“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
Greetings everyone. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on what one has done. I start off this post with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt that sums up my attitude on where I am going. As time goes on, I have come to shed the idea that one should wait until they have “arrived” in order to start making an impact. Since I decided late last year to not pursue my doctorate and leave well enough alone, doors have opened up. Things have happened that I could never have predicted. Even though this year has had its ups and downs personally, I can say with certainty that 2011 was a good year for me professionally.
Overall, my writing has propelled me into spaces that have been outside of my comfort zone. While I am known for political commentary, this year has given me the chance to spread beyond that. Not only have I maintained a consistent flow in grasping topics of a political nature, but I have also ventured into business writing. This, along with the chance to review some great films broadened the topics I cover. Dealing with politics and history is my forte, but it felt great to branch out and review self-help and fiction titles. Being sharp in more than one area of expertise is great for my still in bloom writing career. I wrote for Total Eclipse,a music magazine, the DMV based Webster Style Magazine, a men’s fashion blog, and Writer’s Vibe, a Black literary site. Towards the end of the year, I landed some writing opportunities with the Atlanta Post and Madame Noire. In addition to this, one of my articles was picked up in Baltimore.
As for Polite On Society, I can definitely say that this blog reached a wider audience. I had the good fortune of being able to cover the Keeping The Dream event in April. At the halfway point of the year, things really got interesting. In June I discovered that my blog was nominated for Best Black Blog of 2011. I was elated, but cautious not to get too confident about the possibility of winning. My humbleness paid off. In September, I indeed did win the award. When it was announced at the ceremony in Washington DC, I was taken aback. A month later, I found out Tamron Hall reads this space, and in November, I along with the other award winners were invited to the White House.
As for expansion into other areas, I really got the opportunity to talk on different topics. This year started off with me guest facilitating the first book discussion of the year at Hue-Man Bookstore, Eugene Robinson’s Disintegration. Between guest lectures on African history, short presentations on social media and commentary , I got many opportunities to put forth ideas in person. I look forward to continuing this, and I already have some speaking engagements lined up for next year.
Despite all of these great things happening, it hasn’t been all net this year. Following my activist instincts in response to what was occurring, I took to the task of running for shop steward. I lost by one vote. I saw my Alma Mater, Rice High School close, despite my efforts to help save it. Even though I cannot prove it, I know there is more behind its closing than the Harlem community is being told. I have pitched to many regional newspapers, all to no avail. This along with some other missteps and missed opportunities shows that I did not succeed at everything I put my energy into, but I do not feel reduced for trying. I will chalk it up as experience.
All in all, some great things happened for me in 2011. Now that I see and feel that things are going in a certain way for me, I will no longer fight it. I will flow with things as they come, not necessarily try to bend things in the way I want them to go. Ultimately, I have inched closer to my goals, and connected with numerous people in different places along the way. I stand poised, ready to move forward with increased credentials and a great support system. Thank you, for being a big part of it, as a reader. See you all in 2012. Peace
Marc W. Polite