When are you gonna write a book?

I know, I know. Another blog post about how I’m writing or not writing. Where are the stories? Where is the book? A poem, maybe? Haiku? Where are the words? 

I have no idea. And when I first thought about writing this post, I read something about not talking about your dreams or plans in detail. It was like just do the thing. I was gonna go into detail about what my book-writing plans were, but I don’t think I will. For lots of different reasons, but we won’t be getting into any of those.

So what will I be talking about?

Well, I’ve been reading a lot which has been great. Not to jinx myself, I feel free from this reading slump. I’ve started my fifth book of the year after reading four or five total in the past few years. 

I’ve been freewriting. Not a lot, but I think that will help with the not-aforementioned book-writing plans. It’s been fun to just get things out. Also, I’ve been attending Write Wilmington, which is a virtual writing session hosted by UNC-Wilmington. Shout out to Khalisa Rae; she hosted the first session. They share prompts and poems and you write for an hour. It’s great. The overarching theme for all the sessions is play. And I think the pressure of finishing a book and considering the publishing process has overwhelmed me. I’ve had to deal with doubt: no one would want to read your book anyway. No one asked you for this. But the reality is no one asked for any books to be written. Well, we did want diverse books. But if we get to specifics and the nitty-gritty, no. No one asked for a book with these specific characters and these specific themes. No one asked anyone for their short story collection. But people read them. They fall in love with the characters. They connect to the stories. And I want to have that moment with readers. But I have to write first.

So if you want some writing, there’s a poem below. Stay tuned for any news on completed work. As always, keep writing!


I want to write like 

Shannon Sanders, Rachel Howzell Hall.

Deesha Philyaw, Danielle Evans. 

Khalisa Rae, Tayari Jones.

ZZ Packer, Zadie Smith. 

Tiffany D. Jackson, Bethany C. Morrow. 

Nnedi Okorafor, Neka Marie.

Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison. 

Well, yes and no. 

I want to write like me.

I want to write my stories well like they did. 

I want to hold my brilliantly-crafted stories in my hands, 

hardcover or paperback. Take a deep inhale of that new book smell 

with my name on it. Who knew blood, sweat, and tears could smell so good? 

Every coffee-fueled writing session, every writing-goal-achieved pastry, 

every energy-drink-powered editing session would come back after that whiff. 

All the years of writing, editing, re-writing, 

shelving, un-shelving, 

re-writing, re-shelving, 

new writing, new editing 

would be worth it. I could breathe that sigh of relief. 

Eight-year-old Brittany can finally be proud. 

We have our own, real-life book. We did it. 

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