I Just Want To Say Thank You!

Blogging is hard lol.

I spend an unconscionable amount of time writing each week. While you may only see three posts per week, I may write anything between 10 to 20 different posts per week. And before you ask it, yes it's harder than one imagines. I mean it's slightly easier for me for a multitude of reasons, mainly because I grew into being able to write about anything, and like Ashley of Write Dream Laugh says constantly, "writing is like a muscle, you have to practice it to keep it strong".

But to be able to say that I can do this or that simply because I did it all on my lonesome would be a flat out lie. A lot of people fail to realize that the expression "you're only as good as the people you surround yourself with" is about as true as any statement can get. What you see are variety of blog posts that are sometimes well thought out, (more times that not lol), and executed to the best of my abilities. But would you believe me if I say there are a team of people that have helped me grow into such a great writer?

Coincidentally there are a people in my life, for different lengths in time, who all have contributed something on a large scale in terms of my personal growth here on Cold Knowledge. As I continue to grow in success and reach places that I never thought I would reach, I always mention people sporadically in posts. Well today is the day that I combine those great people that I often mention into one post, for all of you guys to see.

This isn't in any particular order, just as I remembered them off the top of my head. So as always, I hope you guys enjoy and also check out some of their great work that they do on their own individual sites.

Kia of Come Wag Along and Meet The Chambers | The very first person to reach her hand out in support of me. While Kia is a long time friend of mine way before I started taking anything seriously in life, she still showed me support and offered tons of information, (that I still have saved up in the bank), that went a long way in my early developmental stages. She also showed me what it meant to stick together as a black blogger, seeing as how opportunities back then were even more skimp. In short, if Kia hadn't been so willing and eager to help me, I probably would have put this on the back burner and kept it rolling with something else in life.

Ashley of Write Laugh Dream | Ashley is one of my newer favorite people that came and knocked some inspiration into me when I was least expecting it. When you're doing something you like and love, while doing it for a long time, you start looking for different ways to become better at it. It's like being a superstar athlete in the league for about 8 years and you want that one new move that will make people guard you a different way. Well my new go to move was a more profound openness when it comes to my writings.

Ashley basically showed me a way to tap into my writing abilities and become a little bit more fearless, while staying smart. There's a way of doing things, and then there's your way of wanting to do said things; if you can find that balance between the two, then you're a very dangerous person. I also plug the Write Laugh Dream Facebook group every single chance I get because, well, it's that helpful

Tiffany of Addiction | There's a certain aspect of me that's very scary to see once I get going. Most of the time I know where to hit people where they can feel something without every breaking a sweat; I mean after all I am a Scorpio lol. But about 97% of the time I leave it bottled up and I eventually let the moments pass. But that 3% is when Tiffany somehow comes out of the wood line and reminds me that I need to drop the hammer on people. She often reminds me when I'm being either too nice or too passive about a situation. Hence is why the whole Rant & Raves series is so popular. If you're one of those people that enjoy that, you can thank Tiffany for keeping me on my feet and reminding me that sometimes it's OK to go hard for a little. Oh and she's only been supporting me since the inception of my blogger days, no biggie there.

Z of Dear Queens | Ah, here we have one of my very favorite people in the whole entire world. When I read my first post from Z I automatically knew she was the real deal. Then when I read about three more I knew right then at that moment that she was my blogging sister. Z manages to do what most people can't seem to do on a regular basis: stay true to herself while detailing the pains of life that influenced her growth. She looks to empower and uplift women through her many and upcoming charitable efforts. She's a devote Christian woman who isn't hypocritical of people and the things that they do in life. She's willing to help anyone who's willing to help themselves and her posts are some of the best things going on the internet. In short:

She talks the talk and she backs it up through her many actions.

Devri of Devri Velazquez | If you're familiar with the site then you know who this is. If you're new then you should probably check out Dear Devri and Dear Devri, Part 2; (and yes there is a part three already written). But one of my favorite people for the simple fact that her sheer will to survive and live the best life that she can is nothing short than jaw dropping and mind exploding. You can easily look around and find a whole bunch of people that have easily given up within their situation in life. it's harder to find someone that won't take no for answer, not even in death. Like I said, if you don't know, then check out those two posts listed above; you won't be disappointed.

Tiffany of Endless Bliss | Tiffany is the catalyst for my sudden appeal for networking within the blogging community. Even though there was a clear lack of networking with this male black blogger, (more on that later), Tiffany didn't see that and she took me in with open arms. Her creation, The Blogging Elite, was one of the first and most successful blogging groups of the new blogging era. With almost 1,000 members and constant support and blogging tools at members disposal, the group has been beneficial to my early growth as well.

I spent hours on Endless Bliss when I first started blogging consistently because Tiffany was one of the examples, (along with Kia), of what blogging consistently looked like. She is also one of the figures that showed me success and supporting others can go hand in hand. She help nurture me when I didn't know a thing about blogging and I thank her for that. Her blog is full of many fun things and showing just how you can live your life and blogging can document that in amazing ways.

Victoria of The Budget Divaa and Creator of Black Bloggers United | Victoria's role in the Black Blogging community is pivotal. While being black and blogging is anything new by any stretch of the imagination, it's her efforts that bought it into a new light. Little known story, (and I'm not sure even Victoria knows this), but once upon a time in a blogging group, it was cool networking with other bloggers but after while I started noticing how it was increasingly harder to secure things like collaborations or even public support in these group. I did however notice whenever another black blogger posted and Victoria was one of said bloggers.

We basically noticed the same thing, and while I reached out to black bloggers on a independent level, she decided to take things in her own hands. Thus came her brain child Black Bloggers United and everything changed. It went from a Facebook group that spilled out into the Twitter streets and Pinterest and has taken off since. While the group has grown and more admins have been added, it should be noted that if she wasn't furstrated and decided to take things in her own hands there's no telling where things would be right now in terms of networking and making friends.

Victoria is not only responsible for my growth but for a growth of a few other bloggers and other groups that shall go nameless. 

Jalisa of McFat Was Here | Another one of my longtime friends turned blogger. She's been supporting me for almost a decade now and things won't ever change on that front. She's supported me and my writings when there were only five people a month reading them. That means a lot when you're trying to become something big. One thing that every single person who has ever made it will say is that you should never forget the people that were there when no one else wasn't and that's what Jalisa is. I constantly keep her in the loop with things and I always stay abreast of going on with her own personal aspirations. She's one of the people I know that will either keep it real or make me realize that things aren't as serious as I'm making them. She's a go to when there is  need for it.

Calvin of The Dubiosity Type | Like me, he's simply ahead of his time. Right now it's the time of the Female Black Blogger, plain and simple. Everything is geared towards them and so are the opportunities. I think that's in part of dudes not reading as much as women and I don't think that most can even right if we're being honest here lol. But where most lack in writing prowess and presence, Calvin doesn't. His writings are the total opposite of what's saturating the market right now. Where women can simply enter a single word and find all of the advice under God's bright sun, Calvin is carving out the other side of the spectrum.  

Where articles run rampant about how dudes suck and empower women, women tend to forget about the dudes that are actually trying to do something positive. Calvin's articles are what I typically gravitate towards when it comes to writing: a person trying to better themselves and isn't afraid of giving examples of where they messed up at and what they are doing to correct it. Calvin's posts are something that you don't want to miss, and when the time comes for male black bloggers to take step forward, he's going to be in the forefront.

Dr. Jay of Shimmy Sistah | Man Jaz is always there when it comes to blogging. Her pure and raw energy always pushes me to be a better blogger. On the very lowest of keys she's always yelling at me for not having something on my blog, (I promise I'm getting those business cards haha)! But I know it's all out of love and her want for me to be as big as she sees me, and that's really important to me. When I was writing and just posting for a long time I didn't have the confidence in my writing that most would think I had.

I honestly thought I was just an alright writer but it was one fateful conversation that snapped me out of it and made me realize that I was well on my way to making moves. If you visit her blog then you'll see how much energy she has and how much she loves life. Jaz is definitely one of those people I can't live without.

Bree of Quirky, Brown Love | It's amazing what an introvert can do when they're motivated. Bree is simply one of my favorite people because she just does it right, and by right I mean she's unapologetically her. I always loved how she does things on her time while managing to still grow within the woman she's trying to become. I recently had the chance to meet her at a meetup and she was the sweet and talkative person that I imagined her to be. Along with Victoria she does a lot of the black blogging community and she's firmly taking the reigns on being the lead black blogger for North Carolina, a title I will gladly support her having. Head over to her blog and check out her posts, there's a million and one things there that you will find interesting and you will end up loving.

Adrianna, my favorite collaborator. | The Flower Child as I like to think about her. She's easily one of the most carefree and aware people that I've ever met in my life. She can soothe your soul with comforting words and rile you up in the same breath with words that will cut even the blackest of hearts. I try to nudge her to write more, (hint hint), but I usually can live with her tweets on her account @From_Hadria. If I had to sum her up in one sentence, a woman that you want to know and love, the type you never want to lose or cross.

Alyx of Young, Black & Woke, (formally of Black Is The New Black)
| Last, and most certainly not least, it's Alyx. She's definitely responsible for showing me that it's OK to be unapolegetic when it comes to being loud and woke about how African Americans are being treated in this country. While I haven't gone full throttle with the political posts just yet, (and they are coming), she reminds me daily that she's not "with the shits" and that she will fact check you in a heart beat. All of her posts give me life and her insight on topics is bar none on par with the most prominent of activists that is currently out there. I'm here for everything that she is doing and she constantly supports me and fact checks my writing so that it can better than what's currently going around the net today.

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the bloggers that support me to no end and whom I support to no end. This group of people are doing big things and they aren't scared of branching out and lighting things on fire when they see fit. I firmly believe in guarding your name and who you are as a person, so when I fully support and recommend these people, then you shouldn't take that lightly. 

Everyone wants to know who to read or what to check out, well this is your suggestion right here. I'm just hoping that it was successful in convincing you of so.

Until next time guys! 

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