Amplify V2I3: @bymorganpeace
Self-published author and all-around creative force at 23 years old, @bymorganpeace is just getting started. Whether it’s through writing, painting, drawing, or “consuming stories in the form of books, movies and shows,” Morgan says that these outlets started from a young age.
“When I was little, as long as I had a piece of paper and either a pen, crayons, color pencils or markers, I could entertain myself. I'm relatively introverted, but, when I started preschool, I was extremely introverted because it was the first time I had ever been placed in a new environment with entirely unfamiliar faces.” She says that though she is pretty introverted, she was able to use her creativity to express how she was feeling.
She says that, in preschool, “If I used a lot of bright colors like yellows, oranges and greens in my drawings, my teachers knew I was having a good day and I was in the mood to interact with everyone, but if I used a lot of darker colors like grey and blue, they knew I wasn't in the mood and they knew to leave me alone. I don't even remember this, but that just goes to show how much of an outlet art has been for me.”
Interestingly, her college major took her in a completely unexpected direction. She has her Masters in Information Systems and Operation Management, with a Supply Chain Management concentration from the University of Florida. Though this degree and her desire to work in the medical supply chain field may seem like a far cry from her creative roots, she says it actually connects pretty heavily with what she believes in.
When she originally went to college, she was torn between going into computer science or becoming a lawyer, when a college recruiter suggested cybersecurity as a middle ground. “I heard Information Systems was a route to get to cybersecurity, so that was the plan for a while. Because Information Systems was in the business school, I needed to take a lot of non-technical business courses in order to get my degree and I realized I gravitated towards the business side of my degree more than the technical side of my degree. So, I decided to focus more on Supply Chain.”
And, while this all seems very technical, the core of it is the opportunities and aid that it can provide that really drew Morgan to the field. “I learned about the opportunities within the medical field and specifically pertaining to disaster relief. A big issue is although people donate supplies to those in need in the midst of natural disasters, for example, the supplies don't always get to the people who need it the most. That's an issue I'm quite passionate about, so I figured if I have the tools to help, I definitely should.”
And, having self-published her first book, “Piece by Peace: A Collection of Musings” at only 22 this past February, she is not slowing down anytime soon. Ideally, she says, she would love to make writing her full-time career, as it’s always been her favorite, go-to form of self expression.
Morgan says that her book is “a collection of poems, journal entries and open letters that I’ve written from the ages of fifteen to twenty-one. I’ve actually been writing since before I can remember. It’s an introspective coming-of-age story that follows and explores my experiences, thoughts and feelings surrounding growing up and figuring out myself, as a Black girl, as well as the world around me.”
Most of the pieces in her book were written long before she even wanted to put them into a book. “One day, during the Fall of 2018, I realized I had so many journal entries, poems, voice memos and words written in the corners of my school notes that, if I compiled them, I would have a book. So, that's exactly what I did.”
“My go-to is writing because, if anything, I always have the notes app on my phone. If I have a whole day of free time & I have art supplies with me, I'm more likely to paint something as well. Additionally, sometimes, ideas or concepts come to mind in different forms. So, if it's a thought, I'll usually end up writing it out, but if it's an image, then, I'll end up drawing it. I suppose there are a lot of factors, but I just go with it.”
She says that the reason she wanted to publish it was because “I went through a period of time where I felt so different from everyone around me to the point where I truly thought no one understood how I was feeling. My book has an emotional arc, and by the time I was twenty-one, not only did I understand that I was not alone, but I also learned to embrace what made me different.”
Part of the reason that she felt able to share her work and experiences was through other peoples’ art, whatever medium it was, that showed her that her experiences were shared - “specifically songs long like “Here” by Alessia Cara and the album “Neotheather” by AJR. I realized that if it took a song written by someone I’ve never met to show me I’m not alone, maybe by book could help someone who’s feeling the same way I felt.”
Though this book is centered around her own poems and musings, she also writes fiction, and would even enjoy writing scripts for films or shows. Morgan hopes to get her next book published traditionally, and says that she will continue to pursue her dream of writing full-time and sharing her experiences and creativity through different outlets.