When Words Can Heal - Intimate Conversation with Writer Q. Gibson
On Wednesday, America woke up in a very somber and surreal mood. The air was still and silent, the sun non-existent. It is safe to say, that there are many dealing with a hurting they didn’t necessarily expect and don’t necessarily know how to deal with. In these current times, it is imperative that we find solace in things that keep our spirits high so that we can strive and move forward correctly. For one writer hailing from a small town in Ohio, her solace is words -healing words that people often want to find, but don’t hear enough of.
Meet Q. Gibson, an up-and-coming author who, like other new age authors (think r.h. Sin, Rupi Kaur), has used their social media as a way to reach an audience who wants to feel like they aren’t the only ones who sometimes do not know how to deal with intense emotions that we may endure. With her soft, yet earnest voice, we talked with the author, writer, and creative about what it is that she does, and how important healing and progression is on our journeys to our best self.
Describe to us what you do and how did you get started? When did you know that writing and photography was what you wanted to do?
I am a writer and artist. I honestly couldn't tell you when exactly I began doing these things, but I can mention some major turning points for me in my discipline with them. I have always been a creative in many facets - my mother says I was reading at two, and now that I am older I take a look at things like small poems my grandmother still has sitting on her mantlepiece written by me, cards my mother has collected, and even a poem a friend from third grade still has that I'd written for him. I could draw things like Disney characters from scratch; expression has just always been a part of me. It's funny thinking back on it.
In college, I took English and Creative writing courses embedded in my program and received a lot of feedback from my then instructors/advisors which pushed me a bit. Most of my writing life has been personal and for cathartic reasons, when I began to write more and work on my first collection with things I have written I fell deeper in love with the craft. My freshman year of college was when I'd first began using a camera as form of expression. Some days I am so into writing that the visual aspect of things have now become secondary, but I still get the urge to just create, go out and shoot, or even look at other imagery very often.
Being a creative, your work is also your personal life at times. How do you balance that out and what advice do you offer to other creatives whose personal life deeply intertwines with their work?
I would say to make sure you prioritize. In this age of constant gratification and attention it can be so easy to get caught up in "work" life and creative life because of the instant and ongoing results. But I think it’s more important to live in the moment, and to remember that this is the only life you have so do more for your personal growth and find balance. I enjoy spending all the time I can with my son. Especially now, he won't be this little forever! So even when writing, I prioritize my day so that I am up writing hours before he is awake, and often hours after he has fell asleep at the end of the day. All other time is reserved for interacting with him, with other people, fueling my creativity, working out, enjoying this life I have. Some days of course I write in between work, but for the most part I like to give each part of my life the attention it deserves.
What did you have to let go of (if anything) in order to write such vulnerable pieces on topics people are often afraid of discussing?
I think the main thing I've had to let go of is just fear. Fear of what others would say about my writing, fear of vulnerability, fear of sharing intimate thoughts and experiences. That's been the main thing for me, just claiming my space and not being afraid to share and do so.
Your ideal practices to manage stress and/or anxiety.
2. Listen to great music. Mostly old school tunes like Marvin Gaye, Gap Band, Roy Ayers or some nineties Lauryn Hill & Badu. Then there's the powerful soulful tunes like sounds from Solange, Leon Bridges, Common, and King.
How important is the healing process on the road to becoming your best self?
Very important, yet an ongoing process. I believe we are always healing, finding new wounds, and creating them. Life is an ongoing process so the phases of healing I believe will come and go. Sometimes the writing, the creating, the face to face transparency with all of the wounds is the process and it’s ok for that process to be as long or short lived as it needs to be. As long as you are trying to heal and as long as you know that healing is an option, I think that's the importance of it all.
How do you embrace confidence in your everyday life/everyday style?
I embrace confidence by not being afraid to create/write/live in my purpose. Style wise, I believe I am finally stepping more into myself and being able to connect who I am inwardly with who I am outwardly and I am loving it!
In your opinion, what is Black Girl Magic?
I think Black Girl Magic is the innate ability to thrive amidst both peace and discord. It's the natural beauty of walking in our truths, taking charge of our futures, and living with fervor and tenacity. Sometimes I don't think it's magic - it's beautiful, but to me there's also nothing mystical or illusional about it. We are here, we are worthy, we are powerful naturally. Not because we say so or demand so, but simply because we are.
How can all women utilize their magic?
I think we can utilize these “things” by growing confident in our natural abilities, embracing our natural characteristics, and expounding on them through our life’s work in any way possible. We utilize it in the way we raise our families, the way we create, the way we treat others. It's organic, we just have to realize that.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years and what is your advice for women who have goals (long and short term) that they want to fulfill?
Tough. I only know I want to continue writing, be myself in my writing, honing my skills, and creating. I want to continue being the best mother I can be and chasing after the things that fills my soul. I don't know where the writing and my career will take me, but I want to sell lots of books, keep writing for the people who need to read them, and to continue being a medium for words that heal, change, and leave a lasting impression.
What are you In Support Of?
I am in support of self-love, other-love, pursuing your wildest passion, forgiving, living without limits, taking leaps, surrounding yourself with boundless energy, self care, great food, traveling, meeting new friends, living out your dreams, healing small and large wounds, telling your stories, collaborating with other creatives, being a blessing to others, giving, stepping into yourself, unraveling, and feeding your soul endlessly.