8 Things I learned When Writing Woman Of Color

Woman of Color publishes today! WOW! What a journey! Thank you for all of the ways you’ve shown up for me and my family as I’ve made this dream a reality. I seriously cannot believe we are already here!

Over the years, many of you have asked how I wrote the book while parenting. And recently, many of you have asked what I’m most excited about. I have answers to both, but today, on release day, I think I want to sit with what I’ve learned. Because this surely was a marathon and not being present in the lessons along the way would be a real shame.

  1. Nothing is instant. Writing a book pulled me away from anything that feels instantly gratifying. The process is long, grueling, and magical. Especially while running a buisness on the side and parenting children. While I thought I had naturally earned a bit of intolerence to the instant fuzzies of posting on social media and creating something, this book has taught me that I still had much to learn. I am truly invested in the projects that I take part in and not in what I hope these projects earn me. Whether it’s likes, comments, or numbers, writing a book isn’t about that.
  2. You’ll lose your language for a bit. And maybe that’s okay. Up until now, most things out of my mouth have been short words like fun, tired, and GOOD! For a while it felt like writing this book took my ability to have full sentences and conversations with people. I felt raw and unable to speak accurately. I leaned more on emails and letters to see me through. It’s odd, but these days it’s a bit like getting back on a bike. My mind has had to slowly detangle itself out of the depths of this project. I hope an ease with person to person language will arrive soon.

3. There is no perfect time to write a book. There just isn’t. And listen, on one end, I feel like God kind of took care of me with Woman Of Color’s timing. I had it when I most needed it. Would a book be easier now, when I’m not in the depths of ending my relationship or my son going through Open Heart Surgery? YES! Of course. But equally, because of those things, it made this project necessary and special. And I think my words are better for it.

4. Thearpy. More therapy. Just seek help. Before. During. After. I have learned that having a toolbox and using it (even if therapy is coffee with a girlfriend or calling your other author friend to cry) will see you through.

5. Let your creativity shine. I am so happy that I was able to be such a deep part of this process with words, photos, design, and marketing. Everything has been deeply thought-out to make sure it aligned with my story and words and also the ethos of the book. While writing was its own thing, being creative and active with every bit of this was completely thrilling and magical. I learned that IT IS OKAY to be a stylist, creative director, and writer all at once. These things do not have to live separately. There are opportune times when they can live cohesively and make a project come alive.

6. Ask for help. Stay humble. It’s really that simple. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR FAVORS. This is SO hard for me. I often feel like I’m bothering people or embarassed that they “need” to help me. A no is just a no and is not an example of your own value.

7. Write whenever, however you can. I would wake up early in the morning before the kids were awake to write. I’m actually writing this post before they wake. My body is now on this creative schedule. There were late nights at the cafe with wine and subway rides of jotted-down notes. Carve time, it’s important.

8. Finally. Your story is your story. One of the first few things I write in Woman Of Color is that my experience is one amongst a sea of others. It is good for you (and those who read it) to keep this in mind. To make this easier to swallow I often relate it to River and Oak. They are already dabbling in their own artistic efforts as children. If they ever decide to write something and share their childhood, I will support them. I will cheer them on. And I will divorce myself from feelings I have in regards to their upbringing. Their experiences are their own. And in the same way, as a reader and writer, learning this has allowed me to look into the works of others with more sensitivity.

A big thank you to everyone who helped me with this book, you all have been so wonderful. And thank you to YOU my readers, for your support, genorisity, and kindess during this process and for Woman Of Color. I am so excited for it to be in your home.

You can order your book where books are sold, today!

8 thoughts on “8 Things I learned When Writing Woman Of Color

  • Reply Meghan April 3, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Latonya, I am a third of the way through with reading your book. I dove in last night and my five year old son really enjoyed looking at the pictures in your book. He was asking questions about who were in the photos and about River and Oak, since kids just instantly relate to one another. We live in NJ and love to visit Brooklyn, so it’s been interesting to hear about your childhood there. Your writing connects people and has really been a comfort to me at the end of my day, when I’m exhausted or at the end of my rope with the news of today’s politics. Thank you for sharing your voice and kindness and transparency. The structure of your book also reminds me a tad of Natalie Jean’s, just beautifully designed and authentic. Kudos and enjoy your moment!

    • Reply latonya April 10, 2019 at 10:08 pm

      Thank you so much Meghan!! Your comment means so much to me, and I am so happy you are enjoy the book. And yes, Natalie and I had the same publishers, so I am not suprrised the book size and structure is kinda similar!

      xo

  • Reply S April 3, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Thank you for being an inspiration today and everyday. I am in the process of writing my dissertation while being a mom, working full time and fighting everyday for a future I can be proud of for my children. Thank you for pushing me to keep writing.

    • Reply latonya April 10, 2019 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you S! Keep keeping on! You’re already doing it!
      x

  • Reply annton April 4, 2019 at 5:51 am

    Number 8 touches me deeply and as a daughter, my mother simply can’t bring herself to do this, I see the enormous gift you are giving your children. Thank you fo being such an amazing woman.

  • Reply Lorraine April 6, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Just Ordered you book through Amazon for delivery to Australia. I can’t wait for it to arrive. You are truly inspirational

    • Reply latonya April 8, 2019 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you so much!!

  • Reply latonya April 10, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Thank you for your comment Annton. It’s very hard and takes a lot of thought. And I think (hope) us and all of our children will be better off because we will chose to take this path-it is a hard one.

    L

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