I’ve been thinking a lot about the rift between black Americans and continental Africans, and how more visible it is these days, thanks to social media. From Seren Aishitemasu’s slightly unhinged but still insightful YouTube videos about continental Africans’ appropriation of black American culture for profit and fame to the online grumblings from continental Africans about Black Panther/Coming to America mashups earlier this year to Luvvie Ajayi starting what felt like a diaspora war on Twitter last week when she tried to talk slick about Tevin Campbell, I’m seeing more clearly the fissures in the already fragile foundation on which black Americans and continental Africans stand. As someone who does steampunk from a multicultural perspective centering on a West African narrative, this all makes me think about changes I could make to my character’s backstory.***
I’m trying my hand at writing a short piece of fiction that I actually want people to read. I say “trying my hand” because it’s been a few months now…OK, OK, nearly a year…and I’m getting nowhere (obviously). There are a variety of reasons for this (work, hobbies, laziness) but the main one is that I’m trying to get myself out of the mindset that my lead character will be uninteresting to my target audience.This is the worst kind of thought that can occupy a writer’s headspace. Worrying about whether readers will be receptive to something you haven’t even finished writing yet is a surefire way to not publish anything. At all. Ever.