When Marley K. started writing, like myself, she started by writing erotica. Like me, Marley wanted to express the sensuality and sexuality that comes with being a Black woman.
She wanted to share with the world the idea that Black women enjoy sex in a variety of ways. So did I. I found that out when I read this great interview article compiled by Sharon Hurley Hall, another of my really awesome Black women friends.
When I started writing erotica it was because I was obsessed with sex, I was obsessed with sex because I was being abused. I was about eighteen when I started, and I figured that one day I would get comfortable enough writing about sex to eventually fold that into full blown fiction writing.
As it turns out however, my bread and butter writing comes from writing about my feelings, my emotions, putting my pain on the record for other people’s viewing pleasure.
Writing evolves as we grow into the craft, it changes as we get more comfortable with our voice, and it elevates the moment we find the topics we are most passionate about.
For writers like Sharon and Marley, their focus leans more towards writing about racism, and issues that affect Black men and women across America.
For me, my favorite type of writing is when I am talking about my emotions, my feelings, and my journey. I am passionate about my journey because honestly I want credit for surviving the crap that I’ve been through, I deserve it damnit, because I fought long and hard to get here.
As I wind my way towards the 500th post on this website, I am starting to realize that I have compiled enough proof to say that occasionally I know what I am talking about.
I have learned to trust my gut instinct. I know when the writing is going well, because every fiber in my being is singing, and I know when it sucks because even though the intention is good, and even though the words make sense, they don’t flow.
Writing, good writing specifically, should feel like a song. It should hum against your skin, and send your heart racing, it should make you, the writer, feel as if you are flying. It should feel like being stoned, without actually being stoned, and anything short of that is doing a disservice to your work, and your readers.
I don’t stress about the fact that I don’t get a lot of comments, because I know that the work that I am producing here is good, and every post brings me closer and closer to that singular moment in time when the world will decide it’s time to pay attention to my work.
I have become much more confident in what I say and how I say things, and far less timid about what I put on this blog, because now that I am more mentally stable then when I started this website, I am making a concentrated effort to keep to the themes that matter to me.
I tend to pull away from offering advice too often because I am never sure if the people I am offering advice to want it, but the one thing that I know for sure, is how to tell a good story. I also know that I don’t want to half ass writing fiction, when my heart just isn’t in it. I have a thousand stories that I could tell, but halfway through them I get bored.
If I know anything for certain, it’s that if you’re bored with your story, your audience is going to hate it, because they’re going to be able to tell that you’re bored. They’re going to know when you fake the world that you are building, when you don’t put the time and effort into the details.
In my work I have deliberately chosen not to showcase the stories of what was done to me, because I do not want to glorify what was done to me, by sharing the intimate details of what my abusers did to me.
You can be passionate about wanting to be a writer, and completely suck at it. This is possible, and the reason for the sucking is usually because you’re so excited to actually sit down and write, that you’re not thinking about what it is you’re saying as you’re saying it, or because you’re overwhelmed and everything is coming out in a jumble, without painting a clear picture of the message you are trying to present.
There is good news however, and that is that you can get better. Anyone can be a good writer, but to be a truly great writer you have to be able to take the outside world and mold it in such a way that the world has never seen the kind of vision you’re presenting.
That’s not easy to do, which is why writers like Steven King says that if you can’t read you can’t write. Some of us get to the point that we’re tired of reading, but that’s usually because what we’re reading isn’t stimulating our minds or inspiring us.
I tend to read more Black writers, and editors, than I ever have before, because many of them are writing about the things that I am interested in. Such as cannabis, education, mental health, racism, and sexual well being.
I am learning as I write, learning about points they missed in their articles, or finding ways to disagree with them in such a way that I can provide content for my website, but the one thing that I always always try to remember, is that when a writer has inspired me, it is my responsibility to tell others.
The writing industry has always been a lecherous one, feeding on the creators to make money, taking parts of our soul for a pittance of what it’s actually worth, and when writers work together we are absolutely unstoppable.
One of the things that I’ve come to realize is that Loud Mouth Brown Girl would be nothing if it weren’t for the readers, and the other writers who read my work and share my links with their networks. Without them these are just words on a blog.
I fostered relationships with people from around the world because I wanted to promote my blog, but I continue to remain friends with these people because they are incredibly inspiring, and they spend their time teaching me how to be a better more conscientious writer.
When I first started writing blogs almost fifteen years ago now, I struggled a lot with connecting to other bloggers, largely because none of the bloggers that I was being exposed to, were writing about the topics that I write about.
It’s actually a fairly new trend for Black writers and editors to talk about issues like mental health, it’s only in the last ten years that I’ve started to notice more Black writers specifically, coming out to speak on racism. And the best part is that they are doing it as part as collectives.
It’s more important to me to be friends with my other writer friends than it is to have them help me promote my blog, but it is really cool to see people like me, talking about issues that matter to “me”. Suddenly I feel less alone, I feel a lot more confident in talking about these issues, and less afraid of those who will disagree that I should have the right to share my voice.
I no longer talk about sex as often as I used to, if at all, and that’s because I’ve become acutely aware of the fact that talking about sex is incredibly triggering for me, and yet I continue to push the conversation over Twitter and other social media outlets so that I can become more comfortable talking about the topic again.
If you want to be a writer, be a writer. You have thoughts in your head, and whether you like it or not, the universe is going find a way to force you to voice those opinions, so you might as well take the reigns and have some say over what it is you have to…ha ha say.
I wish those of you who want to be crafters and creators the best of luck, because it is absolutely a journey that will mess with your heart, your mind, and your soul, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, but write.
Through my writing journey I have found pleasure in creating digital art to go with some of my other projects, I’ve also learned that my digital art is better done with my podcast, than my posts.
Before you go, here are some tips that I’ve learned over the years, mostly from other writers who want me to be the best version of the writer that I claim I want to be:
- Take time to read over what you’ve written before you post it – I rarely do, because I’m arrogant some days more than others, but when I do, I always find that I could turn a phrase in a better way than I had originally.
- Including pictures in your post is great, but if the pictures are larger than the amount of word content you have, it can be annoying to the reader, and prevent them from staying on your site for very long.
- Make sure you have your categories and your tags set for each post, because this will make it easier when and if other writers decide they want to link to a specific post. They’re going to find the post they are looking for by checking the tags and categories.
- Keep your website light. Even if you like the juxtaposition of dark or bright colors, I promise you your audience will not. Computer screens make it difficult on people’s eyes to register certain colors. Not only do lighter colors on your website make it easier for people to read your work, it’s more likely they will stick around if they aren’t concentrating on the fact that your colors are making their eyes bleed.
- For the love of God, please stop using giant pictures with miniscule amounts of text. It makes it so hard to concentrate on your work, and even if the focus of your blog is the images that you’re hosting, you still have to showcase them in such a way that you’re website isn’t loading five minutes after I’ve clicked your link.
- Writers are a brand. Whether you use your name, a brand logo, or a brand phrase, people are going to focus on your writing and make judgements about everything that you are. So create a brand that you can be proud of, that you can show people and say “I did this,” with glee.
- Finally, but probably not, it took me four years to get to five hundred posts on this website, and not every single post that I’ve written is a winner. Some of them are downright terrible, and yet I keep them up because they are proof of my growth. Don’t get frustrated just because you don’t get ten thousand page views in a year. Especially because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and people are consuming content at an alarming rate. It might take people time to find you and figure out who you are, but when the time is right, they absolutely will. Keep at it, and don’t give up on yourself.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall