Mapping out life at any age can get tricky but it’s something about those twenties that can take you for a loop! Thankfully, we have Tyece Wilkins who gives her honest approach on life and motivates women to embrace the twists + turns of growth. She is the voice behind Twenties Unscripted and author of Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity. Her Twenties Unscripted mission is to cultivate a personal blog that sparks young women to connect to the best, bravest and boldest parts of themselves.
Since Tyece began documenting her twenty-something journey, Twenties Unscripted has appeared in major media outlets such as USA Today and xoJane. After being named by Clutch Magazine as one of the “Top 5 Most Underrated Blogs You Should Read”, Twenties Unscripted went on to win Best Personal Blog in the 2013 Black Weblog Awards. The blog later received the 2015 Black Weblog Award for Best Writing in a Blog. Tyece was dubbed “The One Who Keeps It Real” on My Creative Connection’s second annual list of “45 Millennials of Color Who Are Blazing Their Own Paths.” She has also contributed to many online publications including For Harriet, Brown Girl Bloggers, The Frenemy and Thought Catalog.
Tyece also shares her journey as a speaker and spoken word artist. She has spoken at Southern Illinois University as well as D.C. Blogger Week and has had her work spotlighted by Busboys and Poets as well as WRTR Real Talk Radio. Each year she curates and directs a one-night showcase entitled, “See. Speak. Feel.” where she brings together local artists and performers across the D.C. metro area to share their work with an intimate audience. “See. Speak. Feel.” has been featured in media outlets such as The Washington Afro American and East of the River magazine.
Tyece earned a bachelor’s in communications from the University of Maryland. She resides in the D.C. metro area.
Let’s get to know Tyece a little better…
Sharing your journey and being authentically you not only liberates yourself but encourages others to as well! What first sparked the idea of you launching Twenties Unscripted?
I started Twenties Unscripted at a very different time from the current online world we live in. It was less noisy. Less crowded. Less focused on some of the pomp and circumstance that runs rampant now. So when I started it, I didn’t see it as a launch as much as the continuation of doing two things I loved-writing and blogging. I’ve been blogging since 2009, but after attending the Blogging While Brown conference in 2012, I was encouraged to really get serious about the online space I was carving out. Shortly after the conference, I purchased the domain for Twenties Unscripted and hired a graphic designer to help me with the look and feel of the site.
You recently transitioned your blog into your book, Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity. What did you learn from the process of you writing your 1st book?
Phew, I’m still learning a lot after having written the book even though it’s been a year since it was published! But, there are a few key lessons that reverberate in the back of my mind when I think about the book. Don’t be afraid to leave it all on the page. There were a few people who really wanted to probe about certain stories I told, and it was important for me to create boundaries. I published the work I did for a reason; I left certain stories out for reasons as well. As an author, it’s not your job to explain your work. It is your responsibility to write honestly and deeply enough that the work speaks for itself.
Also, a book is a forever kind of thing-for better or worse. Sometimes it’s easy to forget this. The world is so social media driven and we have access to so much content that’s here today and gone tomorrow. But, a book is a much more permanent part of your creative history. I have to be willing to stand by the words in that book. The beauty of that, however, is that even a year after publishing the book, it is still reaching new audiences every day. It’s a marketing tool that I always have now to promote, and I absolutely love that.
Being a performer, entrepreneur & writer can be tough to juggle. How do you continue to stay centered and productive?
Something I learned the hard way was the importance of carving out time for myself. I spent a lot of the early years of Twenties Unscripted mistaking creative/writing time with time for myself. The two are definitely not the same. While I love everything I do and have done with Twenties Unscripted, I am not my blog. But, I only realized that after countless breakdowns and burnouts. So, now I am a lot more intentional about making time for the woman behind the words and about doing things simply because I want to do them, and not because they provide any professional gain.
We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?
I have been blessed beyond what I deserve when it comes to the people in my life and the countless ways their presence inspires me. My mother has a heart that stretches from coast to coast, an inner fight that has pulled her through some of life’s ugliest trenches, and faith like I’ve never known. My father works harder than any other person I’ve ever met. My sister Alexis lives and loves with her heart wide open and is always so unafraid to put herself out there. My sister Makeeba stares every challenge square in the eye and somehow finds the nerve to rise above it. I am surrounded by hard work, heart, and resilience and have been insanely fortunate to inherit these things from my family. “Inspired” would be an understatement.
What advice would you give girls who want to follow their dreams and passions?
Something I wrote earlier this year was that “Sacrifice is the price of admission for success. That is a ticket that you can’t bootleg or knock off, as much as some people will try.” Success is not an instant thing nor is it a singular moment; success is the trail you trek by taking measured steps. So, don’t just be willing to sacrifice-be 100% ready to do it.
We are all about empowerment, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?
Empowerment means crafting a lifestyle that gives you the space and freedom to offer your most authentic self to the world. Empowerment also means surrounding yourself with the right people to enliven and embolden that most authentic self.
Time for the Faves! Celeb Crush? Artist? Food? Movie?
Celeb Crush – Lenny Kravtiz
Artist – I’ll go for my big three:
Poet: Nikki Giovanni
Spoken word artist: Rudy Francisco
Writer: Cheryl Strayed
Food – shrimp and buffalo wings (not together!)
Movie – Can’t ever just pick one! My top 5:
Deep Blue Sea
Mona Lisa Smile
The Social Network
Check out more Tyece here!