EP 73: Giving Yourself Permission To Write With Ashley Coleman
Ashley Coleman is a writer and project manager based in Philadelphia. Through her personal online space formerly known as Write Laugh Dream, she writes about life, love, and pursuing goals as a writer. In June 2017, she launched digital literary magazine “Permission to Write” that cultivates and amplifies the voices of writers of color. She splits her work between helping other writers develop community and craft and her own work on Medium and in books like “Dear Love” and “Love on Purpose.” Her freelance work has been published on Apartment Therapy, The Cut, Essence.com, JUMP Magazine and more.
In this episode Ashley takes us through her journey of how an Instagram series inspired her to write her first book and begin taking her career as a writer more seriously. She shares her tips for freelancers who are wanting to pitch their work to major publications, the work she is doing through her quarterly magazine Permission To Write and why she wanted to create a space specifically for black writers and more.
This episode of the LOE Podcast is sponsored by Talkspace! Use code LIVING to get your first week free!
ON WHAT LED ASHLEY TO TAKING HER WRITING MORE SERIOUSLY
Ashley grew up being great at writing but because it was something she was taught in school, she didn’t look at it as something she was good at. After switching colleges she became interested in songwriting and working in the music industry. In 2013 she started an Instagram series called Dear Love where she wrote love letters about her spiritual journey. After writing a bunch of those she was inspired to write her first book, “Dear Love.” After her book release event sold out, it made her get more serious about her writing.
ON WHAT INSPIRED HER TO BEGIN CREATING RESOURCES FOR OTHER WRITERS
Ashley was inspired to create things that she wish would have existed. After seeing a need for community and having a genuine passion for helping others Ashley created a space with resources to help others give themselves permission to call themselves a writer.
ASHLEY’S ADVICE ON PITCHING YOUR WRITING TO DIFFERENT MEDIA OUTLETS
Ashley says that the beginning step is to write a lot! Writing a lot helps you to get better and get a better understanding of your voice. The opportunity she landed with Essence happened because one of the editors actually read her blog. She also says that writing for free can be a good thing to help you get your career started. She also recommends that you make sure you are researching the site you are wanting to pitch to and have a good understanding of their voice and to make sure you’re not repeating ideas.