Women of Wednesday: Tracy Chiles McGhee on Writing for a Purpose and Releasing Fear

WOMEN OF WEDNESDAY is a micro-interview series featuring women of color in various industries and walks of life, focused on highlighting their pursuits and making it easy for readers to support their endeavors. If you would like to be featured, please submit your answers to the below five questions here.

Tracy Chiles McGhee, Writer, Washington, DC

1. Tell us about the work you’re doing and why it’s important.

My main focus is to share inspirational and healing words, images, and experiences with those in the African Diaspora so that we might see (visualization), remember (cultural remembrance), and feel (expression) a wellspring of love, joy, and pride in our soul. As a purpose-driven writer and driver of positive content, I seek ways to counter pervasive negativity. My calling is to bear witness to truth, beauty, and light. I sharpen my lens to be able to recognize these, even in dark places. I am guided and inspired by the activism, on and off the page, of the literary greats Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, and James Baldwin.

2. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in pursuing the work that’s important to you?

My biggest challenge as a writer has been simply getting out of my own way, releasing fear, and building confidence in my unique voice. Finding time to focus on the act of writing itself with so many of life’s bossy demands remains a challenge. Leaps of faith, being spiritually grounded, and self-care has seen me through many times of doubt and despair. I also have wings, capes, and superpowers and know how to use them.

3. What do you need in order to continue your work in the way you envision?

I mostly look inward here. I work on being gentle with me and strengthening my spiritual faith. Life can be grueling. A multitude of individuals from ancestors to earthly angels provide fuel to keep me going.

4. Where and how can we support you to make #3 happen?

I recently launched my debut novel Melting the Blues, of which I am extremely proud. I would greatly appreciate support here. Please purchase it, review it, and spread the word. I would also like to share my desire to foster a love of reading and my commitment to global literacy development. In this effort, I co-founded the Literacy Empowerment Action Project (LEAP). You can learn more and support here.

I am also available for speaking engagements, readings, school visits, and interviews. 
 Folks can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please follow, like, comment, and share. I want to connect with you. We have work to do together.

5. What is your favorite quote?

“For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” ― James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues