Inspiration

Consistency is Key

One of my biggest challenges as a blogger is my lack of consistency. It’s what comes to mind whenever I think of why my blog isn’t as successful as it should be. There are periods when I feel like a writing machine and periods when I rarely write at all.

Let’s look at the following table which shows the number of posts I published per year, along with the corresponding amount of views, since I started this blog in 2011.

Year Posts Published Views
2011 41 497
2012 76 19,199
2013 43 13,800
2014 31 14,268
2015 28 9,816
2016 46 7,882

We can see that 2012 was the high watermark with 2013 and 2014 following next in line. 2015 is interesting since it had the lowest number of posts, yet the number of views was still up from what I reached in 2016. 2014 had the second least amount of posts, but the second highest number of views. 2011 is noteworthy because I started this blog in September of that year. I was writing like a man possessed, although the quality of my work wasn’t close to what it is today.

Just imagine if I had maintained the same level of productivity I displayed in 2012. It’s very possible that I would have come close to hitting 100,000 views by now.

I try not to get too caught up in the numbers because the real measure of my blog’s success is how I feel about everything I write and the feedback I receive from my readers. On the other hand, it’s nice to keep track of my measurable progress.

One of the most amazing periods of growth in my blog, and in my writing life, occurred during the summer 2015 when I posted daily from June 28-July 7. To this day it remains the longest stretch of uninterrupted blogging I’ve ever done. Not only did I develop into an all-around better writer, but I gained many new followers during this period. After all this success, guess what I did?

I went cold turkey and didn’t write again until exactly one month later. Why would I stop after going on such a roll?

I stopped because I had a hard time feeling like I could live up to the pressure I imposed on myself.  I thought that I couldn’t write something that lived up to my readers’ expectations of what they had come to expect from me.

2016 was my worst year of blogging. Not only did I go months without posting anything, but the lag in writing made it that much more difficult for me to produce quality content when I was ready to resume. There were days when I felt like a zombie heading to the keyboard.

Just like laziness, a lack of consistency is a surefire way to halt your goals. We all have what may appear to be valid reasons for not maintaining consistency in certain areas we’re looking to grow in.

In some ways, giving up on your goals after you start gaining traction is worse than not pursuing them at all. You’ve already proven you have what it takes, so why stop?

Just keep going.

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Inspiration, Writing

My Writing Dream

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Without dreams, everyone would wander through life without anything to look forward to. We’d all be content with going to work, paying  bills, and doing little more to make an impact on society.

Dreaming helps you to wake up every morning with a sense of purpose knowing that you’re getting one step closet to achieving your goals.

One of my biggest dreams is to become a great writer. I want to host a successful blog with thousands of followers, write multiple books, and be on the cover of publications such as The Writer Magazine and Writer’s Digest.

I want to be invited back to my alma mater, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, to speak with students about how to  become a writer. I want to have book signings where I meet fans and listen to their stories about how my writing has changed their lives.

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I want to appear on the cover of this publication.

By the time I die I want to leave behind a written legacy that will stand the test of time. It may sound like a lofty ambition, but I’m up for the task.

I’m smart enough to realize that there is a lot of room for improvement in my writing. I need to perfect certain aspects of my craft and become a more meticulous self editor.

Writing is incredibly difficult work. There are days when I struggle just to put down the right words on paper. Sometimes I look at my writing and wonder how I could’ve produced something that reads so awful.

When these moments come I’ll keep pressing forward. I’ll keep dreaming. I’ll keep writing.

 

 

Writing

A Blog Under Construction

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You may have noticed that the title of this blog is “Wrestling and All That Jazz.” However, my recent posts have been about anything but wrestling.

Wrestling has changed. It isn’t the same business that I grew up with. While the in-ring action is as good as it’s ever been the personalities just aren’t there anymore. This is more so the case in WWE, the world’s largest wrestling company.

I spent much of the last 20 years watching WWE religiously. Now I can hardly stomach it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’ll always be a WWE fan, but I just don’t have the time to dedicate to it as I once did.

Now I find myself at a crossroads in terms of redefining my blog’s identity.

My blog has undergone two name changes since its inception. It’s first title was the “Best Darn Multi-Purpose Blog Period,” which was reflective of the fact that I wrote on a variety of topics. I later changed it to “Wrestling and All That Jazz” to reflect the increasing amount of wrestling content I’d post.

I know enough about blogging and brand awareness to know I need to change my title to something that more closely reflects the majority of content I’ll be posting from here on.

So after spending lots of time in thought I’ve decided to change my title to…drum roll please…”Wrestling with Writing.”

The change will go into effect on tomorrow. I’m also looking at changing my blog’s design in order to represent the shift in tone.

I chose “Wrestling with Writing” because writing is something I wrestle with on a daily basis. Whether it’s mustering up the creativity to write a new blog post or piecing together the right words to form the perfect sentence, writing is a never ending battle I engage in.

Just as the winner of a wrestling match is rewarded with a championship belt, a writer’s championship comes in knowing that they’ve created a great work that will touch the lives of some unsuspecting reader.

While I’ll continue writing the occasional wrestling article I see myself exploring more topics similar to the ones I’ve written about over the last week. I enjoy sharing my views on writing and the positive feedback I receive from you all is a sign that this is the direction I should take for the remainder of my blog’s life cycle.

I look forward to learning more about myself and you all as we discuss our shared passion for this fascinating journey we call writing.

Writing

2014: My Year in Writing

While 2014 wasn’t my most prolific year in terms of blogging, it was certainly a productive year when it came to diversifying my writing portfolio.

I started out the year writing for Social Work Helper, a progressive online news site and Google+ news outlet. Their editor reached out to me in December of 2013 about my interest in writing for the website. I covered sports and entertainment news with a general focus on their philanthropic and community-based endeavors. It was a fun period where I learned a lot about producing content on a tight turnaround, plus it was the first time in years that I worked directly under someone in an editor-writer capacity.

Some of the highlights from my stint here included writing a story on Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee, which was then retweeted on Laughing Man Coffee’s Twitter account. Fox 31 Denver linked my Jan. 30 Peyton Manning article to a story they ran the day following Super Bowl XLVIII.

Read: Peyton Manning Gives Back with his Peyback Foundation

Come summer I was seeking new writing opportunities when an ideal opportunity presented itself. A college friend of mine who works as deputy editor for Huami Magazine, a bimonthly publication distributed across Guilford County, North Carolina, allowed me to start freelancing. So far I’ve written five stories, all of which have been well received.

Read: Tracy Darden of Live Life Foundation

As fall commenced, I found myself undertaking even more writing responsibilities when I began working on the production of my church newsletter. The monthly newsletter contains stories focusing on central topics as dictated by my pastor, as well as summaries of past sermons presented in a concise, easy to read format.

So what am I up to now, aside from writing this very post?

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the January newsletter, and beginning work on a biographical sketch I’ve been tapped to write for a friend’s upcoming foundation launch in February. I have several more writing projects in store for this year.

So while I only published a total of 32 blog posts last year, 2014 was arguably the most important year of my life when it came to the strides I made in my writing career.

Writing

Writing course opens new world of discovery

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Have you ever experienced a moment when all your preconceived notions on a particular subject were shattered?

I found myself in that exact situation Wednesday evening as I walked into class for a feature writing/blogging course I’m taking at a local community college. I figure it would be a good way to sharpen my skills since I do a lot of feature writing at my job and blog on a consistent basis. Little did I know this course would include some of the most powerful and practical writing advice I’ve heard in my life. My brian must’ve resembled a sponge for the 2.5 hours I was present because I soaked up everything.

I own numerous writing books and constantly surf the web for articles on how to improve my writing, but a lack of discipline and extreme case of laziness have prevented me from reaching the level I know I’m capable of as a writer. I feel this course will help me get back into the zone.

The course was more than I could’ve bargained for. For only $70 (registration fee) it felt like I received a one-on-one tutorial from the Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Our professor runs a freelance writing consultancy and is an author of three books and over 130 articles. She gave us three writing exercises that were each geared toward gauging our writing aptitude and comprehensive reading ability.

That alone would’ve made it worthwhile, but the real meat came in the lecture on feature writing. Even though I’ve written features in various publications since 2007, I was stunned to discover the amount of preparation that goes into crafting a quality piece. I learned how important organization and prewriting is to the success of the finished product. The majority of blogs I post mainly consist of my thoughts as they come to me at any particular moment. From here on I will try to conduct more sufficient planning for everything I post.

One of our assignments questioned our level of dedication to writing. It asked did we like to write, love to write, or live to write. I responded that I like writing, but want to get to the point where I love it and am able to make it a major part of my professional life.

There are many things I wish to do with my writing and for the first time in awhile I feel that I’m in a good place to begin chipping away at these dreams.

Can’t wait to see what is in store for the next five weeks!

Writing

Who says writing is boring?

“Writing is boring.”

I’m sure every writer has heard the above phrase uttered at least one time or another by a friend, spouse, classmate or coworker. They may have not meant any ill will, but deep down the comment struck a chord.

On last Tuesday I had the opportunity to address that comment, among other things, to a group of English majors at my alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University.  When I arrived for work that morning I had no idea I’d be speaking to a group of fellow Aggies about writing. Of course there was a story behind it.

I was on the front desk covering the phones when I got a call from a university English professor asking to speak to a “Jevon” Dove. I’ve heard enough people butcher my name much worse throughout my life!

I told the professor that they were indeed speaking to “Jeuron” Dove. They went on to explain that they were hosting a program that evening about careers in writing. Two of the original panelists had to back out due to various circumstances and their spots needed to be filled immediately.  I then learned that a former professor of mine (who currently teaches English) had recommended me for the spot.

I enthusiastically agreed to it, despite the fact I wouldn’t necessarily label myself as a public speaking guru.

I was joined on the panel by the English department chairperson and an editor from Press 53, a Winston-Salem based publisher. I appeared to be in some heavy company and was a bit intimidated. I represented the panel as a journalist, since that is what I have my degree in and the style of writing I have the most professional experience with.

It did feel somewhat strange being there since my current job description is that of an administrative support specialist. I previously worked as a staff writer, so I still had lots of real world advice to pass onto the students. Plus I’ve found myself taking on more writing responsibilities at my job as of late.

The program went great. We spoke to a room of about 15 students about the importance of writing in our careers.

One point we repeatedly stressed was that writing is everywhere around them and solid writing skills are essential to be successful in any corporate environment. More than ever, employers are looking for people to effectively get their message across to the wider public through the use of written communication.

We elaborated on how all forms of entertainment stem from writing. Nothing just pops out of thin air. A group of people have strategically written out a concept for the things we see so prominently in the mainstream. Whether it’s a movie, jingle or commercial, it all starts with writing. The program ended with a Q&A session and the students seemed genuinely appreciative of the time we spent with them.

Now back to the opening quote.

The power of writing is evident every time you see a scintillating headline about a political figure or celebrity on your MSN or Yahoo homepage. Its power is evident every time you log onto Facebook and Twitter. With social media giving access to anyone with a broadband connection, there has never been a period in history where writing is so important to almost every facet of our daily lives.

Writers have power. That goes for any journalist, author, blogger, screenwriter, copywriter, editor and other occupation heavily centered on writing. We have so much power and play an immeasurable role in shaping the perception of society.

Whenever I blog, my main objective is to convey my thoughts onto some soul within the blogosphere. I consider it pretty awesome if any post I write gets even one like or comment. It means that out of the millions of blogs in cyberspace, someone actually took out the time to read what I had to say. Whether I’m discussing the latest happenings in wrestling, politics or my daily life, I’m just trying to convince one person to think a little deeper about the world around them.

The world is a blank canvas and writers are the ones that paint it bright. That my friend is what makes our job anything but boring.

It's me!
It’s me!
General

MLK’s Dream and My White Friends

As I sit back and enjoy this time off from work, it only makes sense to reflect on the historic nature of the day. It’s Martin Luther King Day and the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Isn’t it ironic that Obama’s big day falls on the day that we celebrate the life of the man who in many ways paved the way for him to become president of this country?

On a personal level, I tend to see the impact of Martin Luther King’s dream whenever I think about my Caucasian friends, particularly the women.

I was brought up in a racially diverse environment. I attended a mixed elementary school that was located in what I’d now consider as a great side of town (Battleground Ave., Benjamin Pkwy., Friendly Ave., and West Wendover Ave. are considered the good sides of town in Greensboro). I grew up as a fan of wrestling which is a sport heavily dominated by whites. Many of my close friends and people I interact with in the blogosphere are white. In my lifetime I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter very few instances of what I’d describe as blatant racism, though I’m sure I’ve experienced  the more subliminal type many times.

One of the most important periods of my life began in the summer of 2007 when I started working at my local grocery store. Being that Reidsville is a mostly white (well maybe not) country city, most of my coworkers happened to be white. No big surprise there. But it was a big surprise once I got to form real friendships with them, many of which last to this very day.

During the weekends and after work, me and my coworkers would hang out and go to bowl or grab a bite to eat. We’d celebrate birthdays and went on trips. In every outing I was the only black person in our party. I never really stopped to think much about it and they would’ve loved me I was green. In fact, one of them actually told me such!

Then it hit me: If I was born about 25 years sooner, I would’ve likely been assaulted or discriminated against if I was seen in public with them. I may not have been able to even develop friendships with them at all. And that’s important because many of them have become an integral part of my life and I can only imagine how different my life would be without them.

Whenever I read about the Civil Rights Movement it really sticks out to me that one of the cardinal sins any black male could commit was to interact with a white woman. Emmett Till, a 14 year old boy from Mississippi, was murdered for allegedly flirting with one. A prevailing theme of the film The Birth of a Nation is that white women viewed black men as a fate worse than death. There is a scene where a white woman jumps from a cliff after being cornered by one.

Flash forward to the present.

Even though racism is still alive and well in America, society has made leaps and bounds in regards to race relations. Do I ever think racism will completely vanish? No.  There will always be those afraid to embrace anything that looks different from what they are taught to believe is pure. Those people will always influence their children and future generations to hate.

One of the proudest moments of my life occurred a few years ago when I was invited to the baby showers of two of my best friends. It was an honor because apparently I made enough of an impact in their lives for them to invite me to such an important event. Aside from the fathers, I don’t think men are typically invited to baby showers!

So I’d like to thank Martin Luther King for paving the way for me to be a part of the lives of some very special people. They have been such a blessing to me.

I took this photo during one of our outings a few years ago. Love these gals!
I took this photo a few years ago and attended both their baby showers.  Love these gals!
General

New Year, New Beginnings

Hi guys and gals. It’s been over two weeks since I last posted. Definitely a blogging no-no!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday season. I’m sure mostly everyone in this country is doing one of two things right now: enjoying what they got for Christmas and feasting on leftovers. I’ve done too much of the latter. I go back to work on Jan. 2 and am using this time to relax as much as possible and enjoy the little things in life such as sleeping in as late as possible.

When I look back at 2012 I will remember it as a year of change. In a sense, I guess every year is like that since I’d like to think I’m always growing in some form or fashion. I left behind my part-time job, went back to work at A&T and got engaged. The freelance writing goals I aspired didn’t take off the way I envisioned, but there was still a lot success in my writing this year. Plus I made some very important author connections which I’m  eternally grateful for.

My top goal for 2013 is to take serious strides in finding a full-time job that I love. My current job is great, but I can’t necessarily say that I see myself doing that kind of work for the rest of my life. I’ve been given strong hints that a more favorable position that I’m very qualified for may be opening in my department very soon, so I’m just going to continue to ride out the wave and give my best effort as always.

My writing goals for next year are pretty much the same as they were this year, except for more persistence. I think my blog would have to qualify as a huge success. I officially reached my personal goal of 50 followers a few weeks ago and now I’m looking towards 100. Another goal is to do a  revamping of the blog’s Facebook page. I don’t want it to only be a place where people can read my posts, but I want it to provide something unique and different from what the blog offers. Writing more essays and creative nonfiction and entering contests are definitely on my to do list.

And while I’m talking about goals, I want you all to know that this blog isn’t just for me and my thoughts. As I set out to complete my goals in the coming year I want each of you to do the same. Life isn’t any fun when  enjoying success alone. Therefore, I want to hear about all of the awesome things you achieve over the next 12 months.

On a more serious note, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to everyone who suffered the loss of a loved one this year. When I look back at 2012, I will rememeber it as being the year that so many people I know were affected by death. Within the last two and a half months my childhood pastor succumbed to lukemia, a friend’s wife passed from breast cancer, a friend died suddenly from a seizure and this past weekend, a college friend lost his grandfather to a heart attack. I’ve learned that death is very real.

And that’s not even mentioning the national tragedies we’ve experienced in Connecticut, Oregon and Colorado. Please take out the time to pray God’s comfort and peace for those experiencing their first holiday season without a precious loved one.

Since this will likely be my  last post of the year, I want to wish you all a happy New Year. Bring in 2013 like a rockstar!

General

My First Blogging Anniversary!!!!! Yay!!!!!

“Allow me to reintroduce myself.”

Those five words signal the beginning to one of the most iconic songs from multiplatinum rapper and business mogul Jay-Z (Public Service Announcement, Black Album). Those words are also the basis of what I’d like to address today. This month marks the one-year anniversary of The Best Darn Multi-Purpose Blog Period! When I decided to try my hand at this venture (following unsuccessful attempts in 2005 and 2009) I made up in my mind that I would see it through to the end. 107 posts later and I’m still going strong.

Blogging is one of the few things in my life that gives me absolute creative freedom to be my real self. The wit, honesty, passion, humor and, at times, weirdness you see in every sentence is how I truly am 24/7. I take extreme pride in writing a blog that offers up such a diverse range of topics. I also take great pride in the relationships I’ve made in the blogosphere. Though I’ve never met any of you in person, there is a bond in our written language that is just as strong as the bond I have with family and friends I see on a daily basis.

So I’d like to take a moment to thank every single person that has read, liked, commented or subscribed over the last year. My ultimate goal has always been to make this blog as accessible as possible. Having 39 followers and 37 likes on its Facebook page is a sign that I’m doing something right.

But in keeping focus on topic, I want to take a moment to share some personal things about myself. Of course, there are some things that anyone can pick up on from reading a sampling of my work. Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of all things relating to professional wrestling and anime (Japanese animation). You all know I love to write and have aspirations of becoming a successful author. In addition to that there are several things that you may not be able to immediately pick up on at first glance. I’ve always been honest with you all and I think it’s time I take you on a behind the scenes look into what goes on inside my head:

  • I absolutely love to read. To be honest, the perfect job for me would involve being paid to do nothing but sit and read books all day. To me, a perfect weekend is staying locked up in my room reading my endless collection of wrestling, music and anime-related books.
  • I’m addicted to Wikipedia. Even at work, I find myself having random thoughts that have nothing to do with my task at hand and then I’ll search Wikipedia to find out more about them.
  • I’m naturally more comfortable around women than men. A large part of it has to do with the fact it seems like a woman has always played an important role in elevating me from one stage of my life to the next. Plus my girlfriend (who I plan on marrying) has a ton of sisters, so I’m basically going to have eight sister-in-laws one day. Sounds like fun. Lol. The fact that every job I’ve had has been in a predominately female environment may have something to do with it too. Now that I think about it, most of my best friends are women.
  • I’m very much behind the curve when it comes to technology. I didn’t purchase my first flip phone until 2008. I’ve upgraded since then, but not by much. I’m currently on a $50 per month unlimited text/talking prepaid plan. I’ve also never once used Facebook mobile and still don’t see the need  in owning a smartphone or e-reader.
  • My favorite song is Leave (Get Out) by pop singer JoJo. For some reason I’ve been hooked to that song since the first time I heard it in 2004. The funniest part is that I’ve never been through any situation the song describes. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggWyUEuGcWY.
  • I listen to more Japanese pop music than any other genre. I have close to 300 J-pop songs on my iPod.
  • I’m big on treating every person special. I hate nothing more to come into contact with someone who thinks they are too good to speak to someone.
  • The most fun period of my life, aside from childhood and college years, were 2008-2009 and August 2011- May 2012. Those were the periods I did not have a full-time job and my daily routine consisted of working part-time as a bagger (which I loved), hanging with my coworkers and watching anime all day. That was the life!
  • To this day I believe that my five years of working as a bagger taught me more about myself and how to interact with others than five years of college ever did. I broke down and cried on my final day there because I loved that job.
  • My favorite TV shows are One Tree Hill, E.R. and Degrassi. And yes, I recently ordered season eleven of Degrassi.
  • I’m a perpetual youngster at heart (if you couldn’t tell by my favorite song and Degrassi) and watch large amounts of Teen Nick and Disney Channel. My biggest fear is to grow into an adult who punches a clock from 9-5 and doesn’t remember what it’s like to be a kid.
  • I strongly believe that parents should encourage their children in every dream they wish to achieve without any restrictions. If your child’s goal is to attend college halfway across the country, then you should let them. I think many kids have their dreams crushed by their parents before they ever get a chance to try.
  • I’m naturally indecisive. I know it’s not a good thing. I often feel like I have hundreds of thoughts swirling through my head, yet I’m uncertain about 90% of them.
  • I typically like to go order on the inside of  fast food restaurants, even when ordering something to go. I just don’t like using the drive thru.
  • I’m an usher at my church and am extremely nervous every time I do it for fear I will mess up.
  • I’ve never smoked.
  • My favorite anime series is Detective Conan (aka Case Closed).
  • My favorite wrestling match is the TLC match from the October 7, 2002 edition of Monday Night Raw. It featured Kane vs. Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Bubba Ray and Spike Dudley. Nonstop action from start to finish. Jim Ross called the match solo and did one of the best jobs of announcing I’ve seen.
  • I purchase all my anime (I never download it illegally) and have amassed quite the collection over the years. The following is a blog I wrote featuring pics of it: http://jeurondove.com/2012/04/24/a-look-at-my-freaking-huge-collection-of-anime/. Isn’t it beautiful?
  • The title of my blog is a direct takeoff from FSN’s Best D@#n Sports Show Period. I don’t curse so that is why I use the word darn.

Well, I think this is enough for now. Hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about your favorite blogger!!! Take care and thanks from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me for this long. I promise more good things are ahead.

General

Honoring God in my Blog

This morning in church my pastor made a statement about how your career, business and overall plans in life will only flourish after you incorporate God into them. What he meant by this is that we as people often try to make everything work ourselves instead of trusting in God and allowing him to do the work for us. Of course, any person with a dream should do the necessary work to make that dream into a reality. However, I do agree there are certain doors of opportunity that only the favor of God can open.

I want my blog and writing career to become as successful as possible, so from here on out I will be incorporating more things about my faith into this blog. The usual content that you all have come to expect from me won’t change, but you will see an increase of posts dealing with my belief in God.

I would like to reiterate that I am far from perfect and I make mistakes on a daily basis, but I sincerely do strive to be a better Christian and well rounded individual. The way I see it, if you enjoy reading my posts about wrestling, writing advice, inspiration, anime and the other various topics, then you should definitely enjoy my Christ-centered content. Right?

Am I saying that my blog will be an overnight success? Who knows. But I have to believe that God will somehow supernaturally bless the work I put into this since I’ve taken out the time to acknowledge him (and will continue to do so).

I’d like to close out by sharing a scripture that pretty much sums up my entire thought process. It can be found in Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”

Have a good day folks!