Blogger Spotlight: Tyece of Twenties Unscripted
Today’s feature is a Twitter friend of mine. I’m sure most of you have read Tyece’s blog Twenties Unscripted but if you haven’t please head over there and getchu a piece. I was actually featured on her blog earlier this month which has nothing to do with today’s post but I thought I’d mention it :)
I love her writing because it’s authentic. She doesn’t sugar coat anything and she gives amazing advice. I’ve been reading her blog for about a year now and she never disappoints.
When did you first realize you were a writer?
I don’t know if there was a definitive moment when I realized I was a writer, but I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school when I would write short stories on loose leaf paper. Over the years, it has evolved—writing for my high school paper, writing for on-campus publications in college, writing poems and performing spoken word and eventually, blogging and freelancing. Writing has always been in my DNA.
Why do you write?
Last year I wrote a blog post titled “Why I Write” where I said, “Writing is my soul mate, unconditionally and unquestionably present after a great day or a shitty day or just another day.” I could probably list 1,456 reasons why I write, but the main one is that writing is how I process and make sense of my thoughts, feelings, observations and problems. I am the kind of friend who gets really awkward and artless when I have to physically console someone; then I’ll turn around an hour later and send them a 1,000 word email. I can’t always find the right words or even process what’s happening until I sit down to write about it.
I know Twenties Unscripted just celebrated two years. What are your plans moving forward?
This year has been all about building brand visibility and exposure for the blog. I plan to host one more event for women later this year, probably in the fall. Events have been a great way to meet new people and form new partnerships while making the Twenties Unscripted name a bit more recognizable. The other thing I am working on for 2015 is implementing a sustainable profit model for the blog. At first, I felt like a sellout for looking into ways to turn a profit from something that is, without question, my passion. But, I believe there are ways to do it while still keeping the brand’s authenticity in tact. I don’t want a bunch of non-sensical ads plastered all over my site. Instead, based on some things I already do such as events coupled with newer things such as merchandise and creative ad space, I plan to create a sensible profit model.
What is the main message you want the world to receive from your writing?
If there is one word that sums up the message of my writing, it would be ownership. Own your mistakes. Own your choices. Own your messes. Own your stories. Own your past, present and future. Own your words. Own the role you play in your friendships and relationships. Own your truth. Own it. While “own it” is a phrase that plagues reality television confessionals, I think true ownership of our lives is lacking, especially in my generation. (I know, here I go throwing millennials under the bus.) Unfortunately, social media has made it really easy to evade responsibility for the things we say and do. You can tweet something that really hurts someone and because it’s forgotten in 18 minutes, it’s as though you never said it. No. Own it. Through my blog, that is truly what I am trying to do—command ownership of my life and everything that comes along with it.
What’s been the hardest thing about blogging so far?
The hardest thing about blogging so far has been balancing the technical demands of blogging—SEO, page views, bounce rates—against the art of writing. These two things are hardly ever in sync and I often times give in to my writer side over my blogger side. I recognize that things like numbers matter, but I am primarily concerned with creating meaningful content, independent of whether that content is laced with enough keywords to help it rise to the top of your search engine.
What are your future plans for your personal brand?
My personal brand is something I didn’t start thinking about until a few months ago. I always just thought “Tyece Wilkins = Twenties Unscripted”. When you think of me, you should think of the blog. When you think of the blog, you should think of me. I still believe that. But, it’s not that easy. Personally, I want to begin to be viewed as a source on writing for and about millennial women. I don’t know if I have any concrete plans for my personal brand. I do want to take another shot at throwing my name in the hat to speak at blogging conferences next year, but I’ll have to think more about it. Maybe my plan for my personal brand is thinking of a plan for my personal brand. Go figure.
How do you keep up with your growing online community?
Respond and reach out. In short, that’s how I keep up with my growing online community. I’ve learned very quickly that people want to be acknowledged, heard and understood. Those are the same things I want from people. They are simple concepts. When people email me, especially those asking for writing/blogging advice, I make it a point to respond to them within 24 hours. We live in a world that has programmed us to passively engage. Like. Favorite. Keep scrolling. I try not to be that person who just “favorites” tweets or “likes” status updates, especially those pertaining to my blog. But I respond with at least one line. Even if it’s just, “Yes, I feel you!” I think that’s so important. And, I say thank you. Respond. Reach out. Say thanks. Simple concepts that I believe take you far as a blogger.
Is there anything else you would like the Brown Girl Bloggers community to know about you?
You all are super dope for reading this feature. And, I promise she didn’t pay me to say this, but Candice is doing something major by creating this community and hub for black women in the blogging community. While I often times declare that I write for women, not just black women, it is no secret that black women have made Twenties Unscripted what it is today. They have supported, reached out, shown love and made me feel valid and appreciated as a writer. It’s because of sites such as Brown Girl Bloggers that my blog is even possible.
Tyece Wilkins is the creator of Twenties Unscripted where she offers a sincere, sassy and sometimes smart-assy take on growing up. She enjoys drinking red wine, reading and getting entrenched in long conversations with friends.
Follow her on Twitter @tyunscripted for incessant rants about everything.
“Like” the Twenties Unscripted Facebook page.
Follow her on Tumblr where she re blogs a lot of quotes.