We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Eaddy McKeithan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Honestly, The Literary Enthusiast Creative Firm started on its own. I had been a published author, writing for myself and THOUGHT, this would be it. One day, a close friend asked me to help her write her bio. Then, I had another individual ask me if I could edit an article. The more people asked, the more I realized that this could really be a business. I loved writing and wanted to create a space where I could inspire others, especially women, to use their creative voices too.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Literary Enthusiast Creative Firm was birthed out of my need to be seen, heard and treasured. Every time, I write something, and it is received by others, it continuously pushes me to go harder. I remember being a 17 year old girl and my father asking me “What do you want to do with your life?” I replied with “I just want to be a writer”. When he asked me how I would make that happen, I couldn’t answer him. I didn’t believe in myself or my writing abilities enough. Eventually, I published my first book in 2010. Since 2019, I have self published 9 titles and ghostwritten 10 titles. When I am not writing, I am coaching women through The Writing School for The Procrastinator.
When I started The Literary Enthusiast Creative Firm, I had no idea how to run a business. My first ghostwriting client was only charged $1,000. It was hard, hard, hard. Not because of my writing ability but because of my amateur entrepreneurial skills. Over the years, I had to learn how to market and brand myself as this badass storyteller/writing coach and I used a lot of my own money to do it. Honestly, I didn’t have my paperwork in order with a business license, business account and accountant until 2020. Before then, I just had a hobby and it showed. I wasn’t making any money but I was inspiring people left and right.
During the pandemic, I told myself that I needed to stop playing games. I’m good at what I do, so it was time to show up. That year, I made my first $10,000. The next year, I tripled that. This year, I am forecasted to double what I grossed last year.
Being an entrepreneur is a hard task but I CAN DO HARD THINGS. The biggest lesson that I have learned is to create my own lane and to walk in it with unapologetic boldness. Everyone won’t understand my vision but there is a group of individuals who are called to help me see it through.
It is my desire to show women, especially black women, that their stories are necessary. When we share them, we give another woman permission to do the same. Like a domino effect. Creating safe spaces for black women to edify black women and push them to stop holding back is tied to my legacy.
That is the goal of The Literary Enthusiast Creative Firm and I am praying that I am doing it well.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting me, we would make a whole week of fun, food, and fellowship. We would have brunch daily. Some of the best places to have brunch are Lulu’s, Lillie Pearl and Lunch and Supper. We would visit Short Pump Mall and shop some days. For lunch, we would stop at Buttermilk and Honey to eat one of the best chicken sandwiches on the planet. To just chill, we would visit The VMFA to see the beautiful art museums. Because I love wine, we would go do a tasting at Cooper’s Hawk. Before she left, we most definitely would have to have dinner at the BoatHouse and Bookbinders.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate this Shoutout to every single individual who has allowed me to use my voice, affirmed me, and created a safe space for me these last 12 years. I can’t create if I am not seen, heard and treasured. I also thank God for showing me daily that my purpose is necessary. My mistakes don’t take away from what God has created me to do. For that, I am grateful.
Other: I can be followed on TikTok @thatwordsgirl
Virgil Odell Rosey Slocum