Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Small.
Lauren, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
That Girl Can Write was a figment of my imagination. I was working in corporate America and I hated everything.
Nothing seemed to be a good fit. My mother wanted me to be a lawyer. I was working for a PR firm, but I hated going to networking events. I started working in sales where I was told I just wasn’t a hunter. However, whenever I got home and spilled my thoughts into my MacBook everything just felt right.
So, I started blogging in 2014 as a creative outlet, however, when I needed advice on content and the how-tos I couldn’t find anyone (that I knew personally) that would be able to share advice. I asked a few bloggers via email for tips, but most often they were just too busy, or they weren’t familiar with what appealed to black and brown girls.
After about a year, my best friend suggested going back to school. I enrolled in Savannah College of Art & Design in their writing program, and that’s when I discovered the hard truth. I wasn’t getting the advice I was seeking, because black women writing copy and/or publishing are rare. I wanted to change that.
I started using the hashtag #thatgirlcanwrite to form a community of women I can turn to when I need that extra bit of motivation or simply to share what I”m reading or writing. The hashtag is a gentle reminder that despite being a woman or African American, I can write too.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Is this even a question? Of course not. That Girl Can Write is a free online resource, which means I still have a 9-5 to keep the lights on and my dog fed, but I also have to come home and put in the extra hours to make sure That Girl Can Write is running and accessible. After a full work day, I’m at home looking for new writers, bloggers, and answering emails.
Another challenge is being accepted as a black copywriter. I’ve had hundreds of phone interviews, and I’ve sent hundreds of writing samples just to get to the face-to-face interview and told: “You’re not the right fit for the office” by a male that has only worked in the newspaper industry for the past 50 years. It’s nerve-wracking, but I refuse to give up.
Please tell us about That Girl Can Write.
That Girl Can Write LLC is a free online platform and resource that is a safe space for women writers of colors to showcase their work, ask for feedback, and/ or get tips on writing and publishing. There is still so far for That Girl Can Write to go, but I’m proud that it’s more than just a hashtag, its a community.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My parents has an attic space (that was later converted into an office), but I remember sitting in that hot attic reading and writing until my heart was content. I didn’t care that it was small and stuffy, it was my place to be free, and unbothered.
- Website: https://linktr.ee/thatgirlcanwrite
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thatgirlcanwrite/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tgcwrite/?ref=bookmarks
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/tgcwrite
- Other: https://soundcloud.com/thatgirlcanwrite