Billy Chapata is a Zimbabwean writer, best-selling author, and creative based in Atlanta, Georgia.
You might know Billy from his popular and relatable Instagram posts about love, healing, connections, and growth. He taps into his writing to continue digging deeper into himself, cultivating sustenance, self-love, and empowerment. He writes to heal and share his experience as a means of comfort for many worldwide, reminding them that they are not alone.
He is the author of Chameleon Aura, Flowers On The Moon, and Velvet Dragonflies, all available on Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, and other platforms.
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1AND1: This is a loaded question, but what made you interested in writing? Was there a pivotal moment that struck a chord in you to start writing, or has it always been a part of your life?
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Billy: Writing was something that I discovered later on in life. It came almost as a means of sustenance for myself. I feel like I’ve been healing for as long as I can remember before I even knew I was healing. I found that release in writing, and the more I put my thoughts out there and the more I share online, the closer to home I feel.
Having a closer understanding of who I am and using writing almost as a way of survival has emancipated me from many things going on in my life and a lot of pain. Putting my thoughts to paper or even notes on my phone has been a liberating feeling.
I would say that I didn’t start taking writing seriously initially, but after understanding more about my gift, I’ve been taking it seriously for about 12 years.
1AND1: Many pieces you share on Instagram and within your books are very personal and vulnerable. Did you ever want to keep those pieces to yourself?
Billy: I was very scared at the beginning of my writing journey. I would say it was difficult, and I was very selective about what I put out there. But I found that the more consistent I was in putting my words out there, the less scared I felt. I could shut off the noise and focus on myself, my ideas, and how present I am in the moment with my feelings. It’s almost a selfish practice when it comes to my writing.
The more I realized it was about me and that I could do it for myself and my self-preservation, the less fear I felt in being vulnerable and honest with my work. Through that, I’ve connected with so many amazing people from all over the globe, which has been a great bonus.
1AND1: When you say you can connect with many people, are those connections more online, or are they in real life?
Billy: It’s interesting. I’ve met more people online than I have in real life, and that’s because of the way my process is when it comes to my writing. It’s such a personal thing for me and is genuinely organic. I enjoy meeting writers online who share very similar thoughts and sentiments. How I am as a writer allows me to cater more to building more of a community with others online.
1AND1: How does it feel knowing your writing is being spread online and touching so many people with your words?
Billy: It’s a surreal feeling, almost strange, but in a good way. It’s polarizing because I’m so grateful, but in the same way, it’s tough to contextualize because when I put my words out there, it’s typically for me. When people can relate, it’s a beautiful and very humbling experience because it’s still hard to believe that I’m moving other people in ways that I didn’t necessarily intend to do.
It helps validate my experiences in different ways and reminds me that my experiences are valid, even if someone else hasn’t necessarily gone through them. I feel like I’m headed in the right direction and digging deeper into my purpose. Seeing everyone’s comments and positive feedback and receiving nice messages is something that I’m still getting used to, even though I’ve been writing for such a long time. In any case, I’m extremely grateful for the love and support.
1AND1: In your writing, how do you differentiate which thoughts are true about yourself and your healing and which are just fleeting?
Billy: That’s a great question. It takes me a lot of intentional time to realize that. And when I say intentional, I mean more solitude with myself and sitting with my thoughts and what I write down. Sometimes, some of those fleeting thoughts are not necessarily true. They might be a projection or an insecurity in the moment. But what’s funny is I’ve always felt like those thoughts should be released somehow. And it’s only when I go back and might re-read something, that I say to myself, “Wow, I was projecting in that situation”.
But even going back and having that awareness is a beautiful thing in itself. And it’s at that moment of growth where you don’t beat yourself up for it but acknowledge that “it wasn’t me, but who I am now” that matters. That’s one of the things I’ve noticed when revisiting my old works; how much more room for growth is there? I can be whoever I need to be, and that’s what I’m discovering every day. It’s a step-by-step process, just like healing.
1AND1: Healing can be such a beautiful yet tricky process. Do you ever have to turn off the noise and have a day where you say I’m just going to be human in this moment and not put too much pressure on the process?
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Billy: Absolutely, all the time. I feel like we live in this age where perfectionism is always in our faces because of social media. We post our best moments and display things in a way that doesn’t always show the full scope of our struggles. Quieting out the noise, for me, looks like meditation or spending days where I’m intentionally not on my phone.
Additionally, I feel there’s this idea that healing is the complete disappearance of your wounds and that once you’ve healed, that’s it, and it’s far from the case. It’s a constant cycle, and there is this hyper-focus in the media and tons of books we read that make it convoluted to understand the true meaning of healing. Healing looks different to everyone, and we don’t need to do it like everyone else does. We can choose what feels right for us at our own pace. I choose to have those quiet days for myself and my inner child, which feels good.
1AND1: I love that you mentioned your inner child. What part of your inner child do you think you’ve had to heal the most?
Billy: That’s a great question. I’ve had to heal the part of myself that constantly seeks other’s validation. That might also be because I grew up with a single mother and didn’t have that father figure during certain pivotal moments in my life. I was constantly trying to fit in where I didn’t necessarily have to, and I realize that now as an adult.
That’s why, now that I’ve embarked on my writing journey, I’ve had to practice not caring what others say. My inner child was fueled by ego because I was trying to show people that I was good enough to be accepted or that I had these qualities about me that were endearing enough for people to keep close. But later on, it became about doing everything out of love for myself and what I know I deserve, and I think that’s reflected in my books.
1AND1: Can we expect any more work from you in the future?
Billy: Definitely! I don’t feel like I can stop writing and don’t want to. I plan to release a book next year and another in 2025. I’ve learned so many lessons daily, and it’s exciting.
I’m looking forward to sharing it with others, and through my writing, I hope I encourage others who are afraid to share their work to keep writing for themselves and see where it can take them.