2019: WHAT WILL THE NEW YEAR COME OF MY BLOG

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“Narrowing down the topics.”


what’s to come

The end of 2018 is just a week away. And I will be planning my blog for next year 2019. And for the coming year, I will be narrowing down the blog to 6 topics not 12 spanning the year. And these 6 topics will be of the most popular from my current year. So instead of writing a post from 1 topic for the month, I will be writing posts for 1 topic every two months. And this is the change, the metamorphosis of my blog that will eventually narrow down to fewer topics. As of now, there are two topics in competition with each other to see which one will make the cut. I will also provide more video content as well. Feel free to drop a comment about the topics you liked. Continue to like, follow, and share my work. SEE YOU  IN 2019!!!


Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

Twitter Me: @2320howe

PROLIFIC WRITING: MY ROAD TO SUCCESSFUL WRITING

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“What feels like an eternity in my mind, has only been a day in real time.”


My writing career started when I first started to conceptualize a screenplay about a girl who is dealing with a stalker. Sending her reminders of her ex-boyfriend who was killed in a car accident the night they were together. Since then, I have written five more, two short screenplays (which one has been made into a short film and I am currently producing the second), contributed nearly 450 blog posts on my WordPress site, and wrote two books I self-published on Amazon. And even with that, I have yet to make a real living off of any of my writing. But then I looked back a few times at when I first started writing my work. And I see the year 2012, which makes me realize I have not been writing for long. That’s right, I have only been at it for six years. Actually not even six years, more like five and eight or nine months or so.

So what is it; why does it feel like I have been at it for years longer? Is it because I want it so bad that it is taking so long? Or could it be that five and a half years is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I have researched and found that the average screenwriting career is a ten year journey. You hear about novelist not receiving critical acclaim for their books until they are ten to fifteen years in the game. So for me, my little five and change is nothing. But where am I ranked so far? How do I know how much traction I’m really gaining? Of course I have showed my work to friends and family, but that’s them. How will I know what the market like in my writing? And yet again the question is, “Well, how much have I written?” To a lot of readers, two books are not good enough.

But look at the age in which I started. I was 25 years of age once I started writing, and now I am about to be 30 years old at the end of the month. And in society years it’s like, get your life together. But in writer years, it’s like oh stop it, you got time. But nonetheless, I’m putting in the work. I’m churning out material and putting myself in a position to let things happen to me. After I complete my next short film, I plan on finishing my comedy trilogy I wrote. In addition, I’ll try to punch out another, a drama I have been contemplating for a while. These are the four scripts I will try to sell, which will bring me up to nearly ten full length screenplays. It just hurts to see so many people around you doing what you perceive to be more in life. But for whatever reason, I never stop, and I always move on to the next story. Their lives never make me want to stop doing what I am doing.

And for that reason, I continue to write and write. I’m even shocked sometimes when I look at my blog and realize I am at yet another milestone for it as well. I have hit nearly 450 posts, close to 5,000 views this year, and nearly 1,000 visitors this year. Then I think to myself, “Some people have had their blogs for way longer than myself and can’t turn out much of anything. And still, with all the challenges, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If not for writing, I would be constantly stuck in my head. Because in the end, writing allows me to be honest in a society where you can’t be honest. You’re aloud to say things that would otherwise turn people away from you. It’s the freedom why I don’t want to stop. I can’t open my mouth and say as I please, but I could write what I please. And as long as I can’t talk without using my filter, everything will be channeled into text. In a solidarity space, where no one can control me, but me.


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INCREASING BLOG TRAFFIC: HOW I AM TRYING TO BUILD A TOPICAL BLOG SITE

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“Building takes time, but damn, I’m three years in!”


Since the year 2015, I have been blogging off and on. This year I’ve been more consistent on a daily basis. But now that it has been three years, I’m now trying to figure out a way to further grow my topical blog site here on WordPress.com My first year I had 196 views, 70 visitors, no likes nor any comments. But I increased my usage in the year 2016 and the result of that work was 2,005 Image result for blogging trendviews, 600 visitors, 121 likes, and 11 comments. Now that we are in the year 2017, I have really been active on my WordPress blog site. And since then I have raked in this year 4,976 views, 878 visitors, 109 likes, and 29 comments. So my next questions is, “What will the rest of the year, and 2018 hold in store for me?”

Because I look at all these blogs that stated that they received thousands of traffic in a year. But something about that didn’t seem right the more I thought about it. Then I heard how too frequent of blogging may cause your numbers to slow up. But my reply to that is, Image result for bloggingshouldn’t people want a base of topics for me to cover everyday. What type of audience wouldn’t want some good insight on a daily basis. So now I am left with all these questions on how to build my blog. For now, writing everyday has kept my mind sharp because I want to become a working screenwriting, playwright, and novelist. And I contribute to my blog posts everyday; meanwhile I am working on my next short film. When that is complete, I will be back to writing my screenplays and books.

What should I do? Should I stop writing for a while? Or should I have more patients and keep at it? Because at this point it is like a daily routine that keeps me consistent with my writing. I’m closing in slowly on a milestone of 7,000 views all time. I don’t know, I guess I get jittery, especially when I hear the success of other people’s blogs. Image result for bloggingBut you can’t get a good enough gauge of how long they have been blogging. I’m prepared to go the distance, but only if I had some time frame, with some advice on how to build. Some would say keep on my current path, and others might say change it up. Where are my successful people out there who have built theirs to thousands per month, hundreds of thousands, or even millions?

I know my writing has gotten better since I first started. And my base of information has grown as well. And to make things fair for readers, I provide them with a broad outlook on various topical issues. Even going as far as taking a stance on both sides of a topic. Then again, maybe I’m just overreacting to the slow move of my blog. Because here I am complaining about three years, better yet 2.5 years. And there are people who have been building their blog sites for 5-7 years, or even as much as 10 years. In the end, hopefully 2018 looks better than 2017. If that’s the case, then maybe, just maybe all of this is in my head. And everything I have doing up to this point won’t have been for nothing.


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https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/freedomless-speech/x/11885908#/

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FROM SCRATCH: HOW TO BUILD YOUR BRAND

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“Getting the right eyes at the right time.”


I have been building my social media since Summer of 2016. When I started, I had about 50 – 75 followers on Instagram, Twitter, and none on Facebook. Now my fan page on Facebook is 106, I have 159 followers on Twitter, and 370 Instagram. Now, you might want to ask, why so low? Why so few number of people following after continuous posting for the past year? Well, social media building takes time, and what I mean by time, I mean years. You can be building for five to seven years to generate a following for yourself. Even with my blog, I have started in 2015, I am just now making some decent traction.

Well, how are ways to build some type of audience. And what do I mean by audience, I mean pulling together a group of followers where they not only follow, but you influence their buying decisions. That is a very valuable Related imagesocial media following, when you can influence people’s buying decisions.
For example, people with 1 million followers on Twitter or Instagram can be paid for postings. Even at ten percent of the audience spending at least $100 per year, that’s Related image$10 million dollars. Imagine being able to make brands $10 million because you can influence a buying decision. Now imagine people with 10 million followers, or even the major celebrities with 50 – 100 million followers.

But as for me, with such a small community, I am always seeking ways to grow myself. My blog is probably getting the most traction at the moment. Last month I hit 1,000 views in a month. A feat that has taken me three years. And I am only making more head way now because I post at least one Related imageto three times per day. Now I would like to ask a question of you all. If any of you have built a pretty successful platform, how long did it take you? What was that or those things that kind of put you over the top? Because we all have something that does it for us. For me, that time has not come for me to be over the top.

Currently I am working on my Indiegogo campaign for my next short film, “Freedomless Speech.” And after I am finished with this, hopefully I can build my social media from videography projects. So with my videography, blogging, novels, and photography, should be able to build a nice community for myself. And in the end, that is the purpose. I would really like to see myself as one of these influencers cross my social media platforms. I am currently working in the Indie film landscape. And I have given myself a time frame to work in my field. 10 years from the start of my career pursuit. So by the time I turn 33/34 years of age which is three years, I want to already be in the industry working. I guess only time will tell.


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THEIR LIVES AND MINE: WHY DO PEOPLE’S LIVES MY AGE SEEM MORE INTERESTING THAN MY OWN

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“I wonder if they are ahead or am I just paranoid.”


You ever get the feeling like everyone is doing more than what you are doing? Like their lives are more interesting than your own life. I will go onto the internet and scope out the people in my age group who are getting married and buying their starter homes. Or, looking at their snapshots of them on vacation. But my life has taken a different turn. My interest has no real pathway to take and you can land in your position at any moment. And that goal that I am pursuing is a writing career. It takes years and years of consistent writing, but hopefully it works out.

And see, hopefully is the word of the day. Most people don’t set out to pursue a career in what they really want to do because of the fear they’ll never make it in life. No one want to set out to attain something just to be disappointed in the end. You work at your craft, all the while people your age are seeming to be doing something much more interesting than yourself. They go out to bars and nightclubs, and take on monogamous relationships. But if you’re traveling an unconventional road, you may not be able to take part in too much fun. Especially early on in your career pursuit.

Well why, why can you not take pleasure in your youthful activities like everyone else? And the reason being, when you go to school to become a doctor, engineer, lawyer, academic, or any other profession, you have somewhat of a path. Unconventional careers like screenwriting, playwright, author, and blogger don’t really have a path. Of course there are people who provide you with how they did it, but that is just how it worked for them. You have to take their advice and carve out a way to make life work now for you. September 20th will mark my 30th birthday, and I don’t feel like the average guy my age, but I’m not willing to give up my pursuit.

You would think a guy my age would be doing the typical things everyone else is doing. But, I don’t want to get married or have children. I’m not interested in buying my first starter home, nor do I want to indulge in partying on the weekends. So for me, pursuing my career choice is easy to the extent where I can focus on this one thing. There are moments I walk pass the bars in New York City and see people my age engaging with each other, But I made my mind up that I wanted to be a great writer. I wake up and on days I’m not working I am blogging. Then I write for draft of my second novel and short stories book. But let’s not forget my screenwriting and filmmaking.

And the only reason I added filmmaking is because there are projects I genuinely want to do myself. So what now, I have a long road ahead of me. Most guys my age are focusing on long term relationships as well as women who are seeking husbands for marriage. But I am already thinking about film, theatre, and book ideas for the next few years to a nearly a decade from now. In the end, I really don’t know what the average guy my age is doing because I am so focused on my own goals. I’m pretty sure they’re having a social life and dating. As for me, I would much rather utilize my time pursuing what I love than fitting into what the crowd is doing.


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WEB OF LIES (SHORT STORY)

Caravan pulls up to the doors of the hospital. Running from the drivers’ side of the caravan, a man rushes to the passenger side of the van. Opening the door he assists his wife from the car. She’s holding the bottom of her stomach, breathing heavily, she slowly exits the vehicle. The man, holding her hand, helps her through the automatic hospital doors. They approach the receptionist of the hospital. The man ask the receptionist for a doctor because his wife was in labor. After the receptionist agreed, he and his wife walk over to a bench in the hospital. Soon after a doctor with a nurse approaches the married couple with a wheel chair. The nurse and the man assist the pregnant woman. The doctor smiles at the woman and asks relevant questions regarding her current status. After the questioning the doctor ask the man to go with the nurse for some scrubs. The doctor advised that after he placed on the scrubs he could come into the delivery room. The woman, still breathing heavily looked over her shoulder at her husband while she was being whisked away with the doctor in the wheelchair. The nurse directed the husband to another room where he will receive his scrubs.

Once dressed in his scrubs, the nurse directs him to the delivery room where he sees his wife legs up in stirrups. He walks over to his wife as she begins to firmly clutch his hand. She begins to explain to him the pain she is feeling at the moment, as he tries to console her. The doctor enters the room dressed from head to toe in scrubs. He is assisted by a few other nurses. All four of them walk to the bed as they prepare themselves for the woman’s pregnancy. What seemed like a calm room in the beginning became more noisy and hectic as the the doctors began to work with the woman. She pushed and screamed during the pregnancy; the whole time her husband encouraging her to keep breathing and push more. The pregnancy continued to proceed forward as the doctor informed the woman he could see the baby’s head. Her husband continued to aid her in the process. The doctor and nurses began to take on a look of confusion as they retrieved the baby.

The husband asked the doctors what was wrong, but the doctor continued with the delivery. As the woman pushed and pushed, the doctor and nurses started to look at each other uncomfortably. The husband and wife questioned the doctor as to the nature of the baby. Holding the baby in his arms, the doctor raised from below the stirrups. He informed the husband and wife they are the proud parents of a baby boy. The husband’s face had a look of confusion as he slowly turned to his wife. There was a momentary silence in the room as the husband stood up from his seat next to his wife. He began to yell and scream regarding the physical embodiment of the baby. He was upset because the newborn was African American and they were a White married couple. The husband stormed out of the room as the nurses followed behind him. The only people left in the room was the wife and the doctor.

He slowly looks to the door, then back at the wife.

“How come you never told me you were pregnant?”

The woman replied, “Because we were together only once, not to mention we used protection.” “But my husband and I were trying to have a child.” “So it made perfect sense not to inform you of anything.”

They continued to converse as the husband was in the hallway ranting about the delivery. The nurses in the hallway were trying to calm him, but he started to attract more attention. A well dressed woman in a pantsuit and a hospital badge approached the enraged husband.

“Sir, what is the matter with you?”

He replied, “Who the hell are you?”

Turning to the woman, the husband’s eyes lit up.

“Tanya!” said the husband.

Tanya asked him what was wrong, and he informed her of his wife’s pregnancy. He went on to explain how his wife was cheating on him with an unknown Black male. Telling Tanya the baby is biracial, Tanya appeared shocked by the situation. Soon after, the doctor emerged from the room into the hallway. Walking over to the husband, he notices Tanya. They momentarily embrace as the husband glares at the two of them.

“How do you two know each other?” asked the husband.

“This is my wife,” said the doctor.

Tanya slowly dropped her head in shame. The husband angrily walks away from the nurses, doctor, and Tanya.

“He said his wife was cheating on him and the baby appears to be biracial,” said Tanya.

“What a way to find out your wife is cheating.”

The uncomfortability on the doctor’s face wouldn’t even allow him to look at his wife. Her phone begins to vibrate. She pulls out the phone seeing the text message from the husband. The message read, “You never told me you were married.” Tanya clutches the phone, as her and the doctor give each other a nervous smile and slowly walk away from each other in shame.

POOR CHOICES (SHORT STORY)

July 4, 2014 is a date I remember too well, not mainly because of the Independence Day celebration, but the day I lost my best friend. What was supposed to be a day of cookouts and fireworks ended in a violent exchange. The Fourth of July always start as a good day for me. Getting up out of bed, looking at that new outfit I had bought the week prior. Isn’t that something, spending a significant amount of money on an outfit that I only intend on wearing for one day? Not actually the moral compass for having your life together. But does that doesn’t mean your life isn’t together? It’s like, come on, I’m contributing to the economy. Anyone who works a job just to pay for an outfit celebrating a day of freedom should be commended. Especially considering the day is one of choice.

Wow, choices, that word sure does resonate since last year’s incident. Waking up that morning I chose to go into the shower and I chose to get dress. I chose to eat breakfast and I chose to leave the house and make my way to the parade that day. Something I chose to do, that probably wasn’t in my best interest was hanging with a group of friends who were known to start trouble. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten into trouble myself, yet not like this group.

One of the boys I was hanging with has been involved in drive by shootings. He’s been sought after by numerous gang members who have yet to get a hold on him. Another boy likes to dabble in theft from time to time. He has a warrant out for his arrest by the police. The third in the group has alleged sexual assault allegations from a few girls our age in the neighborhood. When their brothers catch up to him, that’s all she wrote. And the fourth boy is a known stickup kid. For those of you who don’t know what a stickup kid is, they’re people who hold others up for financial gain. He has hit a few drug dealers’ spots, yet they don’t know it’s him. All I know is that he stays dressed in the latest fashion and accessories. I know one thing, if they ever find out it’s him robbing their dope spots, he’s a dead man.

Then there is me, who have never done as much as these guys, but still quite undesirable myself. And here we are, five knuckleheads, headed to the parade with only one intention; getting girls. Remember I told you I bought an outfit to wear just for this day. Well, it’s almost like tradition to buy an outfit to wear on the Fourth of July in the inner city. The shopping malls are packed full of young people trying to impress their peers. The girls do it to look cute and the boys do it to look cute enough to the cute girls to approach them. Yet none of them have the money to go shopping, but nonetheless everyone is there.

Now back to the parade; my friends and I did as we normally did for the fourth. We stood, leaned-up against the wall with one leg rested against the wall and the other touching the concrete. Our hats were wore real low so the ladies could see our entire outfit, not just the face attached. So, the moment they made eye contact that was it. We had ourselves an in, an excuse to speak as the females would pass in a variety of scantily clothed attire. Some females wore tight leggings and tank top shirts. Others would sport fishnet bottoms and tight t-shirts. My favorite were the ladies who wore the jean or boy shorts with the piece of buttock showing at the bottom. In addition, these females usually wore t-shirts cut off all the way to their breast. This meant you could see the roundness at the bottom of the breast. To top it all off was the high heels some of them wore, yet sneakers was a fashion statement as well.

My friends, I’m telling you, we were like dogs in heat. Any one of these female that walked by usually was inundated with cat calling and whistling. You might have the occasional guy try to grab one of these females. This resulted in an argument or even a slap across the face. Me personally, I like when the ladies walk in groups. This meant not only me but all my friends could get a girl. I never saw much fun in all of us hitting on the same female. A couple of the guys in my clique loved to run train. And for you lames who’ve been sleep for the past century, pulling a train was never my thing. Two guys having sex at the same time with one female. Naw man, I’m too selfish for that, I need a chick all to myself.

But, from looking at the females walk by, scoping the ones who we’ve never seen before always was a treat. This day started off as no exception, until this real sexy female dressed in red, white, and blue walk past. Before I tell you what happened, let me paint the picture for you. She was about five foot seven, five eight, pretty face, slim waist and flat stomach. She sported a red scarf, white cutoff tank top, and blue jeggings with red and blue heels covered in spray painted stars. This girl was a true dime, sorry about that, more slang terms. What I meant to say was, this female was a perfect ten. Everything was hitting all in the right places.

Before I could open my mouth to say something, one of my friends had already gone in for the kill. He grabbed a handful of the female’s buttocks, causing her to quickly turn around. The young female slapped him across the face and yelling expletives as the other guys laughed. I was the only one not laughing because I felt like that ruined my chances of talking to her. My strategy was to get her out of sight away from my friends. This way I could say what I really wanted to say. You see, I am different with girls in front of my friends than away from them. When I am around my friends, I turn into my alter ego. The moment I step away from the group, I’m a different person. But my friend groping this girl’s behind, left me with no choice but to intervene. The only problem is as soon as I stepped forward to speak to her, she responded cursing and screaming at me.

Understandably so, I mean, my friends violated her as she went about her day. How would I feel if someone felt me up as I tried walking up the street? Within her cursing at me, I tried explaining to her that it wasn’t my hands feeling on her. In my efforts to apologize she took a swing at me just as she did my friends. Just like that, she gave me a right hook to the face. I stumbled backward, nearly falling to the ground. She smiled, standing proud of her accomplishments. For the life of me, I don’t know what got into me, but I just did it. Quickly regaining my footing, I approached her as she stood firm with her fist balled up. My friends stood in place laughing, as the female grinned as if she took pride in her attack on me. Pride overcame me as I slapped her with the palm of my hand.

She immediately fell to the ground. Gently rubbing her face with one hand, tears filled her eyes as she got up and ran away. My friends ran over to me, co-signing what I had just done, “That’s right, that’s how you check a bitch!” “Teach these hoes a lesson!” “If you want to act like a man, treat her ass like a man!” “My boy got a mean pimp hand!” As they patted me on the shoulder and applauded what I had just done, the feeling was not that bad. In fact, I felt good slapping her in the face. Hell, she deserved it for hitting me first. I was only trying to show her my deepest apologies for my friends.

After that, the five of us just left, but there was something that stood out to me unlike my friends. It wasn’t just being hit by a woman, not my friends congratulating me, but the look from spectators. People were not too thrilled by a man striking a woman in the face. As the five of us walked away, people began to converse among themselves and shake their heads. My friends didn’t care, they were bringing about more and more attention to the situation. Not only did they revel in the attention, but dared anyone to say something.

I’ll tell you one thing is for certain, aggression sure does work up an appetite. So as you would guess, we found ourselves going to eat at a burger stand. This place was not only a hangout for people our age, but a known place for fighting; even the occasional gunfire. But not this day, everything was going good this day. Except for what happened earlier in the day with the female I slapped. On the other hand, my friends thought what I had done was commendable. So commendable, they treated me to food at the burger stand. Whoever thought hitting a woman was seen as such a good deed by ones’ peers. Then again, my friends weren’t the typical guys.

The majority of men don’t hit, nor do they believe you should hit a woman. Didn’t matter to the guys I hung with, you touched them, you got hit. This was such a contradiction to me considering they touched her first to bring about her reaction. Then it hit me, what I had done was wrong and needed to be fixed. As the day wrapped up, and light turned to darkness; night fell on the sky. I decided to go looking for the female I had struck that night, but fatigue from a long day kept me from continuing my pursuit. Unlike me, my friends decided to go on with the rest of the evening.

After going home that evening I couldn’t sleep thinking about what I had done earlier that day. My mother would raise hell if she found out I had put my hands on a woman. Didn’t matter at this point because the damage was done. Now I had to find a way out make it up. Just made more sense to go to sleep and resolve it the next morning. Falling asleep proved to be a challenge with the events from earlier lingering in my mind. Eventually I went to sleep, as night became day. First thing in the morning my goal was to find out the identity of this young female.

Before I could leave the house my mother insisted I sit down and talk to her for a few minutes. There was a slight hesitation, so I knew something was wrong. I could see the look of hurt and pain, fear and desolation on my mother’s face. This wasn’t like my mother, she never sat down with me when we talked. Then holding my hands, gently rubbing the tops with her thumbs. She just came out and said it, “Your friends were killed last night.” She was almost in more pain than I, knowing had I not have come home, it could have easily been me.

Explaining to me how they died meant nothing once I heard the words, “shot and killed.” Her explanation fell flat as I removed myself from the couch and headed for the door. Nothing in her pleads for me to stay in the house meant anything, as I left out the front door. Now from here on out, my feelings toward the female from the day before didn’t matter. Someone had shot my friends, and I wanted to know who and why.