So, I definitely wrote Rugrats fan fiction in the 3rd grade, but becoming a writer or author wasn’t anything I’d dreamed of doing.
I’ve always been a reader. It’s hereditary. My grandma started it and passed her love for reading down to my mom, who passed it on to me.
I’m a reader first. I’ve always loved newspapers, books, and basically anything I could read.
Still, I never thought about writing in that way, for some reason.
I’m one of those people who still struggles with heavy self-limiting beliefs. I honestly don’t know where that comes from, but that’s a story for another day (or novel, amirite?).
But I followed the rules growing up and in school. I did what people said to do. I didn't do what people said not to do.
And then after college I was one of those mass communication/journalism graduates who couldn’t find a job in my field for three months or one with health insurance for 18.
When I tell you, I was shooketh. And depressed.
But that’s exactly where this journey started for me.
The stories come to me – I remember the first one, that same summer after graduation as I left Atlanta on the overnight Megabus, came to me just as I planned to go to sleep. The scene: A coach preparing for a basketball game where his team was the clear underdog by like 70 points (money game), and approaching the Coach K type of successful coach, in a low lit, kind of shabby practice gym the night before the game. I wondered – what’s really going in their head, what they really tell their players in their pregame pep talks, and do they believe it? Basically, wanted to explore those honest (or not) conversations.
It’s good for my health – There was a point in time, the summer when I was most depressed, when the physical act of writing – putting pen to paper using one of the Pental R.S.V.P pens, soothed me. I felt better writing. There’s one story that I continually add to when I’m feeling a certain way, to distract myself. And it still helps, even though the scenes can get low key deep, haha. And then the other day, editing one of the Winter Wonderland stories lifted my spirits. (I figure it’s like how working out helps some people. But I haven’t worked out in… quite some time. One day, though.)
What about me? – So what was the first romance story idea (that I planned to publish) that came to me? Jade and Bryce, from Ready. For some reason the scene where they met (the actual scene I pictured didn’t make it into the novella) popped into my head. Jade was dancing, celebrating the last party before she got serious about soccer training and the new season. Bryce walked into the party, spotted her, and the rest is history. A year later, I published the novella.
After attending the Well Read Black Girl conference last month, I decided to follow the more “personal” stories (still in the black romance genre) I’ve started working on, but worried about releasing because I was worried about the wrong thing (like who would like it, who wouldn't like it, etc.). I sort of touched on that on the #fallsonlove podcast (go listen).
(By "personal" I mean issues that I’ve dealt with personally… a few were mentioned here, actually! For some reason, I've been drawn to being open/honest about life online and in my work. Maybe I'll stop fighting that.)
And now, in exactly three weeks, I have a new collection of shorts coming.
Winter Wonderland Vol. 2 is an unexpected treat, which hopefully will let you get to know me better before my next longer projects drop. It’s the start of something new for me.
So, this was #whyiwrite, but also why I’m going to continue writing.
I no longer feel like a “fraud.” It may be because I’m writing the type of stuff that just comes into my head, not censoring it for once and sincerely being Bria.
Cheers to that! And buy my books!