It has been awhile since I have done a #HerStory feature over here but I am so excited to introduce you all to Tyece of Twenties Unscripted today! Tyece is definitely one of those bloggers who's words could move mountains! Today she is sharing a piece of her journey along with how she has transitioned from blogger to author.
Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to create Twenties Unscripted?
Twenties Unscripted came about from some hybrid of passion and boredom, if there is such a thing. I’ve always been a writer and I blogged here and there during college. About a year after I graduated, I was living in Texas. I took a trip to Philly for the Blogging While Brown conference where Melinda Emerson (www.succeedasyourownboss.com) told me I needed to move my blog to a dot com stat. At that time, it was just on Tumblr and I didn’t even realize bloggers purchased domains. A few weeks after the conference, I started working with my graphic designer to get Twenties Unscripted stood up. I remember seeing the word “unscripted” in a tweet one day. I dropped “twenties” in front of it and the name just stuck.
I admire you for being so transparent and sharing bits of your personal life through your blog. How do you decide what you share and what you keep to yourself?
Thank you! It’s less of a decision and more of a precedent that I set early on. I always tell people that when there are 20 people reading your blog, that’s the time to open up and dive into your personal life. So, that’s how I was. As the blog grew, that level of transparency just became the norm. Now, I find ways to let personal experience fuel me without telling the entire world my business. I write in second person a lot because that 1) establishes a more personal connection with the reader and 2) gives me some liberty to divulge what’s going on in my life without confessing every single detail.
You’ve not only built an incredible brand but you’ve also created a loyal audience, why do you think it is so important to have that community behind you?
It’s all about the tribe. The community I’ve built is the only reason Twenties Unscripted continues to expand and evolve. We can’t create in silos. We require that connection to others.
Your most recent success is your new book, “Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing & Relativity”. Tell us a little about why you created the book.
I was at this inflection point with Twenties Unscripted where it was time to package my work in a more solid way. The book gave me the opportunity to do that. As the brand expanded and I started receiving more opportunities as a result, I knew I needed a way to connect beyond blog posts. The book helped anchor the brand in a new way.
Writing a book takes a lot of planning and hard work, can you give us a little peek into your writing process?
My typical writing process for a post usually begins with the notes section of my iPhone. I’ll jot down post ideas and any sentences or paragraphs that come to me. Then I’ll work on the post. When it came to the book, I started collecting the content about three months before publication. That process was really more about combing through posts, deciding what essays would rise to the top, and doing a good amount of editing.
3 words that describe Tyece as an entrepreneur
Authentic, personable, visionary
What do you wish someone would have told you about writing a book before you got started?
Think about distribution, production and marketing. When I started the book, it was a small scale project–something I thought I would only offer as a limited edition item for my blog’s third anniversary. But the more time I invested, the more I embraced this project as my first book. However, by the time I embraced it as my first book, we were knee-deep in layout and graphic design. I had not given enough thought to things like the platform we chose to use (which had its advantages and also had its setbacks) or how I would promote and market beyond the release. You can’t ever know everything in advance, but knowing a bit more of the ins and outs about distribution, production and marketing would have saved me some time.
What advice would you give a young woman wanting to become an author?
Write well and write consistently. It was a surreal experience pulling my book together because you could really see in the posts the times when writing was just sort of a hobby versus the times when it was a craft I was honing. The more I write, the better my writing becomes.
Also, live enough life before you decide to write about. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until you’re on your freaking death bed to consider writing a memoir. But, let experiences happen. The more you experience, the more those moments shape you as a writer. I thought I wanted to write a book back in 2013, and I remember a friend telling me, “You need to live a little bit more first.” I’m glad I took her advice.
Where is the Twenties unscripted brand headed next?
The Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity Blog Tour is starting! Aside from that, I’m also hosting two brunches (NYC and DC) in the fall to continue promoting the book. Finally, I am working on a multimedia project, similar to what I did last year for The War on Black Women’s Bodies series. There are some things in the work for 2016, but an entrepreneur never plans and tells.