The teacher shortage crisis adds an additional layer of stress and pressure on educators, making it essential for them to prioritize their mental well-being. Teacher, entrepreneur, and author, Fenyx Blue understands the challenges that teachers face, which is why she is committed to providing support and guidance.
Fenyx is a guest speaker at the upcoming To Teach or Not To Teach Conference, which is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 21. This teacherpreneur edition of the conference aims to help educators increase their impact and income. Whether you are an educator considering starting your own business or simply need tips to navigate the classroom environment while maintaining your mental health, Fenyx Blue is the one to connect with to help you achieve this goal.
Join us as we learn more about all things Fenyx Blue.
Can you share your journey as an author and how it has influenced your personal life?
Fenyx: I was a six-year-old when I wrote a short “poem” for my mother that made her cry. Her tears helped me to know that our words have power. People are touched by the words we say and write. I kept a journal and a diary as well as many random sheets of paper with poems, story ideas, and full books until I was a twenty-one-year-old adult. When I became a teacher, I would share these poems, essays, stories, and book ideas with my students to motivate them to write books and poems of their own. They were always excited to hear them. One day, a very bold student said, “Well, why haven’t you published a book if you keep telling us we can publish stories?” That’s why I love our youth; they are bold, unapologetically themselves, and honest. I accepted the challenge. Eight published books later, I have learned never to hide my talents from the world. I have also learned to never expect from others what you are unwilling to do yourself. I thought I was leading them through my words, but it was my actions that they wanted to see. My books have taken me to many states and placed me in front of many audiences. The six-year-old girl inside of me always feels proud to share the powerful light inside of me with the world.
What inspired you to write books for different audiences, from parents and teachers to young adults and children?
Fenyx: When you are an educator, you deal with children and adults daily. When God gave me a story to help heal mothers who had experienced loss, I was obedient because I knew it was needed. When I had a dream about a story to build the self-esteem of young girls and let them know that they are worth waiting for, I dutifully woke up in the middle of the night and wrote the story because I knew that our girls and boys, my sweet female and male students, needed to know that they are worthy of respect and genuine love. The stories I have been blessed to tell are filled with lessons to help others. The books I have been trusted to write are teaching tools that will outlive me. I am inspired to write because I know that a poem, story, or book can positively impact someone’s life. Many successful people attribute their success to great books. Many prolific people have memorized their favorite line of poetry or favorite quote from a book. I don’t know every reader, but I hope that each of my readers has been able to receive what they need from my texts. I write for them. It is my pleasure to reach and teach children and adults.
How do you approach the process of crafting stories that deliver timeless lessons?
Fenyx: Fearlessly would be the word I’d choose to describe my approach to crafting stories. I am not afraid of editors or critiques. When I write a poem, story, or book, I step away from it and come back to it with fresh eyes so that I can improve it. I share the story with those I trust and ask for feedback. I tell my editors to be brutally honest so that we can give the reader the story they deserve to read. I am like a restaurant owner in that I want my customers to leave satisfied from the moment they step in until the moment they leave. I craft the menu with the customer in mind, but I am also willing to listen to reviews and taste-testers so that the customer can have a 5-star experience. A timeless lesson is like a delicious meal that you want to savor over and over again.
Tell us about the impact of being named “Those Who Excel” Teacher of the Year on your career as an author and mentor.
Fenyx: Excellence was always the standard in my household. My parents encouraged us to do our best and to strive for excellence, so I was always trying to be the best teacher I could be for my community. I knew about the Golden Apple Awards and many other teacher honors, but my parents and students were showing me appreciation every day, so I never thought about receiving those awards. When my administration and school community chose me for the honor, it made me want to be even more worthy of it. The young readers who enjoy my books always ask me how I balance being a great teacher and a great writer, so it is fun to describe a day in my life to them. My mentees tend to want to know about the challenges that I experienced teaching reluctant and gifted readers. I appreciate sharing my roses and thorns with them so that they can grow as educators, too. I always want to be a human striving for excellence, and more importantly, I know that because I am always reaching and soaring, I am making my parents proud every day.
What can you tell us about your involvement with the upcoming To Teach or Not To Teach Conference?
Fenyx: The teacher shortage is real, so I am so happy to share advice for those who may be considering starting their own businesses or those who simply need to hear tips from an experienced educator in order to remain in the classroom. I will have the pleasure of speaking on Mental Health and sharing strategies with the audience to help them in their personal lives. Teachers are always caring for others, so I am honored that I can take some time to care for them. I never thought I would become a teacherpreneur, but I love to serve, so this conference is allowing me to highlight my business, WISDOM Works, LLC., as a resource for readers, entrepreneurs, and teachers. I am beyond excited for the opportunity to be in the room with the other speakers, coaches, leaders, and entrepreneurs who will grace the stage and provide value, too.
In what ways do you utilize your platform as a Youtuber to connect with your readers and audience?
Fenyx: The tagline for Fenyx Blue Ink is “sharing lifestyle, lyrics, and lessons with you!” YouTube gives me an opportunity to share my journey as an author, teacher, and entrepreneur. It is a place of artistic expression for me to share my poems and receive honest feedback. It is also a safe place for me to give to my audience based on the lessons I have learned in life. I planned to get more input from my community so that I can know what they would like to hear from me moving forward. I also have a few ideas for a series in the future. For now, my audience can see my book reveals, creative projects, and journey. I also have a song on YouTube called Sunday that I did with a coworker for fun. YouTube is a great place to see behind the scenes of the woman behind the BLUE INK.
What advice would you have for aspiring educators and authors?
Fenyx: Stop listening to advice and just do it. Future Educators are hearing how difficult education is and how they will not get paid what they deserve. Future Authors are hearing that there are too many writers now, so your work won’t be seen. Even if these were true statements, the statements do not matter if you feel you were created to teach or to write. The advice I would give is the same advice I would hope to receive, bet on yourself. The one sure way to know if you are an excellent educator or an awesome author is to go for it. The phoenix did not know it was a phoenix until it was met with adversity. Then, it learned to shake off the ashes and rise again. Rise up and teach. Rise up and write.
Stay connected by following Fenyx @FenyxBlueInk across all social media platforms. Also, keep up to date by visiting http://fenyxblueink.com