“As a woman of color, when you become honest with what you want and what you will and will not take, that’s a form of resistance. That is what art is about.” On today’s episode we chat with Morgan Jerkins, a freelance writer living and working in Harlem. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, and The Atlantic, among many others. I’ve admired all that Morgan has produced since college, but especially am proud of her nonfiction and personal essays that focus on the experience of being a Black woman in America. No matter what type of creative you are, Morgan’s tips for finding your true voice will help you on your path to producing better and more impactful work.
IN THIS PODCAST YOU’LL LEARN:
– What inspired Morgan as a child
– Morgan’s reflections on being a woman and student at Princeton
– How Morgan stopped writing like a “dead White man”, battled insecurity, and found her true voice
– How to get in the zone and produce your best work
– The power of art as resistance
– How to become confident through and with your writing
– The “formula” Morgan uses to get her work published
– How to combat anxiety and negotiate what you’re worth
– Why you should never ask for permission
– Why Black women deserve to be the center of their own story
– The question that has fueled Morgan’s writing since she was a teenager
– The type of legacy Morgan hopes to leave through her writing
2. “Get out of the mindset that whatever story you have where people like you are at the center…. keep telling yourself that that deserves to be your own universe. It’s hard when you an artist of a marginalized background…you are so used to being on the margins that you don’t even realize how much you have been indoctrinated with the idea that you are not the default and how that affects your work.”
6. Make sure you want to be accepted for who you are and what naturally comes out of you.
7. When you’re trying to be honest and are a person from a marginalized background, it’s a revolution in and of itself.
8. As a woman of color, when you become honest with what you want and what you will and will not take, that’s a form of resistance. That is what art is about.
10. My writing came from a place of desperation. Because I didn’t have anyone when I wrote, I became someone. Because I was the only one, I became everything.
13. I’m going to make you see me…and if I get rejected…Guess what? I’m going to shoot you another email next month with a new pitch.
14. If you wait around for permission, the train is going to show up and it’s going to be full. Or, the train is never going to arrive. Find that platform and jump on it.
15. I want to continue to be someone that provokes and also to unravel everything that we have ever known about certain identifies that we label and ascribe to.
MORGAN’S KEYS TO SUCCESS (WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU HIT THE ROAD):
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