For Struggling Writers Of Color 0 762

This work has always been more necessary than it has been pretty. That fact is nothing new. However, as resisting oppressive institutions becomes more and more pop culturized and spaces designated for revolutionaries and revolutionary ideas are gentrified beyond recognition, the status of being a writer of color has become increasingly more lonely and much more complicated.

The rage we feel as people of color in the United States of America has always isolated us. Our decision to take that rage to paper has also always isolated us and it often times puts us in danger.

What is so different about being a writer in this time is that not only is the work as lonely as we all remember, but the work is now being demanded for little to no compensation, is being regurgitated by non-POC, and consumed by the masses. What is so painful and discouraging about being a writer of color right now is that even though Black Lives Matter is trendy dismantling white supremacy is not, that even though girl power is trendy trans inclusivity is not, that even though being anti-capitalist is trendy #resistance is being packaged and sold back to us. This is not to say that writers of color have never been confronted with this issue. This is to say that while there appears to be an increased demand for our content and for our pain to be shared, there also appears to be an increase of non-POC capitalizing off of our pain, flexing faux “wokeness,” and being rewarded for their social consciousness while doing nothing to dismantle the systems that allow them to opt in and to opt out of social justice as they please.

While this work becomes even lonelier and increasingly more dangerous for us, it has become a call to celebrate white mediocrity and a tool to elevate non-POC from irrelevancy to social media mavens. My entire life revolves around education, family obligations, and the movement. I pour my heart out constantly in hopes of educating others, encouraging others to pay attention to what is unfolding around us, and motivating them to take steps to make a difference. My decision to do that has made me the target of rape threats from men online, the target of brutal harassment on and offline, and has resulted in me constantly worrying about my employability in the future. My experience isn’t unique. I’ve watched many writers and activists that I admire be doxxed by internet communities of white supremacists, I’ve seen black women and femme writers receive rape threats and have their photos posted to Nazi websites, I’ve seen people stop writing out of fear that something may happen to their families. Non-POC on the other hand, are regarded as heroes, as brave, as role models, and have the privilege of opting out if there ever comes a time where their livelihood is threatened.

Being a writer of color right now is – to put it plainly – some bullshit. It’s discouraging. It’s hard. It hurts. It doesn’t pay the bills. It opens you up to threats. It opens you up to having the most vulnerable parts of yourself stolen by the very people responsible for making your craft so difficult.

The relationship I have with writing is very much love-hate. I’ve noticed the writers of color in my circle feeling the same way. I’ve noticed a number of them feeling as though their work is no longer quality. I’ve noticed a number of them no longer feeling that their content is competitive. I’ve noticed a number of them needing to be reaffirmed that their content matters.

If you are a writer of color I want you to know people care about what we have to say. People want to hear our stories. People need to hear our stories. Our stories have weight, whether or not we are the ones to feel it.

If you are a writer of color I want you to know people care about what we have to say. People want to hear our stories. People need to hear our stories. Our stories have weight, whether or not we are the ones to feel it.

If you are a writer of color I want you to know your work is not invalid or poor quality just because it isn’t as “”safe”” as a John Green novel. Do not chase after safety. Who gives a shit about being safe? Nothing about our existence or this movement has ever been safe, soft, or easy on the ears and nothing we create ever has to be either.

If you are a writer of color I want you to know your work is necessary and does not become less necessary just because another writer of color is also doing it. I’m not going to bullshit you and tell you journalism and the majority of writing professions are not competitive because they are. I will tell you however, that we have The Hunger Games, DivergentThe Maze Runner, and [insert another YA dystopian novel]. If they can write hundreds of dystopian novels than we can write hundreds of novels, poems, articles, and essays about racial justice, gender equality, communism, and LGBTQIA liberation. And frankly, our content is far better anyways.

If you are a writer of color I want you to know that it is okay if you can’t write right now. This is exhausting. This is emotional labor. Unpacking racial battle fatigue, transmisogyny, the evils of the American immigration system, or whatever it is that you write about is exhausting and sometimes you need a break. Take that break. Please. Don’t hurt yourself to finish your article. You’re not a bad writer for taking care of yourself.

If you are a writer of color I want to read your stories, I want to buy your books, I want to hear you speak about the things that you’re passionate about, I want to support your work. Please do not stop writing.

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The Future Is Black & Brown. Gender Is A Social Construct. The Fall Of Capitalism Will Be Swift And Without Mercy. Hit My Pay Pal Before You Hit The Comment Section: http://PAYPAL.ME/LITERARYZEALOT. Oh, and I 100% support punching-nazis.

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