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Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun Series

The Code Blue Series somehow became something bigger than me. The best way to describe it is looking at the world now and what’s going on, on the police force. I started to question what good cops are feeling in a position where they’re forced into upholding their badge than their own morals and values. 
When I decided to write about Gary, I knew I had to take race out of the picture when it came to him and who he was. In my mind, I had to say, let’s focus on the racism in America between police officers and black and Latino men. What is not discussed is how there are black and Latino police officers who are racist against their own too. It’s not just white cops versus black and Latino men. 

There was a need to address that in my books but in the midst of it, you’re trying to figure out what race Gary is. The reality is no matter what race Gary is or you choose to make him, any police officer who commits the wrongs that I write about in my books, there’s a lack of upholding the oath you took to protect and serve the community. It becomes follow agendas and doing what you’re told regarding black and latino men.

We lose a sense of the things that are constantly going on because it doesn’t happen to us. It’s a mentality of, “if it doesn’t happen to me, I’m good.” Well...until it does and by that point it’s too late in addressing the constant issues that are going on in our communities daily. Gary is the good cop who’s caught in a lot of things he never thought he would be.

The community he grew up in and decided to serve and protect has become a city of turmoil. I felt I had to incorporate him having a child because there’s always someone looking up to you and this is the prime example of it. Gary, Jr. is an innocent child who doesn’t know the atrocities of the world until he starts watching the news at night and seeing his father at crime scenes and wanting answers.

There was a need to make Gary, Jr. the smart, intuitive child who is keen to what’s going on around him. That forces Gary to fess up to his wrongdoings and admit that he’s part of the cover ups, corruption and lies. It makes him realize he’s a hypocrite in teaching his child to being honest and doing the right things when he isn’t doing it himself.

The relationship between them is constant throughout the series with a plethora of letters written to each other. I thought of doing emails or phone calls but I wanted to go old school with their communication before technology engulfed and infiltrated our daily lives. It’s a relationship that becomes tumultuous and Gary ends up losing the two most important people in his life, his wife and his son because he’s so engulfed in a job that’s made its way into their home. 

The series takes a lot to write because I want to make sure I’m addressing the corruption while keeping Gary’s thoughts and feelings in it. It’s a hard battle and also writing it to where it’s believable, truthful and Gary is someone you can relate to. He’s a combination of a protagonist and antagonist and it’s something that isn’t done often in stories. This is to make you think about how many good cops who want to do the right thing, this is a job that want to do but you are forced into this brotherhood of keeping the lies, secrets and corruption among themselves. 

My goal with this series is to not only make you think and realize what’s going on in America daily, but to also put you in a police officer’s shoes as he/she pounds the pavement everyday. Are there good cops, definitely. But there’s also the bad ones and the biggest problem is the good ones aren’t exposing the bad ones, afraid of the backlash, losing their careers, their paychecks and pensions which is one of the first things I address in the beginning of Part 1.

Hopefully you all understand and realize that there’s a lot that has to be done to make society a better place. The battle is exposing it all from what goes on in the streets to inside of the precincts and corporate offices in America. It’s up to us to get things right and remember it all starts with the guys in suits and then it trickles down to the police departments. 

Code Blue 1-3 is available on all major bookstores (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Scribd). Part 4 releases December 2018. 



Jamell Crouthers

Aquarianmind 
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The Struggles and Growth of a Man Series

The Struggles and Growth of a Man Series

This series wasn’t really supposed to be a series. The Struggles and Growth of a Man was my first book ever published and I honestly thought my book was so good that people would discover it on Amazon and the sky would be the limit in my success. I started thinking of my life ahead and I had no website, no social media presence, a terrible book cover and the book was oversized at 8 x 10 (it basically looked like a children’s book). 

Luckily I learned things and got sound advice from some good people and I resized my books to 6 x 9, and I’ve changed my book cover 3 times with this series. I’ll honestly say a lot has happened since I wrote my first book (started a website with blogs, recorded 2 audiobooks and part 1 of this book is available on my website through audio, YouTube page, and other things). 

Now onto discussing this series, while I’ve only published 2 of the 5 books so far, this series will pickup again next year (scheduling a few other books to publish before I get back to this series). I must say the progression of Robert from an adolescent into a man has been a journey. He learns a lot about himself, who he was, what he’s becoming and what he wants to be.

Believe it or not, a lot of men struggle with daily things in their lives, we just don’t talk about it openly. This is a series where you learn a lot about a Robert but also his brother Michael and they go through daily struggles together. After they’ve lost their parents and mentor to untimely deaths, now they must maneuver through life from what they’ve been taught and through life experiences.

The world has all of these stigmas of what men should be and Robert learns it’s not all true. He goes through a journey of finding himself and along the way his younger brother Michael gets out of prison and joins him on this journey of life. They are going through their share of struggles but having each other is what keeps them grounded no matter how much happens to them and what they experience.

This series impacts men but also allows people to get inside the mind of a man a little. We're in constant thought about our lives and us wanting to be accepted in society. It's not easy for us and we're not built to be strong all of the time. There's a hope that this series enlightens all of the readers and allows them to understand that life is all about growth.

Part 1 and 2 are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Scribd:
















Be good and go accomplish your goals!

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind 
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Writing Books In Series


When I first started with publishing books, I didn't know what my plan would be. As time went on, I started to think about how I wanted to build my brand. I would read articles on authors and how they wrote and the biggest thing they said was to write books in a series. It never dawned on me to do that but so many authors do it with their books.

After thinking about that as a concept, I figured out how I would do it. I made a decision that if I was to write a series in any of the books I was going to do, it was never going to be more than five books. The reason why is, you don't want to drag out a storyline, you definitely don't want to make characters boring and it's only but so much you can continually write about with certain characters.

It was a great idea and I had to figure out deeper storylines on how I was going to write my books. So if you are an aspiring author or you are an author yourself, writing a series tends to draw readers in. Even though I'm still growing an audience with my author brand, releasing new parts to the series helps me to continually improve my writing.

Even though I write about different subject areas dealing with societal issues, there's always the challenge of continually getting better, improving and developing characters along the way. You go through an emotional rollercoaster with the characters, you grow with them, you get mad at them, because that's part of life and growth. I definitely enjoy going back and forth and writing different books because it keeps my mind fresh.

While I would have loved to have written let's say The World We Live In with 5 straight books, I knew that wasn't going to be a reality. That's how most authors do it but I like to end books with cliffhangers and keep people wondering what will happen next. I've always been one to do that so it keeps readers intrigued and wanting more. I mean, isn't that the goal anyway?

If I decided to write The World We Live In straight through, I feel that my content wouldn't be as good. I need time to think over characters and how I'm going to continually write them and develop them. There has to be a backstory that leads to the present moment and writing about experiences and what got them to this place. I love the challenge of doing that and sometimes I need to observe the world a little in order to write better content in my books.

All in all, I enjoy the process with writing, it's very rare I get writer's block. I tend to write and let things flow and then make small adjustments later to how I wrote it. Sometimes I add more to the storyline, sometimes I leave it alone and even sometimes I delete out stuff that doesn't fit into the story.

The best advice I can give people with writing is to write what they feel, write what you're comfortable with and continually develop your craft.

In the next few weeks, I will delve into how I write my different series of books. I will be posting how I write the Code Blue series, The Struggles and Growth of a Man series and The World We Live In series. So definitely stay tuned as it will be an in depth look into how I wrote fictional characters in a real life setting.

Be good and go accomplish your goals.

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind
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The Mental, Physical and Emotional Aspect of Your Journey


Being emotionally, physically and mentally drained when you're chasing something great in your career will eventually happen. It's said, it's like hitting a wall and in all honesty, it really is. At this point of my writing journey, I have hit a wall. I'm physically tired all of the time, I'm emotionally tired and mentally tired in all aspects of my life.

While it is good to take a break from it all, it's not easy to do when your mind tricks you into doing work. As I write this, I'm more mentally tired than anything and for numerous reasons. I'm going at this 7 days a week and very rarely do I take breaks (which is not a good thing). For me, there's always something to do, I'm in a competitive mindset (with myself) and that's because I'm an athlete and I'm determined to win.

Sometimes on your journey, it's good to take a day off, sleep in, relax a little, do something else that you enjoy (sports, TV shows, spending time with family, music). You can't become engulfed in something that it takes away from enjoying moments in your life. We all want to be successful but at what price? I'm not going to lie, I pass on hangin' out with people, going out, being around family all to write or record or do book promotion.

Lately, I've slowed down and I've spent time with my family for a day, I went to a comedy show which was great because I needed to get my mind off of everything I'm doing. I have definitely lost myself in this journey of writing and trying to reach people with my books. Right now, it's a love/hate relationship and some days the love for it is there and some days the hate is there because the results aren't showing itself.

The best advice I can give to people who are chasing their constant goals of doing well in what they're passionate about is, know how to balance your workload and your personal time to yourself. Personal time means not working all of the time and doing something else that takes your mind off of the work you're doing. I know, easier said than done because while you're taking personal time, you're subconsciously thinking in your head of what you need to do next or something that you should be doing.

Yes sacrifices need to be made to accomplish your goals but don't lose yourself in the process and become mentally drained where you lack mental focus. Stay the course in your journey but get the rest needed, eat well, exercise and take care of yourself mentally.

Be good and go accomplish your goals.

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind
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Procrastination and No Commitment


The biggest problem that probably about 90% of you have. That's just what I think and feel, it's probably not totally true. I used to be the same exact way until I made a decision. I made a decision to start working non-stop at my goals. I thought that after my first book I was good, everyone would see it, buy it and I'd become some famous author because I wrote something about men's struggles in society.

Then reality set in, I had to do work. I procrastinated and had no commitment at all. I knew I had to write more books, I had to post more content, I had to promote myself. I had to develop the passion that I put into writing that one book into developing more content. That's what I did and a few books later, I'm still in a dark tunnel but I do see flashes of light occasionally and that's great for me.

Most people procrastinate and say they'll do it tomorrow or they'll do it next week. Most will say they're tired and don't want to. Most will say they don't have time. The only thing is, you're going to be tired most of the time when you don't want to do things. I'm tired most of the time and things have to be done and I do it. Why? It's because I have goals to accomplish and always will.

You wake up every damn day tired and not wanting to go to a job you can't stand but you go, right? So why are you not putting in the time when you're tired into accomplishing your goals? Why are you bullshitting yourself? That's who you're bullshitting when you think about it, no one else. It's your reflection that you stare at every morning when you're brushing your teeth.

When you say you don't have time, there's 24 hours in a day. I work Monday-Wednesday 11-9 p.m. and Thursday 12-9 p.m. which is 35 hours in 4 days and I work on a computer and deal with patient's medical records all day. I'm sharing this with you because this is my reality and my life, I'm not going to sugarcoat any of it. My job is nothing glamorous and Corporate America isn't for me. A large percentage of people know at my job I'm a writer, author, blogger and that it's only a matter of time before I see light at the end of the tunnel and I'm running out of there like Usain Bolt in the Olympics.

My job is my investment into my passion, whatever money I make, I pay my bills, and then budget whatever I can and put it into what I love. I wake up at 7:30 a.m. Monday-Wednesday, walk out of my house at 8:25 a.m. and I don't walk back into my house at 10:05 p.m. every night. I take 2 trains to work everyday (50 mins going, 1 hour and 20 minutes coming home). I get to work an hour early Monday-Wednesday and what am I doing? Reading, planning, strategizing, and writing content that I will go back to at the end of the week.

My lunch breaks are spent listening to music, eating, thinking and writing things I plan on doing. On my way home, I'm listening to music and just thinking. That's it, thinking. I get home, I shower and eat, it's 11:00 p.m. Then I may post stuff on social media, do some engaging, watch some YouTube videos on motivation, it's 12 a.m, some nights I fall asleep at 1 a.m. and I do it all over again the next day.

Thursdays I can sleep in and get to work at my exact time for 12 p.m. From Thursday at 9 p.m. until Monday morning at 7:30 a.m, I'm doing things such as thinking, brainstorming, errands and whatever else needs to be done. I'll admit I catch up on television shows, watching sports and spending time with my mother. I also talk to my father on the phone for a good 2 hours on Saturday or Sunday.

So sorry to bust your bubble people, your procrastination makes me laugh because you have no commitment to what you're doing. I sit on social media and watch everyone going out, in lounges, going out to eat, drink, sitting in front of your television binge watching shows (which is what most are doing today because it's one of the shittiest day in New York in quite some time). There's nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying life, but doing it every weekend and not making sacrifices toward your goals, then that's a problem. That's cool if you want to enjoy your weekends, but don't you dare complain about your life when you're procrastinating and bullshitting, that's just the reality.

Unless you have the drive and motivation to succeed, you won't get a thing done. If you want to play around on social media all day, great. You want to binge watch television shows, watch sports all weekend, go out with friends all of the time, play with your pets all day, great. But please don't go on social media and complain about your life because I'll be the first person to start asking you questions about your life.

I've done it to people and they realized what they were doing wrong and some have gotten themselves back on track. So commit yourself to something and keep doing it until you complete the mission/goal.

Be good and go accomplish your goals, you're only as good as what you accomplished yesterday.

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind
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Conversations With My Parents (My Biggest Motivators)


Your parents want the best for you (even though you don't think of it that way sometimes). They may tell you to get a steady job with medical benefits and setting yourself up for a 401k. Yes, times have changed and it's more of an entrepreneurial, business-minded, control your destiny type of world. It's more of a carefree world where people take risks and go out on a limb and go after what they truly want in life. Sometimes it works out for them, sometimes it doesn't.

Parents want you to have a safety net, but sometimes you end up having to leave that safety net and going after what you're passionate about and truly love. It's not easy to do it and that's why I try to keep my life in perspective. The job market is tough and it's not even your resume that does the talking, it's who you know who can put you in a position to get you a job that'll allow you to survive.

Look, the reality is, no one wants to just, "survive" and live check to check but the realities of this world show it that way. So at my age, I understand why my parents tell me to have a steady job where I can take care of rent, cell phone, school loans and all of the other stuff that entails being a responsible adult. But...now they know that I have a passion and something that I'm pretty good at...writing.

While I do have a full-time job working 35 hours a week, Monday-Thursday, having 3 days weekends gives me that extra day to do whatever work I need to get done, or to do errands or even to just rest my body. But I always have conversations with my parents about what I'm working on, goals, mental focus and ideas that I may have.

Your parents will most likely be your biggest fans out of all of the people you'll encounter on your journey to greatness. While they didn't teach me to be an entrepreneur or to control my destiny at all times, I learned that along the way in my 20s into my 30s. I've accepted that Corporate America is not for me and it will never be. I never envisioned myself doing a desk job deep into my 60s to retire and potentially die within the next 10-12 years of mental exhaustion from working all of my life to survive and exist.

Which brings me to my next point of me not rushing life. Always do what works for you and what you're passionate about. I'm definitely a lucky son of a gun, I'm 35 years old with no kids, not in a relationship and I have the luxury of being able to follow my passions in life. While my mom would love for me to meet a woman, settle down, get married and give her a grandchild, that's the farthest from my mind right now.

This is why it's imperative to have conversations with your parents about life, your goals and how you're going to impact the world. Building that bond and relationship with your parents will be the key to your success. If you're close to at least one of them, the journey will be easier no matter how tough times get.

Be good and go accomplish your goals.

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind
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My Motivation To Be The Best Poet


The one thing that I will always say and continue to say is, I'm not in competition with anyone. Other authors have their own stories and journey. I'm not trying to out beat them or out do them in any way, shape or form. I'm motivated by how I write and how I'm able to formulate story lines and put them into poetic prose format for people to understand.

I'm very different in how I write, it's nothing that has ever been done (as far as I know). My motivation is to be the best poet in my eyes. There are many other great poets who write about different things and share their thoughts on life, love and other subjects. The great thing about me is I can write books and I can also write shorter poems to post on social media. When I write the shorter poems, I talk about my inner thoughts and what's going on in my life at that exact moments in time. Sometimes I delve into societal issues when I write shorter poems when I really need to get something off of my chest.

The competition is myself at all times, I compete against myself. I'm currently writing series for The Struggles and Growth of a Man, The World We Live In and Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun. When I'm drafting story lines to these books, in my mind it's how much can I push the limits? How can I develop a story that will be appealing to an audience and keep them engaged and reading?

Your competition should always be yourself. You should be challenging yourself daily in regards to your goals, your journey and where you want to be. Start with where you want to be a month from now, 3 months, 6 months and a year from now. I don't go beyond a year from now because everything is a process. If you want to think a few years ahead, you can but a lot of times, things don't go according to plan (I've learned that in my 20s and into my 30s).

If you want to be the best at something, you have to be relentless in your pursuit of being the greatest. It's an everyday process (with occasional breaks to clear your mind), and there should always be a project that you're working on. When you develop this mindset, you'll never get complacent in your journey. When you have a list of goals to complete, it becomes a relentless chase of striving for greatness.

I'm trying to be legendary and leave a legacy when I'm done with this journey. Who knows when this journey will end but for now, I have a good 30 book ideas, blogs to write, short poems to write, podcasts to record for the rest of the year, audio books to record and helping others a long the way. I'm working on changing the world one book at a time (that's my moniker).

I'm blessed with a gift and my goal is to change the world and that's why I write about so many different things. Whatever your gift and/or talent is, be sure to utilize it because a lot of people wish they could be blessed with your talent.

Be good and go accomplish your goals!

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind

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A Special Blog for Writers and Authors



This blog is for writers and authors of books, it was time that I write a blog that helps with this process. I know what you're thinking, why not charge for this? I won't do it because I found all of this information on my own and anyone can do it themselves. I just want to share websites that definitely work and have worked for me in this journey. Without further a do, please read below:

Distribution to Multiple Bookstores:
Draft2digital-This website is basically a savior when it comes to distribution to multiple bookstores. If you want to get your book into multiple bookstores all in one shot, this is the website to utilize. Instead of having multiple bookstore account, you can just have one major account. They tabulate all of your earning and pay you monthly based on your book sales. You can put your books on the website, set the price and then click on what bookstores you want them to be in (eBook only).

They have contracts with Barnes and Noble, Apple iTunes, Kobo, Scribd, Tolino, 24 Symbols, Overdrive and many others. Everyone doesn't have an Amazon account so please don't restrict your audience to just one bookstore. After Amazon, Barnes and Apple, Kobo and Scribd are the next big bookstores in the market and yes I have gotten sales from those stores.

Book Covers:
Fiverr-Half of my books have been made by Niezeka on Fiverr and she has done amazing book covers for me. You have to give her a vision, select a few photo ideas from Shutterstock.com and she works her magic. There are different price points depending on what you're looking for and it's definitely affordable, not the overpriced amounts other people and companies charge for a book cover. She's based in Indonesia and trust me, you'll be a repeat customer when she does one book cover for you!

Book Formatting:
Fiverr-I use Fiverr to get my books formatted and this guy does amazing work. His name is Tom and depending on how long your books are and the word count, he will send you a quote. He's definitely fair and he has done all of my books to date. You won't be overcharged like other sites and book publishers.

Press Releases:
Fiverr-Heather has been in the PR business for over 10 years and did an amazing press release for me and distributed to all of the major news outlets. She is reasonable in price and if you just want a press release only, she can do that for you. If you want both, she provides that too.

Book Promotion:
Fiverr-Depending on what you want for promotion whether it's social media or their specific website, if you drop your book to $99 cent, pay a small fee of $5, they can promote your book on a specific day. I've seen results with this so utilize it the right way and you'll see results yourself!

Written Word Media-This website gives you options to utilize to promote your book(s). There is Freebooksy (for free books), Bargainbooksy (books priced under $3.99) and Red Feather Romance (romantic books only). I've utilized Bargainbooksy and have gotten sales priced at $.99 cents. You can choose whatever price point you want but people are always looking for deals so you can't go wrong.

On Bargainbooksy, depending on what genre your book is, will determine how much you will have to spend to do the promotion. If you don't see your genre on there, just utilize Literary Fiction (which is what I did) and you will be good to go. You get to choose the date (if it's open) and they do the rest!

Book Reviews:
Kindle Book Review-Looking for a few reviews to boost your rankings on Amazon? This is the place to do it! There are 2 different price points ($50 for 2 reviews on Amazon/Goodreads or $100 for 4 reviews). You don't have to utilize Goodreads as part of your reviews, you have them post it on the Amazon UK site to help reach and audience there. This website is an Amazon affiliate and remember, verified purchases and reviews boosts the algorhitms on Amazon!

Kindle Book Promotions-Another Amazon affiliate, this website helps you to become a bestselling book. They have different price points and just to warn you, you'll have to invest a bit. They show results on the website and it's a chance to really get your book noticed on Amazon and boost your ratings.

Literary Titan-a good place to get a book review, it does take a few weeks but they also help promote your book after they give you a review. They also do book trailers for your books at a good price.

Bookplex-there are different options to choose from in how many book reviews you want and whether you want a certified book review to be posted on Amazon. Sometimes they run promotions where book reviews are at a lower price so keep a lookout for that.

Reader's Favorite-they accept every genre from any author, they only post 4 and 5 star reviews so if they feel your book is under 4 stars, they will e-mail you. Book promotion is included in your book review depending on what option you choose. There are different price points and you also get an opportunity to be put into a contest for authors which is awesome. They have a book contest where you have a chance to win numerous prices and a possible book deal along with your book possibly being made into a movie or film.

Dragon Realm Press-from editing and proofreading to book reviews and marketing, this website offers a variety of different things. Unfortunately, you can't choose options and pay upfront on the website, you have to e-mail them and it does take time for responses so choose wisely. If you are submitting your books in a series, be prepared for months of waiting for reviews.

Creating A Bookstore:
Ganxy-This website allows you to set your book up so you can sell them on your website. So if a reader/customer wants to buy your book directly from you, you can now do that! The sales you make, you keep 90% and the website only takes 10%. You can also set it up to where you can have all of your books from other bookstores setup there too. You can also setup your audiobooks on the site to sell on your website too if you don't want to utilize Audible and other sites.

You can post your books not only on your website but also on your Facebook Fan Page (if you have that setup) and they don't charge any monthly fees. Lastly, you can order marketing materials from them at a reasonable price too. They're growing and I just spoke with a marketing manager for the company about some new promotions, will give you details when they come my way.

Events/Book Festivals:
AALBC-This is a website for growing authors where you can find out every book festival and event going on in the country for the year. They even post some events in other countries and some events are planned out for the next year. There are also some networking opportunities on there and you can get to know other authors in the business.

This is all of the information that I've found in the 2 years I've been writing and publishing books. These are websites I've utilized and have worked to my advantage. I will be working on a blog specifically for radio interviews and I hope you all utilize this information to the best of your ability!

Be good and go accomplish your goals!

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind


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Clearing Your Mind and Recharging Your Battery


Sometimes, taking time off to recharge your battery is long overdue. It's something that needs to be done and you know it. It's just a matter of doing it and taking a few days off from the grind of your goals and aspirations. You can't just go through the grind every single day relentlessly without giving your mind, body and soul a break. Sometimes, you just need to decompress and clear your mind, reflect on how far you've come and where you're going.

Well, that is what I did this past week in Los Angeles. I'm originally from New York and this vacation was long overdue. This was my 5th trip to California in 3 years and every time I come, I refocus, get my mind right and go back home refreshed. This vacation I was able to do way more and enjoy a few new places. I also got to revisit some places that never get old (Venice Beach).

To be able to clear your mind of the clutter, the pressures, people, social media, the world, life, it felt really good. I stayed in a studio Airbnb, I had no cable, just Netflix (which worked perfectly for me), I was not too far from Los Angeles, but just far enough to where I can get some quiet (besides hearing cars driving by most of the day).

I was able to go to Malibu twice, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Long Beach and Venice Beach. Each beach has it's own vibe, but the water sounds peaceful and serene and that's what I needed for myself. The weather was in the 70s, breezy, relaxing and chill. I did a lot of walking and just enjoyed the ambience of each beach. I also had some good soul food and Thai food while I was here.

Sometimes life gets in the way where you're so engulfed and entrenched in your journey, that you forget to take time to relax. Unfortunately as you read this, I'm flying back to New York or by the time you do read it, I'm already back in New York but that's life. I know that I won't be in New York much longer and it's only because my end goal is to live here.

Clearing your mind is a must no matter how you look at it. Some need a vacation to do it and some of you just need to be home alone, to yourself and not doing anything. Whatever it takes, just do it, you'll thank yourself later. It's perfectly fine to take time for yourself and be on your own time. The grind will be there when you return.

My 9th book released today called America: A Country Divided and I know I have a long way to go in my writing journey, my podcasts, YouTube videos, and other content that I post on my social media pages. You can check out my pictures from California on my Instagram and America: A Country Divided is available on Amazon, and all other bookstores.

Remember to enjoy the journey but also take time to relax and get your mind and body refreshed.

Be good everyone and go accomplish your goals!

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind
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When People Say They Want Success


The reality of things when people say they want success, it’s the money, cars, home and traveling. Most don’t even know how they’re going to get there. They just know that they want to be successful and they think that the materialistic things will make them happy. They forget it’s doing what you love and giving to others is what makes and completes your happiness.
The next aspect of this blog is people aren’t truthfully willing to do the work to get to that place of success. Granted my definition of success is totally different than others, most have a generalization of what they consider success and it’s the social status aspect of it.

Most will say they want to be rich but don’t have a clear vision of how they’ll get there. They haven’t carved out their journey and the amount of work, time, patience, energy and effort they’ll have to give to get there. It may take a year, 2 years, 5years,10 years, who really knows.

A good amount of people want to be rich and not have to work. Granted most people who want that have worked the majority of their lives so I get it. For any millennial who says that, I just laugh internally in my head because that’s really a false sense of reality and how the world works.

My parents are in their mid-50s so to get them retired before the age of 60, I have to do way more work and doing what needs to be done to get there. The crazy part about all of this is I don’t want a big house, I want a townhome. I don’t want a Bentley, I want a Genesis G80 and/or an Alfa Romeo Quadrifiglio. They’re nice cars, nothing extravagant and they’re simple. 

I want my parents to be able to wake up every morning and not have a care in the world but to enjoy life. I want to travel with them and go to different places and enjoy life a little (and in between that work on more content). There’s this meticulous plan in my head and I’ve got it all mapped out. 

I know that I’ll get there, it’s just waiting on that moment. To me, I’m already successful and have accomplished a lot. But the competition with myself keeps me going. Maybe that’s the athletic/competitive aspect of me growing up. Believe me, I talk to plenty of people who want to be rich but have no vision of any sort of how they’re getting there.

Then there are those that just hope and pray they hit the lotto. You have a better chance of doing what you’re passionate about and getting to a good place financially than playing the lotto from 18 years old until you die trying to win that. That’s the reality of it which is why I don’t gamble at all. I’ll take gambles with this writing thing before I give the lottery or casino my hard earned money. 

So if you’re working on things and trying to get to a place where you will do whatever you love for the rest of your life, just know that most of the people around you aren’t doing half of what you’re doing. 

Be good and accomplish your goals.

Jamell Crouthers

Aquarianmind 
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Conversations With My Doctor (Follow Your Passion)


Every year, I go for a daily checkup at my doctor's office and we always have engaging conversations. She always asks me how my life is going, if I'm stressed, depressed, things I'm dealing with and going through. She truly cares about her patients and takes time to ask about their lives and what goals they have.

We talked about what I'm currently doing which is my books, blogging, and growing my author brand. She always knew how passionate I was about sports and how I wanted to make it in that arena. I showed her one of my books and gave her my business card. She was so happy for me and she said she's happy that I'm doing what I love. She heard the passion in my voice and how I was talking about my books, she knew that this was going to be my future.

Our conversation transitioned into talking about her other patients, some who are younger than me and she had conversations with them about their lives and what they want to do. She told me that most of them are doing things that they don't want to because their parents told them to. She said that most of the parents are immigrants and came to America for their child to accomplish their goals and dreams. But my doctor told me that these parents want their kids to accomplish the goals and dreams they have for them which is unfair in a lot of ways.

It got me thinking that parents (most that are baby boomers), think their child should work jobs that are a safety net. You know the one that has medical benefits, a guaranteed 401k and pension, etc. So kids that are born from 1980 and on seem to rebel and go against the grain in today's society. It's because our minds have developed so much and we're all multi-talented and have so many different passions.

Today's world is full of opportunities and lots of them. Social media has become a platform for so many people to utilize their talents and abilities. From Facebook to YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and many others, there are opportunities everywhere to show what you're made of. People are more intrigued by your daily lives more than ever. I'm amazed sometimes at how many random people are interested in the poetry I write about life, situations and things that I'm dealing with and going through in my mind. So please don't let your talents and abilities go to waste because you're forced to work a
9-5 to survive.

My reality is, I work 35 hours a week in 4 days and I spend my others 3 days relentlessly writing, recording and trying to grow my brand. Even during the week when I'm working my regular job, I'm working on a project. So do yourself a favor and believe in yourself and don't limit yourself to one specific thing. That's what these older people want you to do and in all honesty, that's the worst thing you could do.

The point I'm trying to make is, you have to do what you want and follow your passion, not what others want you to do. Parents are there to be cautious and make sure that you don't fall on your ass. A lot of parents weren't taught to tell your kids to accomplish your goals and dreams and to follow your passion. You can't be mad at people for something they weren't taught themselves. You can't teach something that you've never been taught or learned yourself, right?

All I'm saying is, do what you love and live the life you want, or else you'll get old and have regrets. That's one thing you don't want to have when you're older.

Be good and accomplish your goals.

Jamell Crouthers
Aquarianmind


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45 Interview Questions With Jamell Crouthers



Recently, I did an interview with a book website but instead of posting the link to the website, I figured why not share it. It will give you the opportunity to learn more about me as a person, writer and author. I hope you enjoy reading!

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

It never dawned upon me, I’ve been writing poetry since I was 13 years old. It just happened after a vacation to Los Angeles where I was thinking of what would be the next phase of my life.

What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
My laptop and iPad are my go-to devices and my iPad goes with me most places. Having Google Drive on my laptop, phone and iPad I can re-read anything on the go and also type my books.

What inspires you to write?
My life situations, things going on around me, things going on in the world, people’s stories and experiences in their lives, being an observer of world events going on daily.

How often do you write?
I try to write a good 3-4 times a week whether it’s a book or short poems that I post on my social media pages.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
I don’t have a set schedule, whenever I feel like writing I will do it. I can be on the train riding home from work, sitting at work on my lunch break, or at home (where my books are mostly written).

How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
When I first started writing my books it wasn’t hard, I only cared about writing. Now, it’s a totally different story, social media engagement, social media postings, recording audiobooks, recording podcasts, writing scripts for podcasts, writing my blogs weekly, it becomes challenging. It’s all about time management these days.

Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
Not really, I just start writing, I let things flow and then when I’m ready to stop I do. I don’t really force the issue with my writing. It’s only because I have a book where I have my chapters planned ahead of time and I have notes written on what I will be writing about.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies;is there any truth to that?
Yes very much so, part of it is because I’m a writer, the other aspect of it is because I’m an only child. I’m honestly used to being a loner and it doesn’t really bother me. I’m comfortable making myself happy and writing.

What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
Staying mentally focused with the amount of technology that’s around. Cell phones, iPads, television, family members and friends and especially social media.

What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
Getting into a zone and knowing what you want to write about. When you have the storyline, plot, characters all in place, everything flows smoothly.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read poetry books written by up and coming authors, I read about crazy things that go on in the world and also self-help books that will allow me to grow my author brand.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
The story ideas that I come up with, the storylines that I’m able to create in my mind and it allows me to put it onto paper.

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Write what you know and love, not what’s trendy and hot right now. The market changes constantly so don’t feel like you have to cater to what’s hot at the moment. Stick to what you know, learn as much as possible about the business and budget yourself to where you’re not spending too much. Follow your passion and don’t let anyone change your focus and your vision.

What did you want to become when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a lawyer, then I realized how many years of school I’d have to do and I changed my mind quickly. I had aspirations of being a sports broadcaster or analyst (I have old YouTube videos of me talking about the NBA) but my laptop crashed and the dream faded and here I am, an author sharing a vision on changing the world one book at a time.

Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
All of my books are in poetry format, it’s not the traditional book that you would pickup and read. I was able to incorporate societal issues and poetry into books. My books are more of a poetry prose type of writing. My goal is to stand out from the other writers and authors and carve my own path in my writing.

Do your novels carry a message?
All of my books have some message, it’s a matter of figuring out what it is and utilizing that to impact others and change the world that we live in. I write about various things from men’s struggles to women’s issues, domestic violence, alcohol and drug addiction, America, racism and many other subjects. I don’t shy away from a little controversy and getting you to critically think a little about the world around you.

Are there any books that you are currently reading and why?
I just finished reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s newest book Crushing It! I read it to learn how other people have built their brands and success and also to learn how to utilize my social media pages better as far as engagement.

Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
I’m putting the finishing touches on The World In Ruins (releasing in June), I’m currently writing Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun Part 3 (releasing in September) and I plan on finishing the series The World We Live In series (Part 4 and 5 releasing in December to finish the year).

Who are your books mostly dedicated to?
I dedicate them to my grandparents who are no longer with us, and people who deal with tough times in their lives. There’s always a way to make things better in life and being there for each other is so important.

Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
My parents are my biggest supporters, I think they realized I had something going by my 3rd book. They started thinking to themselves, “Okay, Jamell is really serious about this.”

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
Definitely not, it was either a lawyer or sports (granted most of my friends saw me doing something in sports). Go figure I had sports jobs the majority of my life.

Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?
Yup, I work for NY Presbyterian Hospital as a Patient Accounts Representative. Do I like it? Nope, but my coworkers are awesome and get me through my long days.

Does your day job ever get in the way of your writing?
It doesn’t, I’m always working whether I’m on the train traveling to work, before I start work, during my breaks, riding on the train going home, there’s always something to do. Plus, I work 35 hours a week but in 4 days so I have 3 day weekends which allows me to get a lot done.

How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion?
It was a love/hate relationship hobby ordeal between ages 13 to 33. I published my first book at 33 years old. In the 2 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve been blessed by GOD to have written and published 8 books with more coming.

Is it true that anyone can be a writer?
I definitely think so, it’s what you’re good at and how you’re able to express and formulate your thoughts onto paper. It’s about self-awareness (stole this from Gary Vaynerchuk).

People believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?
It definitely isn’t, it’s a lot of hard work, especially being self-published. Everything falls on you, every decision, every investment. You’ll have successes and failures, it’s part of the process.

Do you like traveling or do you prefer staying indoors?
I like the combination of both, traveling is fun and exploring different places. I also like to stay indoors and relax too, my days are long and catching up on rest is always helpful.

How does it feel when you don’t get the recognition you deserve?
It doesn’t feel good a lot of times but it does make me work harder than ever. They say that nothing happens overnight.

Do you enjoy book signings?
I have never done them, I will be doing my first one at the Black Writers On Tour Book Festival in Carson, CA on April 21st. So if you live in Southern California near Los Angeles, I’ll be there with 9 of my books.

Have you ever marketed your own books yourself?
As a self-published author, that’s what I spend most of my time thinking about and doing.

Are you satisfied with your success?
I don’t think I ever will be for numerous reasons. I’m competitive with myself and always challenging myself to do more, write more, write impactful books that will forever live on when I’m long gone. I’m trying to be legendary as a writer and author.

Is writing book series more challenging?
Very much so, I’m working on 3 different series. The Struggles and Growth of a Man, Code Blue and The World We Live In. Developing storylines, evolving characters and keeping readers engaged is the biggest challenge. I want to write great books, but in the midst of it make sure that I’m sticking to talking about social issues that are going on in the world.

What do you do in your free time?
I listen to music everyday (I’m eclectic when it comes to my music), I go running (when the weather permits, living in New York is a struggle), I play basketball, I watch my TV shows when I can and I love to watch sports (basketball, football and baseball). Spending time with my family and friends I do occasionally but most of the time I’m always working on a project.

Did the thought to give up writing ever occur to you?
I go through it at least once a month but I keep going. I might stop at the end of 2020, I’ll see how things workout and how many more book ideas I come up with. So far, I have 30 book ideas (I’ll see if they all turn into published books).

What is your motivation for writing more?
Knowing that I can impact people and make people think about the world and what’s going on around us.

Which book would you want adapted for the silver screen?
The Code Blue series I would want to be adapted into the silver screen (I actually have written short films for a few chapters from Part 1 of the book). I think that series hits hard on racism and real issues amongst citizens and police officers in America.

Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?
Let’s just say Robert has a few personalities traits and thoughts like me from the Struggles and Growth of a Man series. Not many people know that unless I tell them but just a little tidbit from my writing.

When can the readers expect your next book in print?
My next book will be my 9th book released on April 27th. The book is called, “America, A Country Divided.” I tackle some issues that are currently going on in America and I share my thoughts about what’s going on around us. It’s a controversial book like America Under Mind Control that will make you think.

How big of a part does music play in creating your “zone”?
Let’s just say there isn’t a book that I have written that didn’t involve music and getting into a “zone.” Music plays a huge part in my writing and depending on my mood, I’ll listen to electronic or ambient music to get me in a good flow. A lot of times I don’t want to listen to words, I just need a smooth flow to the music to relax my mind and allow the thoughts to flow.

Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?
I write my best at home, sitting at my desk in my comfortable chair by the window. I can’t sit around people and write, they would be nothing but a distraction.

Some writers create a bubble around themselves until they’re finished with their project – how true is that in your case?
That’s very true, I’m a hermit when it comes to my writing. I will make sure that I do all of my “adult responsibilities,” before I sit down to get my writing done. I don’t like to be disturbed much so I put my phone under my pillow so I can’t hear it or see it, I turn on my music and get to work.

Do you mentor?
I don’t mentor but I would love to do that in the near future. I want to do speaking engagements too but for now, I do what I can to help other authors with websites and things I find and I post them on my social media pages.

How long do you take to write a book?
It honestly depends, the Struggles and Growth series takes me 3-4 weeks, The World We Live In series takes a good 6-8 weeks to write (because I’m dealing with 19 different characters that I write about and have to continually develop), the Code Blue series so far, it has taken me 3-4 weeks, America Under Mind Control took a month to write, America, A Country Divided took me 6 weeks and that’s because the topics of discussion are current events so I add more to chapters.

Do you blog?
Yes I blog weekly on different subjects from what’s going on in the world to inspiring blogs about being an author. My website is www.aquarianmind.info.

How active are you on social media? And how do you think it affects the way you write?
I’m active on social media a few days a week but it doesn’t affect the way I write. I may get a book idea or topic of discussion to talk about on my podcast but other than that, I have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to write my books. Facebook (aquarianpoet1), Twitter (aquarianmind1), Instagram (aquarianmelo-personal, aquarianmind-poetry), YouTube (jamellcrouthers), Snapchat (aquarianmelo), and my Podcast (The Aquarianmind Podcast on Podbean, iTunes and Stitcher).

 
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