Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Road is Looking a Little Rough

I feel like I am at a crossroads right now.

Early registration deadline is in two days and I'm not entirely sure if I want to still go on this trip. I've crunched the numbers and it will cost at least $800. I have that in my savings but I was hoping the fundraising would pick up because I don't want to deplete my bank account. I've only sold three shirt and have yet to receive a donation. I'm not writing this to ask for money or promote anything. I just have no idea what to do at this point and I would like some feedback. I have a couple of ideas and would love it if you would help me out.

I have two fundraiser ideas at the moment: selling ad space for this blog and holding an on-campus fundraiser (i.e. selling snacks or baked goods).

Also, if you have any cheap travel and hotel ideas, I am receptive to anything, within reason.

I don't want to abandon this project, but my current efforts aren't working.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kumbaya...or not.

President Times and other members

My preparation for this trip has enticed me to get more involved with NABJ and become active in its online community. I regularly check Twitter hashtags and peruse every NABJ-affiliated fanpage on my Facebook.

Consequently, I've noticed something about the NABJ online community. It seems unless someone is promoting their own project, members are not that engaging online. The only group that seems to attempt to regularly engage each other are the student members. Otherwise, only a select few try to forge any type of online community.

As I learn more about NABJ, my love for the organization grows but I hate that I have only three NABJ members on my Twitter page that I speak to regularly and none on my Facebook. Perhaps, it's something that I'm doing or not doing but I don't want to wait until August to be able to fellowship with other members. When I go to the convention, I want to be able to recognize some faces. Although I will be networking and making career connections, I want to leave the convention with a couple of budding friendships. I am sure there are other members that wish to do the same.

What do you think? If you want to link up, leave some contact information in the comments section!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Direction

My newest tee. It's available at my CafePress.

I was thisclose to stopping my t-shirt operation.

My shop is currently hosted on Cafepress, a well-known printing website. The site is relatively easy to use and has other benefits, but I feel like it isn't the right place for me to start a business. It just seems like a place to put random pictures on random objects and although selling tees started out as just a fundraising method, I can see myself doing this after my trip. Trying to keep my t-shirt operation together has become another project for me, in addition to my planning this trip. To put it simply, this is my hustle and I'm serious about it.

Usually, when I find out something isn't going to be easy or handed to me, I quit before I can fail. That habit has saved me a lot of heartbreak but it has stunted my growth and left me a with a few regrets. I'm hoping this won't be one of them. I'm determined for this not to be one of them. 

But I didn't feel that way this morning and I hadn't for the past few days. My worrisome nature began to rear its ugly head and I was ready to give up and try something else. I expressed some of my feeling on Twitter and one of my followers approached me about it and we had a talk. A designer herself, she gave me a ton of great advice and helped me to regain my direction. She inspired me to make some changes. 

As of right now, my designs will remain on CafePress but I will start trying to sell my shirts out of my house and have them printed by a local seller. I will also have a fundraiser in the coming weeks. More information on  both at a later date. 

Ashleigh ( I need a siggy. lol)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Travel Option

I was looking at the Pennsylvania Convention Center's site today and decided to look at their page dedicated to travel. Among the options listed was the Amtrak train station, a well-known cross country rail line. I decided to do a quote on the site and this is what I got:
$246 for 16 hours. 

Compared to:
Over $340 for an approximately 2 hour flight.

Although the idea of sitting on a train for 16 hours sounds a tad excruciating, I think Amtrak might be the better deal. It'd be a bit more friendly for my pockets. 

What do you think? NABJ-ers, how are you getting to Philly? Leave a comment. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Motivation: Why I Chose to go to Philly

I didn't know a NABJ convention existed until last summer. One of my friends was attending the San Diego convention and mentioned it frequently on Twitter. Her tweets piqued my initial interest and I looked the convention up. As I perused the convention's program guide and itinerary, I started to feel a little envious of my friend and I swore that I would attend at least one convention before I graduate from college. That promise was forgotten until about a month ago.

I began to follow more NABJ-affiliated Twitter and Facebook pages after I joined the organization a few weeks ago and members were starting to mention the convention again. Initially, I wrote it off as too expensive and I wasn't going to go. I did some thinking and bounced a couple of ideas off of my friend that I mentioned earlier and I decided I would do whatever it takes to get to that convention. I decided to treat it like an investment in my career, similar to how I view going to college.  I was also excited that I would have an opportunity to fellowship and network with Black journalists from all walks of life.

This trip will also mark the first time I will be travelling without the company of my whole family. It will also be my first time travelling outside of the South. This scares and excited me at the same time but I think I am ready for this experience.

Shop Update!

I've heard a lot of talk about NABJ students wanting love so I made a couple of shirt designs. Go to the shop and check them out!

(P.S. If you don't want a shirt, donations will be appreciated! Thanks for your support!)

Ashleigh Atwell