A lot of people asked how I got into blogging and wondered why I even became interested in this medium at all. And truly, all I can tell you is that as an art school student, all I talked about was writing and lecturing and speaking and hosting a television show. I never thought I’d end up doing hair. Please believe, I have had the most wonderful career and look forward to growing and training others and continue to mentor young hair colorists and stylists, but deeply and to this day, all I ever wanted to do was write and speak.
Today, I just want to give an oversight of each writing project I’ve taken on and how long it has taken me to become comfortable with the idea of melting all my ideas together and working on the ultimate manuscript.
“My Love For A Coke Addict” (poem) published 2004
When I was about 17 years old, I had the biggest crush on a girl at school that was artsy. She used to DJ on the weekends and exposed me to the term “bisexual”. We became very close and I fell madly in love with her til I discovered she had become pregnant. This girl spent a couple moments in rehab centers before the age of 20 and was gone from this world by 22. Everyone said she was ill, but I suspected drugs were still involved in her life. This poem was published in a national anthology in 2004 and I officially caught the writing bug.
Glittered Camouflage finished and submitted 2005
GC was a collection of poetry I had compiled and edited that were written between the ages of 15-20. Every adolescent emotion and search for identity is revealed in about 70 poems I edited and had mass copied and packaged for submission to publishing houses. I received a few form letters back from editors asking for me to get a literary agent. I never did since I was so young and was afraid of spending money to get published or even turn over rights as a first-time author. I’ve thought about re-submitting this or publishing an online version for people to purchase for a whole $1.99. There are so many nasty words and angry feelings about my family in this collection, I don’t know if I can possibly handle the outcry this manuscript could cause. It’s good stuff though. The thought still goes back and forth in my head.
A Substitue Dad finished and submitted 2005
In 2005 at the height of my illustration and graphic design study, I drafted characters for a children’s book and wrote a story to accompany it hoping to one day write series. The book stars a role model character named “Chico” fashioned after me. When one of Chico’s single mom friends expresses to Chico that her son Tre doesn’t have anyone to join him on father-son day at school, Chico, of course, saves the day. This was my attempt at teaching that families exist in different forms . Some are related, some are not. I submitted this book to a couple publishers that exchanged emails with me seriously considering publishing the book. I was so young that no offers were made solid, but again, a good book… I still think this has a chance.
PRETTY BOY EDUCATION (2006-2011)
PBE literally chronicled my crushes, gay life, work life and ambition as I led people through the journey of me starting out as a shampoo boy to a top stylist and eventually leaving a top studio to branch out on my own. This blog had money salacious moments of naming actual people and became a “sleeper hit” on Blogger. By the time I ended it in 2011, I was being threatened with people trying to press charges, sue me for defamation of character and I was getting constant harassment from ex co-workers and friends. Facebook popped onto the scene at this time and catapulted me into a cult-favorite. This was when I learned the power of words, gossip and scandal and created the “Rockstar Stylist” persona that has really made my career in little Pueblo Colorado iconic.
“Haute Mess” 2010-2013
“HM” started as a conversation with a local magazine for our spin on Joan Rivers’ Fashion Police. I had always wanted to write something about how people dressed and behaved and it was a hit! I, of course, received critiques and brash words from readers and I quickly became the writer you loved to hate or hated to love in PULP Magazine by column #2. I debuted Haute Mess by presenting at an awards show a few weeks prior and was introduced as “Rockstar Stylist Josh Cooley” and by the end of the column, my bio read “Style Icon, Fashion Writer and Rockstar Stylist”. It was a good run.
“Living Fabulously” 2011-2014
“LF” was so much fun because was another attempt at mentoring. Living Fabulously was written for teens and parents and I talked about items like self-esteem and knowing your worth. I talked about being passive aggressive on social media, bullying, how to deal with ego, so many life lessons. I quickly learned that my mentality was changing and that I could not write about fashion anymore or even write Pretty Boy Education at the same time and focused ONLY on mentoring. I also opened my salon during this time period and eventually arguments over deadlines caused me to pull away from the Magazine and dump “LF” as a side project. Sure miss this one!
PRETTY WORLD, FABULOUS LIFE: INSIDE STUDIO JRY (2012-2015)
“PW, FL” was Part 2 of Pretty Boy Education. I was opening a salon, moving on in my friendships, talked about heartache and started blogging maybe once or twice a month. This particular blog won me a Best of Pueblo Award for Best Blogger. People were familiar with my candid style of writing. Alot of my time writing “Living Fabulously” rubbed off on this blog as I talked about moral dilemmas and situations. I still have not written the final entry for this blog as I’m not even sure myself if it’s finished. Not nearly as popular as PBE, it was a blog that garnered more feedback than anything I’ve ever posted on the internet and something people STILL ask about. Crazy, huh?
ROCKSTAR SLUMS (2012-2014)
“Rockstar Slums” was my most popular blog to date averaging 30,000 readers a month. I had product reviews, magazine columns, favorite apps, etc. All kinds of lifestyle reviews basically on this blog. I don’t know if I’ll ever regain the success “Rockstar Slums” garnered. This blog was named by a close friend of mine and after our six-year friendship ended, I ended the blog because it pissed me off to see the name pop up on the internet search engine. Note to all you readers: don’t let some dumb ass steal your thunder! (lol)
“LuxeLove” is my latest project and is the slowest-starting project I’ve ever had. In my daily life now, I don’t think of tweeting anymore. I don’t think of talking about my personal life anymore online. I don’t want to subject my partner, parents, friends or clients to the attention the internet brings because in 2015, people have become so critical. Blogging ten years ago was easy. It was not this fad! I feel like blogs have become so over-saturated online that it makes seasoned peeps like me not want to do it anymore.
You click on fashion blogs and it forwards to how-to videos and Pinterest. You follow on Twitter and Facebook and frankly, I can’t keep up. The truth is: when I created the concept of “LuxeLove” my mom was going to contribute with me and that idea fell through, so I moved on with the project without her. My busy schedule of color clients and comedy appearances have made it nearly impossible to sit and write. Hopefullly that changes soon…wherever this LuxeLove journey takes me, I’m ready to follow.
Stay tuned for more… -j.