It was a Nas album that first gave Los Angeles-based writer Britni Danielle the courage to share her love of writing with others. After earning two degrees in writing, she spent almost a decade doing other jobs, before deciding to take the plunge to follow her dreams to become a fulltime freelance writer. Now the writer and author not only pens pieces for national magazines—including ESSENCE’s May cover stories with Ledisi, Solange and Erykah Badu—she also teaches other creatives to pursue their passion through her company The Write Pitch.

Name: Britni Danielle

Age: 33

Title: Features writer, author, and founder of The Write Pitch

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Twitter: @BritniDWrites

Instagram: @BritniDanielle

The gig: I play with words all day to inspire, teach, inform, and entertain others! As a writer and coach, I get to do what I love and can easily change my schedule to accommodate my son’s needs. Oh, and I get to chat with some of the world’s most interesting people like Oprah Winfrey and Erykah Badu!

The journey: Hearing Nas’ album Illmatic as a freshman in high school changed my life. It was the first time I had the courage to share my writing with others. After earning two writing degrees, I taught middle school English for five years, was a shopping website copywriter and an account coordinator in New York. I’d put writing professionally on the backburner, but decided to give it a shot after I turned 30. I felt it was now or never, so I took a chance and it paid off.

Her best advice: I had the opportunity to interview Iyanla Vanzant once and I snuck in some personal questions on how I could stay motivated to pursue my goals. She challenged me by asking if I could see my vision. She said, “If you can’t see it within you then you’re never going to accomplish it. The vision will pull you forward. The goal will keep you busy.” That stuck with me. I’m always asking myself, “Can you see it?”

Her biggest lesson learned: Keeping meticulous financial records can save you a ton of money, especially during tax time. Last year I had to pay a huge tax bill, so that was a serious wake up call to stay on top of my business matters. I also learned that I couldn’t expect anyone else to take me seriously, unless I took myself seriously first. 

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Her career secret weapon: Twitter! It has introduced me to some awesome women who have in turn looked out for me in amazing ways by hiring me, recommending me to other editors, or simply answering my many questions.

Her Network tip: Don’t let where you live stop you from meeting others. I live in Los Angles. While it’s a major city, the publishing industry is based in New York. I use social media to meet and interact with fellow writers, editors and bloggers, and meet them offline when possible. And never burn a bridge. You never know how someone you meet today can be a benefit to you in the future.

Her stress relievers: I love to visit museums, hang out with my son, travel, binge watch things on Netflix, go to concerts, or have dinner with my girlfriends.

Student loan status: Oh God yes. I still have them! I’m slowly paying them back, but unless I hit the next Powerball drawing I’m going to owe Sallie Mae for quite some time.

Her style icon: I admire women who are fearless in their style choices. I adore the way Jill Scott shows off her curves. Every time I see her I want to raid her closet!

Tech must-haves: I regularly use Yelp because I read reviews religiously; DocuSign for signing contracts; Viber to keep in touch with my international peeps; and GasBuddy, because here in L.A. finding cheap gas can feel impossible.

Her beauty bag: Lots of lips glosses and lipsticks. I feel naked without earrings and something on my lips!

Her secret superpower: I don’t get stressed out. I could be up against a million deadlines at once and it still doesn’t bother me.

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