Bringing it Back to Basics (November Newsletter 2017)

Please note that this is an excerpt from my full Whitney French Writes newsletter. You can read the full newsletter HERE or subscribe to my monthly newsletter HERE to receive these messages directly in your inbox.


Back to the Basics

Last month I mentioned that October is an especially tricky month for me. Coming out of the October fog and emerging in November, I am coming to terms with the recent WFW business-versary. It has been an intense and fulfilling journey watching Whitney French Writes grow. And like most business-versary, I'm forced to reflect and go back to the basics. Someone asked me the other day something that I thought was so obvious it kinda bugged me: What do you do?

And I've been sensitive to this question, being a writer and having my career choice questioned by friends and family members, by strangers and acquaintances. What do you do? As if the implication of that question suggests I sit around and don't do much of anything. I've also been sensitive to this question as it feels like more of a judgment than a genuine ask for information. 

But I admit I have not been clear about what I do, or rather, what my business does and offers and provides for my community. So as a way to unravel that question, to not be defensive and reactionary, I'll articulate a few thangs.

So Frenchie, what do you do?

I provide creative writing workshops in a number of capacities

commissioned workshops: which means that an organization or business asks me to facilitate a specific workshop for them

+ client based workshops: which means that an individual  will book me for my writing coaching or story doctoring to support them one-on-one on a project

+ community-based workshops: which means I create a workshop that I believe is needed for a specific community of people (ie. Writing While Black or Tree Sessions

I also publish writing for commission and develop personal projects

Black Writing Matters is an anthology project that is commissioned by the University of Regina Press.

Face Full of Atmo is a personal project that takes the form of a free e-book.

From the Root Zine is a nationwide publication of writing and illustration by women ofcolour. It is also a passion project.  

I occasionally perform spoken word or do poetry busking

+ I've written customized poems for people at street festivals, conferences, and corporate parties

+ I've performed spoken word at national and international events

+ I've created personalized poems for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Christmas

A lot of you already know what I do, but just in case I haven't been clear, it's always good to go back to the basics. To address the questions. And it may be obvious but in actuality, it isn't as clear as I think. 

In the coming months I'll be readjusting this list, prioritizing what is most lucrative and what provides the most joy in my business life, but for now, I'm content with answering that question.

So what do you do Frenchie?

I write.
And I help others write.

(now why did that question make me so nervous in the first place?) Impostor syndrome is real out here, fam.

Over and out!