In the past couple of weeks the Lit world and by association a lot of people I thought were allies have been showing their ass and okay, Imma be real.
When it comes to art and lit, yes, I too like a lot of problematic things.
But right now my problem is that whether or not the art happening (no I’m not linking I can’t look at any more of that after the research I did) is that White people who are making a good chunk of cash, and who are sitting in positions of power (AWP) and who are teaching, are using what I feel is literary Blackface for shits and giggles and career advancement.
What burns my ass most about this, is not that I’m a poor struggling writer. It burns me that I (I here being used loosely/plural) can’t write my experience as a Black person in any old way and have the same doors open to me.
It burns my ass that, another White person wants to play with reclaiming “nigger” and racist imagery from America’s past without any responsibility and dead silence.
And because I refuse to remain silent about why I find this harmful and disgusting. I’m told that well they have the right, Jeeze Y SO SENSITIVE NEGRESS? I’m told that because I have a strong and loud opinion on this and these people being lauded, coddled and generally held to no accountability for their actions I am a problem.
Just this morning some woman I don’t know did “research” on me and decided nothing I have to say about it is worth anything because I am “aggressive” and “threatening”.
Layers of racism aside, in what universe does someone like me (and there are a shitload of us) have enough pull in the lit world to be threatening to the careers and wallets of these people?
So rather than doing what allies are SUPPOSED to do when POC say, hey this shit is fucking racist. Again, people who have held on to their ally badges tightly are telling me I’m the problem. Again.
To be honest. I had nightmares all week. Most of them revolved around an issue I already had combined with me running into racist, but totally not racist people in the lit world and having them ruin shit for me. That is the shit I have nightmares about because many of the people I’m annoyed with right now are people I’ve considered friends.
This is something that is causing me a level of struggle I just don’t know what to do with.
I’m just heartbroken. I keep feeling like I have all this faith in people whom I KNOW understand intersectionality and power. But, again, when it comes to POC or two Black people specifically all I hear is crickets and it hurts. The gentrification of the experiences and history of POC and specifically Black people just wrecks me.
This is not what I wanted to talk about, but out it comes. Fuck.
Now back to what I actually wanted to talk about.
In light of our rent increase and some other extra expenses I’ve redone my writing things (what I call stuff related to my writing) budget. I’ve cut out a couple of things.
I am thinking that I need to raise my Patreon monthly goal to about 125$. I’d really like to move a few of my personal household expenses to my writing related budget. Mainly small things, pens, notebooks. I’d also like to put more away for my laptop fund. Not having one I can work on at home is just painful. I also include stuff like the occasional celebratory pastry, coffee for work and big cups of ice for work as well in that budget.
Even without a fully functional tech situation, I do feel good about my output so far. The things I’m writing are what I really want to write and what feels important to me.
Longer term say between now and next March, I also have some handmade zine type things I want to create but I need to buy supplies. I want to hand make some wee stories to sell in my etsy shop. I’ve been kicking around the idea of also doing heavy card stock “art” poem cards. Hand colored (but not written because my handwriting is shit) pretty little art cards. But again, the capital thing.
I’m in a better emotional place right now than I was the other day. I’ve calmed down and I can see the way through the financial anxiety, but, I just have to wait a bit and do some balancing.
I’m also looking into doing something serialized maybe available via Amazon? I have to do some research.
What else is going on?
I’ve started what I hope to grow into a series of essays about healing myself of poverty brain and figuring out how to navigate my feelings without panic or undue stress. Shit is so hard and after talking to some friends I really believe this is an important thing for me to do. Not as something aspirational, or inspiration porn but more as an open hey, this is shit I go through and if you’re going through it too, you’re not alone.
The importance of visibility and acknowledgement has been something that a lot of my readers have talked to me about and it feels deeply fulfilling to be that for some folks.
That’s going on. I have a post coming up about writing that I’ve been sitting on. A young (HI BB) writer asked me a couple of important questions and I want to give good answers. I also want to talk about navigating Double COnsciousness since a lot of non Black folks are discovering it and don’t know what to do.
So that’s all the news. I’m trying to learn a new way to hustle that won’t destroy my heart.
What are y’all up to?
Also I should do a whole hustle tag.