In my mind, I know I am a good writer.

Then I read something Christian, or Michael Harriot, or Kirsten West Savali, wrote, and I feel like I am in a writing class with giants as my contemporaries, and I need to spend more time with books and a dictionary and a thesaurus, and I need to fill up one of those Blue Books from college every single day for practice, and even then, I may not be as good as I know I can be.

Writing is both a labor of love and an exercise in self doubt for me.

I’m a fat Black woman with a big mouth, a loud laugh, and the confidence to go along with those things. People try daily, but they are hard pressed to make me feel insecure about myself, my looks, my level of attractiveness, or the like.

But my writing?

Like I said, I know I’m good, but am I *that* good.

My writing is very conversational. I speak plainly so people hear me.

I don’t twist words and phrases into beautiful and intricate knots like Kris does. I don’t weave linguistic tapestries of understanding the way Nakachi does.

I just write it the way I see it in my brain.

I have a loyal audience, and I get a lot of praise, but all the external validation in the world isn’t enough. EYE need to feel like I wrote something good, and I don’t always feel that.

I know I’m not the only writer to experience this, and this is not a plea for praise or a fishing expedition for compliments.

I just read something Kris wrote, and I started thinking about how writers are conjurers. The magic is in the delivery.

So then I started thinking about the kinds of spells I’ve cast and the kinds of spells I want to cast in the future.

And then I started wondering if I really think my magic is all that, and now we are here.


I know I am a good writer. I know a lot of good writers. I’m grateful to be able to look to my contemporaries for inspiration and motivation.

I just want my magic to wow ME, and I don’t think I’m there yet.