It took a long time before I ever considered myself beautiful.

As a black woman, we are surrounded by so many media and cultural biases about what beautiful is, so being inundated by these things as a child broke me. The point was even solidified while working in a hospital and having a black women talking about my lack of wearing make up – Your skin is so dark and you have blemishes so you need a little something! I don’t even see how you left the house like that. Mind you, this was a particularly good day where I was feeling F.I.N.E.

I fondly recall one morning where I was taking a coworker home. This nicely dressed black attorney whom I would see regularly at the gas station began to honk. I lowered my window thinking something was wrong with my car – hey it would be just my luck to get off an overnight shift and have a flat. It has definitely happened to me before!

Well the gentlemen smile broadly and says:

“I just wanted to tell you how beautiful I think you are. I love how you are proudly wearing that afro and your skin is beautiful . It’s almost like you are glowing. You are so beautiful and I wish there were more women like you.”

I smiled all the way home:)

Now, what does this have to do with writing.

As writers, it’s easy to compare our works to others. If you are out there on twitter, you are seeing all the tweets about what everyone is writing and what agents are clamoring to represent or what is being sold. Your writing may begin to look ugly to you because clearly all these agented writer’s stuff is beautiful.

Not the case.

See your writing as beautiful. When you placed those words on the page, you placed them there with love. Remember how you smiled when you wrote that dialogue. Remember all the warm fuzzies those words elicited. Don’t let someone make you feel that your words don’t count or that they are ugly.

Your words are beautiful. Share that beauty with the world.

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