CJ Johnson Writes, The Story ExchangeYour Name: CJ Johnson

Business Name: CJJohnsonWrites!, a blog written by a running and life coach

Type of Business: Arts & Entertainment

Business Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Website   http://cjjohnsonwrites.net
Twitter   @cjjohnsonwrites
Pinterest   pinterest.com/cjjohnsonwrites

Reason for starting
I was a frustrated freelance copywriter that made the decision to become a professional author when I just couldn’t continue to write the stories of others, while neglecting my own. I grew tired of being the middle-woman with advertising agencies as their contracted copywriter. When you are a freelancer, in my opinion, you are still an employee and the feast or famine life grew tiresome. I desire more control of my destiny. I do not want to be as good as my last project. With books I can create residual income, and for me, that is the savviest way to be an entrepreneur. I am prepared to roll up my sleeves to share stories with the world through fiction and poetry. As an author my motto is “writing poetry and fiction for women to laugh, heal, and feel empowered.” This is why I am on this journey and entering “true” entrepreneurship 🙂

How do you define success?
While I am fairly fresh into my journey to becoming an indie author success, I know that it is mine for the taking. I define success as when you really embody “no excuses, just results” as your daily philosophy. When you do that, all kinds of imagined and unimagined blessings will come your way. I would like to say success for me (through conventional wisdom) is to make the NY Best Sellers list or finally beginning an MFA program. But in all honesty, as long as I can say, that I have made my Mother proud of me, then that will be how I know that success has landed her butterfly wings on my soul.

Biggest Success
My biggest success to date is a two-way tie: One, when I became a high school History teacher at at very tough inner-city school. I fell in love with my students and they with me. I learned something everyday about the human spirit and it truly changed my life for the better. (I am no longer a teacher though, darn lay-offs) Two, when I published my first book, Woman Steps In Poetry and Prose. It’s a classic self-help with a poetic feminist slant. After my mother passed away this past holiday season, I knew that I had to get it together and write for myself, first, and the world second.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My biggest challenge thus far has been growing my brand as an author. Social media can a beast, but it appears to be a beauty too when things start clicking on all cylinders. I’ve tried to address this challenge by letting go of my shy nature and connecting with more established authors and presenting myself as a “one to watch” to readers, through social media. It’s a long haul and I have no idea how people seemingly have like a zillion Twitter followers or a swelling Facebook following, but I am giving it my best shot by being genuine and offering to share the stories of others as much as I can.

Who is your most important role model?
My most important role model is my Mother and the Obamas 🙂