B In The Moment

I recently went out on a great road trip with a few of my co-workers (who I actually love) out to Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown, WV on—get this—a GHOST TOUR. I was scared to death during the whole ordeal, but we also went shopping, walked around and saw the sights, and caught up on a lot of girl talk. I loved the time away, but it all reminded me of just how important to truly be in the moment and enjoy the moments of each day. 

Now, I hardly go on any trip without Kandy Red (yes, my Macbook has a name to match its nice red cover). Even while I’m out on vacation, I check my email constantly for writing assignments, edits, and other requests. I’m normally still brainstorming and creating new content, even though I’m technically supposed to be on break. With freelancing, you almost can’t afford to break. At least I can’t yet.

So I really did consider packing up my laptop for this trip, even though it was literally only an overnight stay. But something told me, “No. Enjoy this time. The work will be there when you get back.” And I went on the trip and had a great time without worrying one bit about writing. I was able to fully enjoy my experience because I wasn’t distracted by other things. I was truly in the moment.

harper's ferry
The Potomac River in Harper’s Ferry, WV

Today, we live in a world surrounded by technology, and we completely immerse ourselves in it all. We stay bingewatching shows (I just started TV Land’s Younger with Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff). We’re always typing on computers, laptops, tablets or phones. We shove our headphones in to listen to music and block out our surroundings as we walk or work. Let’s be real. If we don’t have our phones, it’s almost a full blown crisis. On the rare moments I leave mine behind at home, I forget and still reach out for it several times. Then, for special moments, we all feel the need to record and take pictures of EVERYTHING at every moment.

I wonder, though, how many good moments we miss or don’t fully experience because we’re caught up in all of these things? Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to be able to look back on certain memories that we shot on our phones, but how much better would it be if we didn’t have to record every little thing? If we could just enjoy that moment right then without worrying about if the lighting is right or if someone’s head got caught in the shot?

ghost tour shepherdstown
Dana Mitchell, historical researcher featured on Destination America’s hit show, Ghosts of Shepherdstown

If I had taken my laptop on this trip, or checked my email on my phone worrying about my writing, I would’ve definitely missed out on some good conversations with my co-workers. I wouldn’t have been as focused on creating good memories and just having a nice time. I’m learning now to really enjoy each fun moment that I have, especially when I’m spending time with people that I care about. I don’t want to take away from these special times worrying about what all I need to get done, or getting the most pictures and videos to share on social media later. Work and whatever else will always be there. The special moments spent with the ones you love won’t.





Words of Wisdom: “Become a Student of The Game”-Dwayne Johnson

I LOVE Super Soul Sunday and Oprah’s Master Class on OWN! Hearing about and learning from other people’s experiences (from actors and artists to writers and preachers) has been so inspiring and uplifting. I definitely encourage you guys, if you have that network, to watch, or even check out clips on YouTube!

I just watched Dwayne Johnson‘s Master Class episode this week, and there were so many great gems. The one that hit home the hardest for me was becoming a student of the game, aka whatever field that you’re in or want to be in. For Dwayne, as he moved from being one of the biggest names in wrestling, it was acting. And he studied it all, from producing to directing to marketing, all so that he could be an even more valuable asset outside of just the acting piece. “Know your business,” Dwayne advised. 

Watch below!

Having your own site, business, whatever, requires you know a lot more that just the bare minumum, especially in the beginning with no money to take other people on. For me, running this site requires I’m not only a great writer, but that I know social media, search engine optimization, marketing, video and graphics, monetizing, and more. I’m always reading from other bloggers on how to make this site better, and continue to learn. That’s what you have to do in order to succeed, and then actually implement what you learn!

The same goes for you! No matter what you want to do, you have to KNOW YOUR BUSINESS. You have to learn as much as you can in order to continue to grow, and keep learning! Things change, and processes become outdated. It’s your job to stay on top of it all. So commit to being a student of the game, whatever game it is that you’re playing!  

Playwright Richard Torrence Discusses New Production, ‘Lord, Why Can’t I Do Right?’ and the Inspiring Power of Drama (INTERVIEW)

Another great interview for you guys! If you or someone you know is actively working towards bringing awareness to a cause, promoting self- esteem, or working to make a difference in this world, visit my Features/Submissions page to see how to be featured!

Today, we have playwright, producer, and founder of I’ll Make You Famous Entertainment, Richard Torrence!


Richard is the creator of upcoming inspirational and comical musical, Lord, Why Can’t I Do Right?, which premieres on June 17 at the Porter-Sanford III Performing Arts Center in Decatur, GA. The stage play, directed by Shelly Garret (Godfather of Urban Theatre, Beauty Shop), is a powerful work about two brothers with their own demons and contradicting motives, who collaborate to start a church. “I honestly didn’t know I had this in me,” Richard admitted, attributing the vision of the play to God. The play stars Ashford Sanders, who is known for his appearance on Season 5 of BET’s Sunday Best, along with other social media stars.

lord why can't i do right

A full synopsis of Lord, Why Can’t I Do Right is below:

In life’s journey towards our true purpose, we often encounter temptation, self-doubt and resistance from others, including family. But it is by the grace of God that we can overcome these challenges and walk into our calling. This play tells the story of transformation as characters overcome drug addiction, near death experiences, abuse, abandonment and loss on the path towards self-realization.​
Kenny, an unsuccessful man by society’s standards, is caught up by a fascination with women, drugs and money. Following an unfortunate near death experience, Kenny’s true purpose in life is revealed. Now, Kenny must spread the word about the grace and goodness of God.
Kenny’s brother, DeAundre, is a white collar hustler, who is extremely successful at scheming the community to support his fake businesses. For his own selfish reasons, DeAundre offers to assist Kenny in establishing a church to proclaim how he overcame death.
DeAundre conceives a manipulative plan to use his brother’s church to expand his phony empire, while ignoring Kenny’s supernatural gift of ministry. When two brothers with contradicting objectives collaborate to start a church, all hell is bound to break loose. It’s a grueling life to live when your own blood cannot be trusted.

With this play, Richard hopes that his words leave people feeling encouraged, but also remind them to live a life of service. He also wants the audience to get that judgment of others is completely up to God. “People have to realize that our past experiences mold us to be who we are, but you can’t allow your past to hinder your future,” the writer added. “God has [a] plan to use everyone and, in this play, you see how even those with a messy past are used to spread the message of love and salvation.”

In addition to balancing his work with this production and a job as a junior marketing executive, Richard also serves as the founder of I’ll Make You Famous Entertainment, which has been around for over 10 years. Over that time, the company has worked with a wide array of talent, including Patti LaBelle, Shirley Caesar, The O’Jays, and Lil’ Scrappy. Richard and his team use their gifts and talents to provide management and consulting to those who are in the entertainment industry or who seek to be.

The company opens the door for talented playwrights, songwriters, actors, and more to use their gifts to bless others in productions, something that is very important to Richard. “ I believe people need to see an enactment of everyday life in a comical fashion with a taste of drama,” he said. “This allows people to [not only] understand the issues, but allows them to have an open mind to the solution.”

Currently, Richard is working on the sequel to Lord, Why Can’t I Do Right? as well as other plays, using his gift of storytelling to impact audiences in a powerful way. That’s definitely inspiration to me, as a writer in my own niche, to continue to use my words to inspire, uplift, and help others as well!

If you’re down south, make sure that you go see Lord, Why Can’t I Do Right? on June 17 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center in Decatur, GA! There are two times for the show (3 p.m. and 8 p.m.), so stop in to see what sounds like an amazing production! Tickets can be purchased here. You can also check out more updates on the play on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


OITNB’s Danielle Brooks Pens Inspirational Letter to Her 15-Year-Old Self

Orange is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks writes a powerful letter to her 15-year-old self with some pretty great life lessons learned!

I’m really in love with Orange is the New Black‘s Danielle Brooks (who plays Taystee on the show). From the first time I saw her, I immediately connected to her. One, she was dark chocolate and cornbread fed like me, and seemed so confident in herself and what she had to offer. That inspired me to do the same. Two, she’s so incredibly talented, not only as an actress but a singer too! Three, she stands up for various causes, and encourages other women to love themselves.

But Danielle, like all of us, didn’t always have it so together. We all went through our rough teen years, and would go back and tell our younger selves so much if we could! Danielle penned a letter to her 15-year-old self for Refinery 29, explaining some of the things she wish she knew back then.

Check out some highlights from the letter below!

Why Danielle wished she had journaled throughout her life:

“You don’t know this yet, but one day you will write a book. The writing will be so much easier because you took a little extra time out of your day to journal. And when you get older, you’ll laugh at how boy-crazy you were and how many times you threatened to run away from home.

Danielle Brooks
Danielle Brooks / Refinery 29

On doing what you want to do regardless of other people’s opinions:

You really quit cheerleading because of how you felt you looked in your skirt? Okay! Never quit anything again because you’re scared of what others might think of you — unless you become a stripper, only exception. But even then, quit because you want to.

To never shy away from who you are:

“You are different, Danielle. You are not an ordinary 15 year old, and that is okay. That doesn’t make you better or less than anyone. But what you must not do is dim your light. You have a lot of love to give and believe it or not, it is not as easily accessible for others to give the same. People have a lot of hang ups that will make them guarded, but continue to operate out of love. It will always win.”

To cherish your family while you still can:

Keep up with your family. Pick up the phone as much as you can. Reach out as much as you can. They will be the only people that will consistently love you and be there through the good and the bad. Never stop praying for them.

Danielle ends the letter with one final good piece of advice. “One last thing, follow this mantra until your final year: Stay fearless and keep swimming,” she wrote.
I needed to read some of this right NOW!

Sorry, the “Perfect Moment” to Work on Your Dream Will Never Come

“I’ve been wanting to start a blog like you do,” a friend told me a while back. “I’m just waiting for the right time. Need things to settle down a little bit, and then I’m going  to jump into it and make it happen.”

I understood where she was coming from. I’ve been there. When I was younger, I jumped right into creating The Spotlight, but was hesitant to take on other writing jobs thinking that I wouldn’t be able to handle the blog, studying and being involved at college, AND writing for other sites. I thought, “Maybe I should wait until after I graduate, and my workload slows down a little bit.” (Spoiler alert: it didn’t.) I took a chance and signed my first real freelance gig at the top of 2012, soon realizing that I could handle it. It took some A LOT of work, but I managed to make it happen.

Same thing happened when I got into the REAL, real world after college. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough for certain writing gigs. That I needed to study and become stronger like this writer and that one. That I had to be 150% percent perfect in order to make it, and, until I was, there was no sense in going after certain opportunities. There was no point in attending different blogging conferences to network with other people. I hadn’t “made it” yet. The moment had to be just right. I had to be just right.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t grow in whatever your craft is. You absolutely should be working to better yourself as time goes on. But I can only imagine how many opportunities I missed out on waiting for me to “get my life together.” Sometimes, I think about different chances I could’ve had if only I had gone after things in spite of my feelings, and it kinda gets me in my feelings. So let me give this to you right quick:

In case no one ever told you, THE PERFECT MOMENT DOESN’T EXIST. 

female blogger

You’re still going to have the job, and the bills, and the volunteer work, and the kids, and whatever else.  I’m basically in the same boat (minus the kids part. One day, I pray, but definitely not right now!). All of that is not going to go away; it’s going to be a juggling act for sure. At the end of the day, life isn’t going to just stop and wait on you to figure things out. You have to be confident working towards your new venture, and figure out how you can personally balance it all. You’re also have to realize that you’re not going to know how to do it all when you first start out, and that’s okay! Point blank, if you see yourself going in a new direction, or starting something new in your life, GO FOR IT! Don’t wait for an “ideal time,” because it truly will never come. You want to start a blog? Start one. You want to work towards opening your own business? Do it. You see yourself creating your own YouTube channel and killing it? Make it happen.

How? Here’s a few tips:

  1. Don’t let the fact that you’re a beginner or rookie sway you. There will always be room for improvement, and you’ll find ways to work more efficiently as time goes on. You’re not going to know how to make every little piece of your goal happen at the very beginning. I knew NOTHING about running a blog, and how much it would take to seriously pursue and promote it. Google became one of my best friends, and I read articles and took classes (and still am). I slowly but surely learned what to do, what not to do, and what worked best for me. But I had to start somewhere. We all do.
  2. Be real with yourself about what you can seriously sacrifice to make time to work towards your new goals (i.e., cutting out TV/Netflix time, getting off social media, making time at etc.). Make your weekends more productive instead of just sleeping in and chilling after the stressful week. I know it’s hard, but make those sacrifices if you really want to try your hand at a new thing.
  3. Find ways to be more efficient in your work. Once you figure out days or times that you can work on your goal, figure out your best process on how you can get things done in bulk ahead of time. Case in point, for this site, I now use my down time to create and batch content for the days ahead (especially for things like #MondayMotivation and Words of Wisdom to be released each week). I got that from a masterclass from style blogger/influencer Mattie James. Literally, something that small (and seemingly common sense if I think about it for real) changed my life when it came to writing. That way, I’m not rushing to do things the day of, and I have time to work on even more posts for the future! Figure out your best process, and get things done.

At the end of the day, the gist of this is not to wait for the perfect time to do something new. Stop waiting for the right moment, because you’ll be waiting forever, and opportunities WILL pass you by. Put aside excuses or reasoning, and go after whatever sets your soul on fire. As time goes along, you’ll hit a few bumps and get a few bruises (or a lot probably), but you’ll get stronger and wiser. Never “perfect,” but definitely BETTER. But you can’t do that if you’re always waiting for the perfect moment. 



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