag while I did it.

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The charts weren’t something that really got to me, not even when I first hit number one with my book. I was still just focused with trying to earn more and get more readers. When I first got signed I didn’t even know about the charts, my publisher was the one that directed me to them and fully educated me about how they work.

Last year though really opened my eyes to just how competitive this industry can get it. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s always been competitive but because there are so much more writers in this industry, the competition is even more than it used to be. And with more competition, unfortunately, comes more negativity.

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The way I handle competition in the industry I write in?

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I don’t.

I focus on myself and stay in my own lane. No matter how many number ones I get from this day forward (or don’t get), I’ll always remain humble. I’ll always remain true to me, myself and I. You’ll never see me forming cliques and trying to appear superior to every other writer in the game. You’ll never see me beefing other authors on Facebook, cursing them out because that’s just not me. If I have an issue with you, I’ll make it known in our private messages. It’s not something the whole entire world needs to see. Focusing on myself means I can focus on my craft, my brand and my readers – because that’s all that truly matters to me in this industry.

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Lala Milan made a really valid point at a BET discussion panel that I’d like to end off with here:

“When we can all come together as a collective you automatically have magic. Because you can teach me something that I don’t know and I can teach you something that you don’t know, but you so busy afraid that I’ll take the spot when there’s so much space… That you’re trying to withhold your knowledge from me, but guess what? I’m going to learn it, with or without you because I’m that hungry and if you’re as hungry as me and you’ll stop trying to starve everybody around you, we can all eat.”

– Jo xo

Cheating…

Cheating…

Now look, this isn’t going to be a whole blog post about me bashing men and screaming about how all of them are trash because believe me, I’ve done enough of that this year. Seriously lol.

This is my last blog post of the year so I thought why not end it on #WhatJenThinks? Since I haven’t done one yet I thought why not?

When it comes to cheating, I’ve fully understood that both parties, male and female are just as bad as each other. Men cheat. Women cheat. Why? I’ll never fully understand or want to understand. But what I will say is this… when someone cheats the first time, don’t give them the opportunity to do it a second time by staying with them.

I think the dumbest excuse I’ve ever seen when it comes to cheating is, “What about the kids?”

What about them?

I’m sorry but staying in a relationship just for the sake of children is absolutely ridiculous. Staying in a relationship that has been broken and made tainted due to a partner stepping out on another partner is stupid. Your children don’t deserve to be in an environment that is now toxic and contaminated. Contaminated with lies and distrust.

And even if you don’t have kids with someone, staying in a marriage just for the sake of not wanting to ruin your bond, is bullshit. The minute your partner decided to step out on you and sleep with someone else was when your bond died. There is no bond. It’s over. They let it go so it’s only common sense that you let it go too.

Me personally, I would never give someone who cheated on me, a second chance. I don’t care how much time, history or love we have between us. Clearly all of that wasn’t enough to stop you from staying faithful to me so it won’t be enough for me to stay right by your side. Call me harsh, heartless or whatever else you want but I’m just intelligent enough to know that one you cross me once, you won’t ever be able to do it again.

I think the number one thing that I want all women to always realise is YOUR WORTH. Stop allowing yourself to be subjected to more hurt and pain by allowing men to take you for an absolute dickhead. Because by staying in situations where you’ve been cheated on time and time again, you’re allowing yourself to look dumb.

It’s easier said than done to actually get up and leave someone you love, but what shouldn’t be easier said than done is loving yourself. Love yourself enough to know that enough is enough. You shouldn’t constantly be going back and forth with your so called partner about cheating every single month. Your partner isn’t your partner anymore. He’s everyone he’s decided to mess around with partner.

Love yourself ladies! It’s the way forward.

– Jo xo

 

So you want to be a writer…

So you want to be a writer…

I remember when I first started writing on Wattpad five years ago, and the number one question that I kept on receiving was – How do I start writing?

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I always found it quite strange that people would come to me for advice on how to start writing? Mostly because I didn’t actually think people would want to listen to me and follow what I had to say. Also in my mind in order to start writing, you just need to start – no?

But over the years I’ve realised that it’s not as easy as it is for some. I can even admit that before I published my first novel on Wattpad, I was afraid. Afraid of what people would say about my work and afraid that no one would actually read it. Like absolutely no one. And its that fear of no one liking or reading your work that stops many people from having the courage to start writing today.

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So I’ve decided to give my personal top five tips on how to start writing:

1. Have a clear understanding of why you want to start writing

So why do you want to start writing? There’s no point of wanting to know how to start if you don’t know why you want to start in the first place. For me personally, I wanted to write because I needed an escape from life. A big one. I never really found my life overly interesting. I just believed that I was a normal, average girl with a mediocre life. Writing started off as a way of self-therapy and just an opportunity to experience a new way of living. I also knew that by publishing my work on Wattpad, my goal was to entertain people. I didn’t expect to get a large following on Wattpad, I was just grateful to have my first ten followers. Now I have over 50,000 followers and that’s way over ten, LOL!

So why do you want to start writing? Do you want to entertain people or do you just want to entertain yourself? Either way, it’s important to know why you want to start or you’re most likely going to get torn/lost during your hobby. So figure out exactly why you want to start writing.

2. Know exactly what you want to start writing

I would also say that knowing exactly what type of writing you want to do is key. There’s no point of you wanting to know how to start writing if you don’t know what you want to write?

Are you planning to write full-length novels, blog posts, poems, songs, short stories? There’s a whole range of things to choose from so it’s really up to you. Knowing exactly what you want to write will help drive you with your passion and your new hobby.

3. Have a notepad

I find it very funny when people claim to be writers but don’t even have a notepad. Fair enough if you’re the type of writer who types up your work straight away to your computer/laptop but having at least one notepad where you brainstorm your ideas is key. I also find it extremely useful to use my notepad when I’m having a serious writer’s block. A notepad allows you to get ideas out of your head that may be harder to get out if you just try to type things up straight away. Physically writing stuff down has always been therapeutic for me and since it was the way I first started writing my novels, it’s like second nature to me.

So head down to your nearest stationary store ASAP and get yourself a pretty notepad to start using to brainstorm and/or write in.

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4. Have faith in yourself as a writer

There’s no point what so ever in trying to write if you don’t believe in yourself as a writer. One question that I used to receive a lot on Wattpad was ‘What is your advice for new authors?’ and I think my answer strongly applies with this fourth tip.

‘My advice for new authors would be to never give up and always stay true to yourself. If you want to write a good story that no one has ever read before then you must have the confidence to do so. No one can write the book for you, you’re the one that wants to bring a story to life so you’re the person who must write it. Never give up and always have faith in yourself. I believe in you so you must believe in yourself too. Don’t give up. Do you think I would be as successful as I am today if I had decided to suddenly give up? No. Make sure that you actually have a passion for writing and being an author, and that you’re not just doing it for the funds. Trust me the funds are nice, but it’s not worth it if you don’t have a passion for writing. Money follows passion and not the other way around.’

The number one thing that I want to make clear from my answer is: No one can write the book for you, you’re the one that wants to bring a story to life, so you’re the person who must write it. 

Have faith that you are a great writer and you can get that first piece of writing done no matter what!

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself and just start!

I think the one misconception that people have about writing is that everything needs to come out perfectly. You need to know exactly how your novel ends, you need to know exactly what you want to blog about today, you need to perfectly illustrate your poetry down to an absolute T. – These are all big fat lies!

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You don’t need to be a perfect writer at all. Allow yourself to make mistake, in fact, be prepared to make mistakes! As a writer, I make mistakes all the time, whether it be in storylines or in my writing itself. Understand that you won’t always get it right the first time but that’s why practising is key! Don’t stop practising because the more you practise, the more you can learn from your mistakes.

This was quite a wordy blog post today… but I hoped this help! Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions that you may have. I’m always available to answer questions that people have for me and of course, if you are seeking any personal advice, just leave a comment down below.

– Jo xo