Today we’d like to introduce you to Kortney Y. Watkins.
Kortney, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Writing has always been a part of me. Even as a young child, I wrote poems and plays when not reciting or acting. In my childhood household, the Arts—including literature—was fostered.
Though my first major in college was psychology (I had considered being a music therapist), a change of fate led me to reconsider my life path. My mother suggested I pick English as my new major. I actually listened. Fast forward in time and space and I hold an AA and BA in English, a MA in English & Creative Writing, have both published and self-published material and have a career as an Associate Professor of English at a local institution in addition to being co-founder and co-owner of writing services and boutique hybrid publishing company, The Linguistique Mystique Language Services Co., LLC (or what my business partners and I lovingly call TLM for short).
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Would I be wrong if I “LOL’d” this question? What most people don’t realize is that many writers and poets like most creatives are starving artists. We have a day job (or several ) to pay the bills. Our lovely muses pick the most inconvenient times to whisper words of enticement, waking us from deepest slumber, and keeping us awake until time to get us for our day job(s).
So yeah, sleep, money, sleep, money, more sleep… those are definitely roadblocks. If you also happen to be in education (like half of my writer/poet friends are), that’s an additional challenge as well. Grading papers, assisting students, pleasing administration… and, as a business owner, you realize that owning a business doesn’t mean instant income stream. In the beginning, you often work to support the dream.
All said I think the biggest challenge that I face is negotiating work-life-calling balance. It’s a constant struggle, which is a beautiful segue into advice for women beginning their journey. So, here it goes: keep pace with your dream, but not to the detriment of body and soul. Both are more fragile than you think. Both can break when you need them most. But your calling is a different matter entirely. Embrace that and keep it first. Whoever bears the title of the divine for you (for me, it’s God) also gave you your calling. So, answer the phone call, but don’t put the call on hold forever. Step away in brief moments when you need to and then continue the lovely and productive conversation with the Universe. That’s all I’ve got. I hope it helps someone.
What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
Wow! That’s quite a lot to digest, but “small bites” like I tell my students.
Okay. Clearly, I wear many hats—scribe (writer), poet, educator, and business owner. What all of those things have in common for me is my love of the literary. What matters most to me is that I empower myself and others to embrace their literary calling. So, you could say that I specialize in being both the literary practitioner and educator. For example, TLM offers many classes, workshops, and even writing coaching services in order to ensure that those who put their trust in us have the best guidance regarding fulfilling their dreams as writers and poets. Yes, we love a good paycheck, but it’s not about the money for us. It’s about helping others to contribute to the infinite knowledge base of the world. You see, TLM was founded by college professors; we care about the outcome of any literary piece, past dollars, and cents. Quality matters.
I think that’s what I’m most proud of. In an age where everyone seeks to be rich by and for any quantity, my business partners and my staff all believe that quality should never be sacrificed. Old school values, right? Well, maybe there’s something to be said about that.
For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
Now, THAT is a loaded question! Women are creatures of opportunity and of course, I mean this in every positive possible way. We tend to see how the details work in the greater scheme of any scenario. For me, the scheme of life is no different. The opportunities that you speak of are just mere details. I also think women, in general, have the gifts of insight, discernment, empathy, fortitude, and resilience.
Please understand that business is not just a monetary-based condition of being. Business is people—whether you see them physically or virtually. So, whip out those people skills! Learn people. Love people. Seek opportunity through… you guessed it! PEOPLE.
- Writing Coaching Packages starting at $497
- Writer’s CV Workshop $99
- Online Classes starting at $199
- Free Discovery Call for Writers and Poets
- Tailored Packages for Publications (discovery call for quote)
- Mini-WriteBites (workshops) $20
- Address: 1100 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
- Website: www.tlmlanguageservices.com
- Phone: 678.902.5856
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: TLM Language Services
- Facebook: The Linguistique Mystique Writers