This installment of “She’s So Ambitious” is extra special because Life and Culture Enthusiast, and now new Author, Rashana Hooks, is a go-getting girl coming out of the CLUTCH camp. Her virtual ink can be found not only here, but on SoulTrain.com as the “Viewpoints” columnista, and on her blog, To Whom it May Concern. “Goal Digger,” her contribution to the new book Souls of My Young Sisters: Young Women Break Their Silence With Personal Stories That Will Change Your Life, and a follow-up to the ESSENCE #1 bestseller Souls of My Sisters, is one of a few tales from a new generation of women on life’s trials and triumphs.  With a powerful forward by singer/songwriter Mary J. Blige, and Madeline Nelson- Small, Executive Director for the Foundation of the Advancement of Women Now Inc., the voices of women in Souls of My Young Sisters brings you practical and inspirational advice for life . We couldn’t be more proud of our colleague whose own tale of how she got this opportunity is always one to marvel at.

Rashana tells us a bit more about this fab opportunity, and the business of making dreams happen.

Clutch: Congratulations on your recent publishing success! How did the opportunity to contribute to Souls of My Young Sisters come along?
Rashana: Thank you! Well, Goal Diggers was the title of a blog post that I’d written one year ago, and the publisher of Souls of My Sisters, an imprint of Kensington Publishing, happened to read the post. She contacted me immediately and said she loved the post, loved the concept, and said that I needed to share the story with the world and write a book about it.

Clutch: You’ve coined an inspirational new term. In your words, what is your definition of goal digger?
Rashana: A goal digger is a woman who sacrifices, strives and succeeds.

Clutch: I’ve been hearing of some other fabulous projects in the works as well. Any truth to that?
Rashana: Yes! I’m working on my own book which is going to be an extension of the Goal Diggers brand. I want it to be a sort of blueprint that gives women the reassurance and tools that they need. I’ll talk about personal and professional relationships, and other things that are kind of glossed over sometimes. Women are communicators, but there are some things we just don’t talk about. At the end of the day, we are all women facing many of the same things, and I don’t think we share that enough. There may also be some future TV projects for the brand.

Clutch: What is your advice to those who think of pursuing a creative career, but aren’t sure and may be nervous about taking the leap?
Rashana: When I have the opportunity to talk to young people, I always tell them don’t be afraid to take a non-traditional career route. A lot of times you’re groomed to be lawyers, doctors, nurses, and teachers-and there’s nothing wrong with those occupations. They’re very rewarding. However, we tend to forget about the creative side. I always remind people to not discount the fact that you think of art, and don’t think it can only be a hobby. It can be a business. We consume creativity everyday, but we just don’t think of it as art. I tell people when you’re watching TV, your watching creative arts.  There are people behind the scenes who are producing the shows, who are running the networks, who are writing the scripts. That is creativity and those are careers!

Clutch: The recession has hit the publishing industry hard. How can other writers realize their writing dreams despite the odds?
Rashana: If you write, don’t be afraid to study journalism because you think you’re going to be a starving artist. That’s what a lot of people think when speaking of creativity. Educate yourself on the kinds of jobs there are for doing what you like. I guarantee there is something rewarding both financially and emotionally. You can’t be afraid to follow your heart and your passion. Like any other field, creative fields are competitive. You must be willing to always enhance your skills to stay on top of your game. As for writers, my advice is to simply write-always! Find your voice, perfect your craft and build relationships.  In this day and age with technology, writers are building their brands on their own. We have blogs and we have social networks. Right now is the most amazing time to be yourself, be creative and build your brand. Everyone is doing it. And, quite honestly, the tables have turned. Major media outlets are looking into the blogosphere for talent. They’re looking to us.

“Souls of My Young Sisters” is on bookshelves now! Check out Rashana’s blog To Whom It May Concern!

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