My inspiration hinges on a few different things. One is the desire to create a platform that I wish existed when I needed it. Because diverse representations of women of color weren’t readily available in the mediums I had access to growing up, I would have loved to be able to go online and read blogs, watch a webseries, etc. to take in other voices of people like me – and not like me, too. I’m inspired to create in order to provide that voice for others who are looking for different perspectives to relate to or learn from. The other is the admittedly more selfish need to just get my thoughts out – creating experiences with words is something that’s brought me happiness since I was little.
It’s something that I had to grow into. I’ve been blogging since 2006, but only ever shared my previous blogs with a select few. ’83 To Infinity was the first blog that I put out there for public consumption, but for the longest time felt like no one else was reading it anyway! Having people not only read, but comment and email me about pieces woke me up and made me realize how important it was to share, as soul-bearing as it may feel at times. I’ve learned that my best writing is done when I’m transparent, and when I write authentically. When I try to stifle myself, or follow what I consider a “better” style, it doesn’t work.
Perception is a funny thing – when people started thinking that I was now solely making a living from blogging, freelance writing, and public speaking, I sat back and thought, “Wow. This is really something!” – especially since I still work my full time job and haven’t really monetized my blog the way I could be doing. Having people seek me out for events, or having people email me to comment on how a blog post inspired them or made them feel like they weren’t alone in their experiences all make me realize that this is becoming something more than I imagined it would be.