Facets of Faith: always writing


Hanl Brown

Staff reporter Faith Brocke expresses her emotions and experiences in her column, Facets of Faith.

Faith Brocke, Staff Reporter

Writing is unquestionably hard, a difficult skill to hone and cultivate. A beautiful and universal craft that carries people through life, syllable to syllable. Each and every writer has a realm of words bound to no confines other than their own. 

I’m a writer, and I want to write about everything. I want to write about what no one else will, and a little bit of what everyone else has written too. I want people to feel me in paragraphs and pages.

My whole life, I’ve been writing. I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t writing, from assignments to poetry to screenplays. I also can’t recall a time when my family and heritage didn’t influence that heavily.

Being an aspiring black author, let alone a Ghanaian holds weight over my head that I have yet to feel at its full extent, even though I know it’s there. Like Damacles, I have a sword held over my head by a string, threatening to end me and everything I live for with one word left unwritten. Many in the Ghanaian community don’t consider it a real profession. Maybe they don’t think I can do it because I’m not a man. Or because I’m not an adult. Maybe they want what’s best for me—a more stable line of work.

Or maybe they are all preying on my downfall, waiting for me to crack and tell everyone that I can’t do it, it’s too hard. 

Probably the latter.

My family never pressured me to write until they really understood that I could do it. That all the time I spent scrawling on printer paper and hunched over a laptop really meant something to me. Then, they praised me for it. 

And then they hounded me for it. I mean, I’ve seen less vicious attack dogs.

And sometimes, it feels surreal and daunting, knowing that every original character or metaphor can be recontextualized or misinterpreted. Sometimes, original characters are deleted and revised, never to be seen again, never to be what they were before, in an attempt to bring something exceptional to the table.

I am expected to depict the struggles that are silently written across my skin, the color saying what others are afraid to say out loud. But not everything about me is labeled in the margins of the big, wordy book entitled ‘Blackness.’

There’s more than what people think of me, more than what they expect of me, and more than what they see on the surface.

I like to think of myself as multifaceted. 

The pressure that weighs on me from attempting to properly encapsulate every struggle is unreasonably prominent, because I haven’t lived through every struggle, and I may not ever.

It is not about pleasing anyone, or rephrasing and reintroducing my works to those around me to make it easier or more enjoyable to digest. 

It’s about writing, because that is what I know I’m meant to do. 

So here I am, writing.