Ife, My first trip to Nigeria in 20 years.

In the first grade, my english teacher asked to meet with my mother after school. That afternoon, she took out my vocabulary quiz, on the back of which was an extra credit prompt: “Write a story using at least 10 vocabulary words.” Apparently, my 6 year old depiction of a princess in love was enough to prompt a meeting to discuss and encourage my budding literary genius.

Unfortunately, that is the last bit of creative writing that I vividly remember, save a few artfully worded facebook comments. In the 20 years since I’ve written essays for various classes, thesis papers, and personal statements (so…many…personal statements). However, despite the strong quality of those facebook comments and my early literary gift, I balk at the idea of writing for a larger audience, writing for myself, writing about topics that excite me. Topics like mental health, pop culture, blackness, the internet (the global system of computer networks, not the alt R&B group).

I always wonder: Will others like my literary voice? Does what I have to say matter? Does anyone else care that Rihanna is #rolemodelgoals or care about the mental health advocacy on #blacktwitter. Is this whole internet writer thing oversaturated?

But I genuinely enjoy writing. I enjoy the process of letting ideas coalesce on a page. I enjoy working and reworking the wording, the sentence structure, the punctuation, the organization until it all just seems to fit. All of it, in an effort to organize and communicate the massive jumble of thoughts and ideas floating around in my head.

So instead of worrying, I’m starting and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

— Shewa