I took a week off from writing…

Here’s what I learned.
Free stock photo of anxiety, bed, burned
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

This last week of May was such a rough week for me. I took almost a whole week off from writing. I decided to start this week fresh and continue my passion.

If you subscribed to my Substack, then you know what happened. I got extremely down about my writing and came to the conclusion of “What’s the point?” 

I let my demons get the best of me. Getting back on Substack this week and writing my weekly Newsletter got me back into somewhat of a groove again.

My laptop was closed for almost a week, and that’s not like me at all. I was producing an article or post nearly every day on Medium.

What did I learn?


SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT

Sometimes self-care doesn’t involve doing anything, as I’ve said in previous articles. Taking care of yourself doesn’t always have to be productive.

Caring for yourself at the end of the day should be a top priority. I took the week off to dissolve my feelings and reset. It worked wonders. I still have that lingering doubt in my mind, but I’m pushing through.

VACATION IS NEEDED SOMETIMES

While we could always use a vacation, we can get stuck in a rut and the monotonous flow of daily life. Where all your days seem to flow together, and you wake up the next day to it being a month later. That’s called BURNOUT.

That’s when you know you need to take a vacation away from life. I didn’t exactly take a vacation; I still worked my 9 to 5. I just took time off from my passion.

YOU CAN’T BE PASSIONATE ALL THE TIME

I guess there are people out there who can be passionate about their job 24/7, like my mom, who’s a flight attendant. However, looking at it from a different perspective, she takes vacations between her regular work schedule.

My dad, one of the hardest workers I know, works in a factory full-time building tires and works as a motorcycle mechanic part-time. Even he takes a week’s vacation away from everything a couple of times a year.

There comes a time where you have to step away from your passion and, as I said above, “reset.” You will tire out. You will get tired of your passion at some point. Take a well deserved break and come back to it.

TAKING A BREAK MAKES YOU A BETTER HUMAN

It makes you a better person for yourself and others. When we’re bogged down with work and constantly busy, we’re not helping ourselves in the long run.

Sure we get weekends off, but is it enough? Not always. Taking a mental health break is always much needed. It gives you time to have an adventure and see things in a new light.


When things like boredom and writer’s block strike us, we push through. We always continue to persevere. Maybe sometimes we need to stop and take a break. Even the hardest of workers know when to take time off.

Do you keep pushing through and working yourself to the bone, or do you know when to take time off too?

Homebody Cosmetics: Where Cannabis and Beauty Collide

Local business owner Yakiena Greene is passionate about cosmetics, and she holds "high" standards for herself and other women. I interviewed her by email and over Snapchat regarding the hardships of running an online shop on her own, along with projected plans for the business. Her business needs so much more recognition for all her hard work. She truly deserves success.

Homebody Cosmetics is an online beauty company with various homemade products ranging from lashes, lip gloss, makeup bags, & even rolling trays.


Started by 25-year-old Greene, during the pandemic in May 2020, she operates HBC exclusively online. She had always wanted to start a business of her own.

“I knew working a nine to five wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life so I decided to start HBC.,” she writes.

Across the United States, you’ll find her brand ambassadors. Some are content creators, and some are just promoting the brand. “Her girls,” as she refers to them, are beautiful, unique, and professional when representing her products. Just because you think you’re pretty or good at doing makeup doesn’t mean you’ll get the opportunity, though.
“I don’t look for looks at all,” she types. “I look for outgoing girls who love beauty and feeling beautiful… For people I can trust to protect the image I am creating.”

“I don’t look for looks at all,” she types. “I look for outgoing girls who love beauty and feeling beautiful… For people I can trust to protect the image I am creating.”

Click the right arrow to see the video of “The Girls”! *SOUND ON!*

Greene holds a “high” standard for her girls. Like any business owner, there’s the responsibility of being your own human resources department. Thus far, she’s only fired, one girl.


“These girls were everything I was looking for because they had a different look to them… I asked my girls to promote, and they do.” Greene recently released a promo video of “her girls” so you could see all their glamorous faces. Each of them is unique, and they add an element of creativity to the brand.

Laid off from her job in March 2020, Greene started planning, designing, and investing in her business.

“I was always home ordering and buying things for my business, not realizing I wasn’t focused on our apartment… It caused some problems in my relationship. I had to realize my home needs to come first before my business.”

Even with learning some core values about adulting, HBC still came to fruition. The logo created by Greene is the representation of her and what HBC stands for. It’s a stunning staple on her business cards and her thank you cards for her packages, including a special note from her.

She chats with me about some of her products, 

“My favorite product is most definitely my lashes. I love how women look in them and each style that I sell represents me and my life as a homebody.”

As I scrolled through her website, I was amazed to see all the different colored and flavored lip glosses available. She makes them herself which I found to be quite stunning. Being a creative myself, I’ve dabbled in making candles and bath salts but never thought of making lip gloss at home.

Greene says she got started with all things beauty in high school.

“I wanted a different look, so I started doing my makeup, horribly by the way….” She laughs. “I started wearing lipstick…” she continues. “Yes, at 16…” She includes a smiley face emoji. “But I loved how it made me look and feel. I have so many eyeshadow palettes now; it’s crazy!” 

With practice, she began to fall in love with the creativity of application.

“When I do my makeup now, it’s so easy for me to mix colors on my eyes, and it comes out beautiful. I just loved how using makeup was basically all colors. Different shades and different names, how the different eyeshadow looks come out and it makes the person feel like another person, it activates the beauty even more!” A beautiful sentiment about the multiple possibilities we have when playing with makeup.

We all have a go-to beauty item. Like a lot of us, hers is “Eyeshadow, hands down.” She goes on to talk about toying with the idea of creating her own eyeshadow palette. 

“I love looking at a pretty, colorful palette and instantly thinking of the looks I want to create.”

She hints at the possibility of hiring someone to join her company.

“…it would be nice to have an assistant, so I’m not juggling everything myself. Keeping inventory is a challenge. When I started this, I had extra money and now that I’m a year in, it’s definitely harder to keep inventory, especially now that I don’t have extra money. It’s a lot of time and money to put into a business.”

Keeping stock of all that you need to produce, label, and package for your products is challenging when your business hasn’t hit it big yet. Working a nine to five helps pay the bills, but one day, the company will grow into something bigger, and she will be able to do it full-time. Always be thinking of your ROI, return on investment. Every business has to start somewhere. We must invest wisely.

Although the little things are an investment, she says her printers (laser inkjet and Cricut) were her most expensive investments.

“I knew I needed it, so it was worth it!” She writes.

Greene uses her printers to add designs to her makeup bags, images for her rolling trays, and labeling her products. Her current work in progress is releasing lounge clothing sets.

The challenges of being a sole business owner can be overwhelming. Everything in the shop she creates herself.

“It’s hard doing all that by yourself. Sometimes I need a mental break, but I have to realize that no one said this was going to be easy.”

She sure keeps going, though. Hustling hard, she promotes her shop on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Having an online presence is one of the essentials to having a business today.

Her business may just be beginning to “bud,” but I can see the passion throughout her work and in her mindset. The future has considerable potential.

Next year, her goals for HBC include increasing her clientele, adding new products, building her brand, and even getting her business license! These are ambitious goals, but she’s on the right track. With her determination and hard work, she’s looking into becoming a limited liability corporation (LLC).

You will discover the shop is very cannabis-focused. The slogan being:

“For the girls who love to get stoned, get cute to stay at home.”

Greene admits she’s “definitely a stoner” and would one day like to grow cannabis herself. She’s very educated on the subject as she mentions how it’s helped people with certain illnesses and even helped those with cancer.

“People use cannabis as a healing element in medicine,” she writes. “I’m just fascinated by cannabis.”

She recently debuted a hemp oil-infused lip gloss to the shop.

“My boyfriend and I smoke together a lot. We are very chill and laid-back people.”

They say a couple that smokes together stays together!

As a new business owner, I asked Greene for her advice to others just starting a new venture online.

“You got this! You have to keep going; your business will become big one day! Don’t give up!” She encourages.

I can attest that running a business while working a nine to five is difficult. Trying to write articles during the day and getting ideas, it’s hard to get everything written down. One day we will make it big. We have to continue to persevere!

I encourage you to follow the links to her socials and get some products from her! Handmade with care, they are worth it. Stay tuned on her website for new product releases and sales. Give her a like & follow on the ‘Gram.

Here’s clickable links to the HBC website and socials:

Fresh Start

Hello! Welcome!

My name is Nikkole and I’m running NikkoleWrites.com. I currently work a 9-5 at a call center 5 days a week and write when I get off work. My writing routine usually starts around five PM-ish then goes on and off until at least nine or 10:00.

Lately I’ve been trying to get all my work published through Medium.com to earn a little extra income and dip my toe in the waters of freelancing. I’m building my portfolio slowly but surely. I have a great editor at Creatures who is really helping me through her Build Your Voice campaign that I’m a member of.

I’ve got lots of works in progress at the moment. I have an interview I’m working on to promote a cosmetics company. I have another interview scheduled this weekend for a profile of my coworker who’s from India discussing the pandemic in India right now. I’ve got another idea for an interview for a friend of mine who runs a garden club in a small town. Not to mention all the pieces I have half written or that need to be edited for Medium.

I’ve just got a lot going on! I’m really trying to get into the habit of writing every day. Especially during my down time at work. I keep a journal with me in my office to hand write ideas as they flow through my brain. I use it to organize the outline for some of my pieces as well.

I really look forward to running this blog for my more personal pieces or projects that can’t be posted on Medium as it’s an ad-free platform. I will try to keep it updated with my ideas and progress of current works.

Still trying to get this website ready to fully launch for the world to see. Just have to make a few minor adjustments and we should be up and running soon!

Please do me a favor and follow all my socials for updates! They are all clickable at the bottom of my Contact page and Portfolio page.

Thanks so much for reading! I look forward to producing more quality content for your viewing. 🙂