Writer’s Desk: Don’t Be Afraid

In this interview from The Rumpus, Darryl Pinckney (Come Back in September, Black Deutschland) explains his pushback against the idea that black authors have a responsibility to write uplifting, noble characters, or that authors in general need to feel constrained by narrative choices:

If you’re bored, your readers will be bored. If you’re faking it, you won’t get the kind of readers you want. There are so many obstacles to writing, don’t add to them, to the inhibition. You write to honor the literature you care about. If your family or your people are looking over your shoulder, change your seat or push them away. Ask them to trust you with the truth. Stay real; stay true to yourself; keep faith with your project. Let Melville be the one looking over your shoulder…

We all have enough internal doubts that stand in our. The last thing we need to do is imagine what other people might think.