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  • Brittney West

Me? A writer?

I am a white, female, college student who is a daughter, friend, and sister, though I am still learning what it means to be all of those things. I haven't figured out how to love quite yet. I am trying to figure out what I believe, accept, and refuse.

I’m often confused. Words inspire, comfort, distract, and horrify, but above all they are a way for me to process all the things that I don’t quite know what to do with. I don’t remember this coming from anywhere—it’s always been that way.

I fell in love with it through reading, through my love for stories. I operate on the belief that stories hold a lot of things together—no matter if it’s a life story or something funny that happened in the library. I’m addicted to stories and how communities come together through them. I’m fascinated by what drives the authors to tell them.

I would not label myself as a writer or an author. I have written things. But, I write things for school. I write to prompts. I write when someone else prompts me to. I can crank out essays, but I don’t produce original work based on my passions to create something that I need to share or that I think the world needs. I do want to work with other people’s creations. And for me to do that as effectively as I can, I need to understand that side of the coin and what those creators have to contend with.

Interning in the editorial department of a publishing house helped me define myself in this way. The non fiction and fiction that I read was distinctly different. I think I also drew a distinction between the writing I’ve been doing and writing for money: to actually create something, have it critiqued, and then depending on an audience reading it. I do love the collaborative process of finding out what someone truly wanted to say, figuring out their best way of conveying it, and nurturing the growth necessary in that process. And I want to find out as much as I can to do that proudly.

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