“Writing What You Know”

Throughout our lives we make many choices regarding our relationships, friends, and careers.  I have thought a lot lately about my life choices and how it has affected my writing life. There is a saying: write what you know.  I question myself all the time about what I know and realize I don’t know half of what I wished I knew.  The older I get the less I feel comfortable in my supposed knowledge of life.  I can read a book and provide historical facts.  Yet, I wish I could understand why certain “isms” still exist.

I only wrote one piece about the Black Lives Matter movement at the end of last year.  This is a subject I have tried to stay away from for multiple reasons. Yet, I will tell about a situation that occurred recently with a woman I know that is in her mid-50s.  I have to interact with this woman for work reasons.  I will just say that some people apparently had the fortune/misfortune of being very sheltered to the point that they don’t understand the plight of others.

The woman at my work asks me a lot of questions about myself and I tell as much as I want to tell.  She is the person that loves to discuss how  flamboyant she thinks gay people are and  doesn’t like how she goes to so many places where there are immigrants always speaking other languages.  I stay quiet and wonder what she secretly thinks about black people.

She did warn another colleague a few days ago about not going past a certain point in our city.  The area she mentioned is a traditionally black area.  In my parents’ time  it was a very nice working class neighborhood.  In my time (the last thirty years) it has gone downhill.   I won’t disagree that the area isn’t the best and I wouldn’t be caught there after 5 p.m. Yet, I still have family that live in that area.  There are still good people in that area.  I was in a work situation with a lady exactly like the one I am with now but it was 15 years ago.  I just thought things had gotten better.

The conversations this lady tries to have with me annoys me to no end and makes me even more realize  I need to continue to better myself so I can be in a more positive work environment.  In 2015 I don’t understand the ignorance of some people.

I don’t know what it is about my personality that people feel comfortable telling me their prejudices.    When I was training to be a journalist in my early 20s I loved it.  It was  great for stories.  Now that I’m older it upsets me. I want to be more vocal about injustices in this country.  There are great things about America…but it is still a very young country compared to other places and we still have a lot of growing pains.

I really don’t think the forefathers had in mind that this country would become so multicultural.  They were more interested in religious and economic freedom.

Write what I know?  I know that it’s lonely sometimes being a single, black woman  trying to accomplish my career goals.  Write what I know?  I don’t get taken seriously by men in suits because I look 22 and  I’m only 5’1 .  Sometimes I have to project my voice to be heard/understood.

More UnApologetic Writing Themed Posts Coming Soon!


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