Goodbye, Examiner.com

I can’t remember how I heard that they were hiring. Maybe it was on Craigslist? I started writing for them in December 2010 as a Cleveland nightlife journalist, and I really didn’t know what I was doing. I treated my articles more like blog posts than professional content, but Examiner.com gave me the freedom to figure out my writing style. I also had (nearly) complete latitude when it came to choosing what people, places, and events I wanted to cover. This autonomy is rare, and it was amazing.

When people ask me why I moved to NYC, I say, “Career.” The long answer is that Examiner.com gave me the inspiration, confidence, and contacts to become an entertainment journalist. Less than a year after I began writing for them, a publicist at Sony contacted me. They wanted me to come backstage at the Cleveland leg of the Scream Tour, and interview their artist, Jacob Latimore. I thought it was a joke at first. How would Sony know who I am? At the time, Examiner.com was getting tens of millions of hits per month, and was a top 100 site. That kind of traffic is extremely valuable, and opened up countless doors for me in New York.

After working with Sony, I thought I would try to make a career out of my passion for entertainment journalism. Examiner.com gave me the platform I needed to gain access to top celebrities and events, and I knew I had a knack for interviewing. Before Examiner.com, I co-founded an urban lifestyle blog called Media-n-DaHood, and created DoloHustle.com as an entertainment blog. One of my first interviews was with Dolla Boy (now known as Dillon Saks) of Playaz Circle. I met him and Tity Boi (now known as 2 Chainz) at a meet and greet in Cleveland, and Dolla asked if I wanted to interview him. Afterwards, he told me that they had just come from radio station Z107.9, and I conducted a better interview than the radio personality. And this was off the cuff! I remember my brother nodding approvingly as he listened to the recorded interview. I was on my way!

I informed Examiner.com that I was moving to New York, and picked up New York Nightlife and Music beats. It wasn’t long after I moved to Brooklyn that I was attending exclusive events, interviewing and partying with celebrities, and making memories that I will hold onto forever. As I started covering more celebrity charity events and product launches, I picked up a New York Celebrity beat as well.

Now, I get about 50 emails per day from publicists and business professionals who want me to cover their client or brand. I have interviewed dozens of celebrities, and some have become friends. I’m very happy and proud with what I’ve accomplished as a journalist, and I’ve had a wealth of amazing experiences in New York. I haven’t decided what my next move will be, but this is one chapter that is closing. Examiner.com emailed all of their contributors about two weeks ago, and told us that they were shutting down. Our content may or may not remain on online, and the full-time staff was laid off. I’m planning on reposting the articles that readers enjoyed the most on this blog, maybe in #tbt style. I am still writing for AXS, and am deciding what the next move will be. It has been an amazing journey, and Examiner.com was the catalyst for this adventure. I will always be grateful.

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Delayed article

This was supposed to be published in August but somehow it just saved as a draft (?) smh. Was supposed to be an update on what went on between June and August:

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It has been two months since I’ve published a post (smh) but I promise I will be better. The craziness really kicked in when (Update #1) I started working full-time in May and was brought on on an on-going basis in June. Also picked up another side writing job, so it’s been extra cray. Not to mention that it’s the summer time and the events are constant and now it’s my birthday month (Leos stand up!) so of course I’m extra on the scene as of late.

On a more organized note, I finally brought myself to delegate some work and got one of my interviews transcribed for me (yeah!). I still need someone to organize my calendar and emails, but I’m not ready to turn all that over to someone yet. Baby steps.

I also find that I’m prioritizing my work better since moving to New Jersey (Update #2). There are increasingly less reasons for me to come into the city (Manhattan), and I really don’t party during the week like I used to. It helps that most of my girls are out of town right now… ain’t gone lie. And when I say most, I mean 99%. I’ve been traveling too but sheesh, these chicks bounce from New York for the whole summer. Guess we’ll turn up in September :/

Love life is still pretty nonexistent BUT I am going on more dates and have decided to try online dating as well when things slow down a bit (Update #3). When I say slow down I’m not sure what I really mean though. Things haven’t slowed down since around December or January 0_o. I think it’s more because I was A) focused on and stressed out about finding a job, and B) focused on and stressed out about finding my own place, that I was doing that stuff in my free time (on top of kicking it) instead of knocking out more work in my free time. I feel the weight lifting a bit, though.

Pray for me!

Brownie needs an assistant

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OMG has it been two months since I’ve posted something? Shame on me. I have been extraordinarily busy and slightly overwhelmed w/ work, and it shows. I started to fall behind when I went to Cleveland for Christmas/New Years, and have failed at playing catch-up since I came back in January.

I picked up two freelance journalism jobs that month,  and then I started doing background work in February. Those three sources of income, although much-needed, made my Examiner work fall further behind. (Actually, instead of writing this blog post, I should be working. BUT, I feel like venting.)

Then I picked up ANOTHER freelance writing job in March that has me working 40 hours a week! Needless to say I am exhausted, and falling further behind instead of catching up. So, what is the solution? Well, I’m toying with the idea of hiring a temporary writing assistant… just until I get caught up. A few things holding me back: the process of weeding through and screening applicants, having to give up control through delegation, and lack of trust that people will actually get the job done. I’ve always believed that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, and having an assistant goes completely against that.

Have you ever had an assistant? How did it work out? :/