Reflections of an Ivy League Homegirl

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The Resistance Before the Breakthrough - The Teacher’s Edition

The Resistance Before the Breakthrough – The Teacher’s Edition

What a difference a week of phone calls can make.

I’ve seen the light.
I’ve come around.
I’ve changed my mind.

And it actually feels good.

First, let me be a sport and give a hat tip to those who done told me so from the start. Gary Chou, the mind behind Orbital, had encouraged me to organize a live gathering of the students in the beta version of the self-study ecourse based on my novel…

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Confessions of a Teaching Artist

Confessions of a Teaching Artist

My life as a teaching artist has been a mixed bag this summer.

This Saturday I taught a free 2-hour workshop at the Bronx Writers Center called Jumpstart Your Novel. We had a full house, I delivered more than I promised, and the feedback was wonderful. My students were incredibly diverse and included some friends. Even though I stayed an extra half-hour, I walked away from the workshop feeling…

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The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see
James Baldwin

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If You Spot It, You Got It

If You Spot It, You Got It

As part of the Orbital Boot Camp, we have to complete seven assignments. There are some that I’ve already accomplished before embarking on this experience. For example, being a published author and content producer, I’ve had people write about my work. Experience has shown also that I’m quite capable of composing a tweet that garners double-digit retweets and favorites. If I want to raise the bar…

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Fiverr, Freelancers and Interns, Oh My!

Fiverr, Freelancers and Interns, Oh My!


One assignment for the Orbital NYC Boot Camp for which I already have previous experience is hiring someone from a labor marketplace such as ODesk and Elance to do $50 worth of work on my project. My go-to source for finding affordable freelancers for simple tasks has been Fiverr. For the most part, my experience with Fiverr has been great.


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To Sell What You Wish to Serve

To Sell What You Wish to Serve

survey says

Before the Orbital Boot Camp, my approach to creating and implementing this ecourse based on my novel Picture Me Rollin’ would most likely have been as follows:

1. Republish the novel as an ebook.
2. Create all the course content.
3. Recruit paying students.

Because of this boot camp, rather than creating then implementing, I’m creating and implementing at the same time. And here are some…

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The most valuable truths are the ones most people don’t believe. They’re like undervalued stocks. If you start with them, you’ll have the whole field to yourself. So when you find an idea you know is good but most people disagree with, you should not merely ignore their objections, but push aggressively in that direction. In this case, that means you should seek out ideas that would be popular but seem hard to make money from.

Paul Graham in "Why Not To Start a Startup" 

This quote has me wondering to what extent we can apply this idea to politics where the goal is not to make money but effect social justice. 

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Start Before You’re Ready

Start Before You’re Ready

Life of a Project. jpg

The main lesson from boot camp this week was something I have been hearing a great deal for the past two or three years. Marie Forleo impressed it upon us at her last Rich Happy Hot Live event in 2012. Almost all the folks whose newsletter I subscribe to – from online business coaches to “conscious” entrepreneurs – have all written about this at one point or another.

“Start before you’re ready.”

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…We could bear any amount of nerdiness if someone was truly smart. What we couldn’t stand were people with a lot of attitude. But most of those weren’t truly smart, so our third test was largely a restatement of the first.

When nerds are unbearable it’s usually because they’re trying too hard to seem smart. But the smarter they are, the less pressure they feel to act smart. So as a rule you can recognize genuinely smart people by their ability to say things like “I don’t know,” “Maybe you’re right,” and “I don’t understand x well enough.”

Paul Graham, How to Start a Startup