Make 2021 your year

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Hannah Jacobson on Unsplash

I almost ended 2020 in the dark.

See, what happened was …

I spent a few minutes of the last 30 minutes of 2020 standing by myself in a pitch dark room.

“Well, 2020,” I thought. “If nothing else, you’re on-brand until the bitter end.”

My neighborhood had two quick power outages just before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Fortunately, the power came back on. I even had enough time to reset my home’s digital clocks and ring in the New Year with light (and an internet connection).

A Simple Idea on What 2021 Holds for You

2020 was a dark year for many people.

You might be thinking, “2020 clearly wasn’t my year…


Netflix’s version of a classic book series offers helpful advice for writers and other creative people of all ages.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jamie on Flickr

Netflix has brought us a show that discusses leadership, creativity, and facing life’s problems.

Of course, I’m talking (or rather, writing) about “The Baby-Sitters Club.”

Netflix adapted Ann M. Martin’s classic book series of the same name, which was popular during the late 1980s and early 1990s, into a great 10-episode show series.

The earlier books and the Netflix series focus on a group of middle school girls who start their own babysitting business to form “The Baby-Sitters Club.”

The club’s original members are Kristy, Claudia, Stacy, and Mary Anne. …


RELIGION AND RACISM

An open letter from a black Christian to my well-meaning white Christian friends

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It’s heartbreaking to watch the news footage from the past few weeks of black people being harassed and killed in different ways in America, isn’t it?

So many people, of all skin colors, are asking “What can I do to stop this?”

I don’t have all the answers for fighting racism. There is another Medium article that shares plenty of great ways to fight racism in our society.

But I know one thing that doesn’t work: Racial color blindness.

Like many people, I had trouble sleeping this past Friday night after seeing news about the protests and riots happening in…


Loving and being loved are lifelong journeys, not destinations.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

If you’re feeling disappointed about love this Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone.

I’m a member of a Facebook group for Christian singles.

One recent evening, another member asked the following questions in his Facebook post to the group.

“What if God wants you to remain alone for the rest of your life? Are you okay with that?”

Most members who responded said no. They didn’t want to be alone for the rest of their lives.

I feel the same way.

But being single and being alone are two different things.

I realized this and other lessons shortly after my sister…


What being (almost) kicked out of high school politics taught me about leadership, criticism and working with others

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Donald Trump and I finally agree on one thing: Facing impeachment sucks.

At least I wasn’t being accused of trying to get foreign leaders to help me sabotage my possible political opponent’s campaign.

But that was of no consolation to me when I was a 17-year-old kid living in North Carolina during the mid-1990s.

I was student president of a local city-wide high school youth organization. …


The Moon Landing’s 50th Anniversary

America seems to be taking one small step forward, and one giant leap backward.

Image for post
Image for post
Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, in a photograph taken by Neil Armstrong. Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the historic moon landing by American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.

The moon landing happened eight years after U.S. President John F. Kennedy set a challenge for American astronauts to land on the moon.

Compare that to now.

Earlier this month, current U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that Revolutionary War soldiers took over American airports in 1775. And that’s not the weirdest or worst thing Trump has said or tweeted this month.

What happened to America?

Let’s face it. It’s been a crazy decade in the U.S.

The moon landing happened…


There are more important goals for writers.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

“This is the one!” you tell yourself.

“This story will get curated by Medium!”

You’ve spent anywhere from an hour to multiple days working on your latest Medium post. You wrote about an interesting topic. You’ve shared your thoughtful opinions. There are no grammar mistakes.

You hit publish and wait. A few days later, it hits you.

“My story will not get curated.”

What is a curated Medium story?

If you’re not sure what a curated Medium post is, check out Medium’s Curation Guidelines.

Also, author and Publishous founder Nicole Akers gives a good summary of what Medium curation means for writers, in her book “Make…


Yes, things will get better. But that’s not the point.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

This is from a great writing prompt called the “Thriver Challenge,” that I saw recently from Jordin Kelly.

What would I tell my past self during one of the hardest times of life? This is for myself during 2018 when I was dealing with health problems and a bad job.

Hi, Maya.

I wish this letter alone could physically heal you. But, I hope this will at least bring some emotional comfort and help you to feel less alone.

First, breathe. Try to breathe as deeply as you can.

I know you’re tired of a lot of things right now.


We can feel sad about Michael Jackson, on this 10th anniversary of his death— for a number of reasons.

Image for post
Image for post
Image by David Lally

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death.

I’m not surprised that I’m writing about Michael Jackson’s legacy 10 years later. I am surprised that I’m questioning whether I or anyone else should listen to his music.

What a difference a decade makes.

Michael Jackson was the type of celebrity who left other celebrities starstruck.

Ten years ago, many people were shocked and sad about Michael Jackson’s unexpected death. He died, at his Los Angeles home, of cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009.

His family, friends, and fans were devastated. Casual…


Black Entertainment Television’s biggest night finally celebrates diversity within black culture

Image for post
Image for post
Image via Wikimedia Commons

Last night’s BET Awards show looked and sounded different. And that was a good thing.

I watched some of last night’s BET Awards show. (I was working on another blog post.)

I liked what I saw, but I haven’t always felt this way.

My relationship with black music and black culture has been complicated. I’m learning many black people have felt (and some still feel) this way, too.

I grew up in a military family from the late 1970s through the 1990s. Some of the schools I went to were predominantly white. Some schools were more diverse.

My favorite musicians…

Maya Spikes

Writer, blogger and content marketer. Are you a writer? Visit https://mayaspikes.com to get 4 Easy Ways to Beat Writer’s Block & other writing/blogging tips.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store