We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittni Kirkpatrick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittni, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
So many factors went into me wanting to pursue writing as a career. I’ve been writing since I was six years old, and it is the one thing that comes most naturally to me. I’ve tried many different career paths, and each attempt at anything else would lead me right back to writing. It’s like second nature to me. I wanted to live a life of imagination, creativity, communication, and expression. I get to use my life experiences within my poetry and nonfiction writing. I get to tap into my imagination with fiction writing. No matter what I’m writing, it’s an expression of me. That’s important to me. I’d tried to fit into the 9-5 lifestyle, and it would leave me drained and longing for more each time. It’s important for me to be able to use my gifts for myself and to contribute to the collective. I value having a career that allows me the freedom, rest, and spaciousness I require.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a writer, I feel what sets me apart from others is finally accepting me for me. I’m not trying to write like anyone else or tell anyone else’s story but my own. Most of my writing is for me to just express my thoughts, feelings, experiences, and observations to liberate myself and those who resonate. I’m most proud of my desire to keep going no matter what. I self-published 3 books between 2017 and 2020, and there were many times when I doubted myself but kept going. I’m proud of myself for seeing those projects through to the end and creating from spaces of truth even when it was uncomfortable to be so vulnerable.
It wasn’t always easy. I wouldn’t call it easy no matter how much experience I have. As creatives, we go through bouts where we’re not inspired or we’re allowing that inner critic to keep us stagnant. We overthink or compare ourselves to previous works or the works of others. In those moments, we have to readjust and realign. We must return back to the center and the present moment. I’ve learned that you have to keep creating and believing. Your gifts matter. You matter. The way you see life matters. If people resonate, great. If they don’t, it’s not for them. You’re creating because that’s who you are. I’ve also learned that faith without works truly is dead. You can’t just believe you are a creative and you have a gift. You have to act on it, even if it’s little bits at a time.
I want the world to know that we can redefine success for ourselves – what it looks like for us. I truly believe in rest, ease, and liberation. I believe in self-awareness, radical self-love, adventure, and freedom. I believe in us reclaiming our time and not allowing capitalistic greed to steal our joy. When I write, I write from these spaces, because I believe the more we know, love, accept, and understand ourselves, the more that love and integrity will reflect in our work, our gifts, our lives, and this world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love living in Atlanta. There is something to do or a new restaurant to try every day in this city. If I had to entertain someone visiting, I would definitely start with brunch on Sunday at Toast on Lenox or Twisted Soul. Then, we’d grab some blankets, books, wine, and snacks to head over to Piedmont Park and enjoy a little picnic with friends. Hopefully, there would be an wine/beer festival or concert going on that week. Later, we’d get cute and head over to Le Colonial for dinner and drinks at the The Shops of Buckhead. Their food is divine. Throughout the week, we’d see the Atlanta Ballet perform at the Cobb Galleria or catch a Braves game at the Battery. We’d go for a walk on the Beltline where we’d stop for lunch at Bar Vegan inside Ponce City Market. We’d go to Splatter Studio for a little art therapy then to get a massage at Treat Your Feet Buckhead. I’d keep them busy with a trips to the High Museum then bar-hopping through the city. I’m also a nature girl, so we’d visit the bamboo forest in Sandy Springs or Westside Park, or maybe my favorite waterfalls at Amicalola Falls State Park or Roswell Mill. My favorite places in Atlanta are Eight Sushi Lounge, the Fox Theatre, the Beltline, and Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. R. Smith. She was the first person to recognize my gift and passion for writing. She asked the entire class to write a story about anything they wanted, and I wrote mine about a trip I’d taken to Las Vegas for a wedding. She loved the story so much that she had it bound and displayed in her classroom. It was my first published work. That type of encouragement was so important to me at the time in my life. I appreciate the way she believed in me.
Other: TikTok – @authorbrittni
black and white photo – @triple_s_shots on IG color photos – Tanya Wideman Photography