When I think of amazing writers, my mind immediately gravitates towards Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry, and Ann Petry. These are the women I remember reading as a child. These are the women who whispered in my ear and told me it is okay to write and to dream of making an impact on hundreds and thousands of lives with my words. It is because of their bravery that I can be proud of the words you are reading.
The funny thing, though, is that no matter how much permission someone else gives you to write, you have to learn to give yourself just as much--if not more--permission. When you base your actions on the approval of others, this can set you up for some pretty difficult moments.
What if you pour your heart and soul into a writing piece and your writer fav doesn’t like it? What if you hear crickets?
Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve questioned if I should just stop writing and trying to find my people because I didn’t get the response I wanted at a certain time. I wondered if I would ever become one of the greats--heck, even a writer with a pretty large following.
The truth is, friend, I was measuring my work unfairly against a group of individuals who have earned their seat at the table. Yes, I have put some time in, but it’s a small ripple compared to what Angelou, Hansberry, Petry and so many others did.
There comes a time when every writer must come from up under the wings of the greats, and learn to fly solo. There comes a time when every writer must give herself permission to make her own way, to dance in the rain, and to frolick in the fields.
We are the microwave generation, and we want everything NOW. However, if we’re honest, slow cooked pot roast has nothing on that instant nonsense. So we must treat our writing in the same fashion.
We must give ourselves permission to grow, develop, change and disappoint. For, in the midst of the process, we will build the character needed to sustain the highs and lows. We will also augment our courage and tenacity. We will no longer need permission to write or to be great.
We will realize we always have been. We just needed to go through the grime and smut to reach it from within.
For the month of May, I am featuring a writer and author interview series called May I? This interview series is filled with writers who have given themselves permission to be and build a writing brand built on authenticity and vulnerability. You’re invited to take a sneak peek at how each of these writers grew to become the women we love. You’ll also learn how you, too, can build your writing brand based on authenticity. Won’t you join us?
Interview release dates:
*Click each name to watch the interview!