Mtern alum Kierra Pittman sharpens pencil, edits first book

Mtern alum Kierra Pittman sharpens pencil, edits first book

July 29, 2020

Kierra Pittman (McKinney Mtern class ’19) has always had a passion for writing and communications, and now, at 22, she’s taken a big step. Fresh off of her college graduation from UNC-Chapel Hill this May, Kierra edited her first book, Introspection: A Heart to Heart with Yourself, written by her mother, Krissy Pittman Martin.

You were an Mtern at McKinney last summer. Can you tell me about some of your strongest memories from your time as an Mtern?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at McKinney last summer. Some of my strongest memories were receiving the Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship, interviewing Vann Graves — who is the Director of the VCU Brandcenter — and planning the end-of-summer Mtern celebration. The chicken and waffles at the celebration were so yummy. 

How did you come across the opportunity to edit this book?

Introspection: A Heart to Heart with Yourself is actually my mom’s third book. I read her other books, The Covenant Is Still Good: From Celibacy to Marriage and The Covenant Is Still Good: The Back Story, and I loved them. When she mentioned her latest one, she asked, “How would you like to serve as editor of this project?” Adding, “Writing is one of your passions, so I’d like to give you the opportunity to put your skill set to use.” I was beyond excited to accept. Editing Introspection was special because it was the first book I’ve ever edited, and because I was able to do it with my superhero, my mom.

Can you tell me in your own words what it’s about?

Growth is the first word that comes to mind. There are many external factors that impact you, but true growth and reflection come from within. You have to practice introspection and take an honest look at your mental and emotional processes. I love this book because each chapter focuses on a different lesson and has a set of questions for you to ask yourself. I think one of the most powerful questions in the book is, “If you met your clone, how would you prove that it’s you?” It prompts you to contemplate those deepest things that nobody else knows about you and really take time to figure out who you are.

How has working on this book impacted your own life?

Working on Introspection has impacted me personally and professionally. Personally, I was able to answer some of the questions posed in the book as I edited, and it made me want to spend more time with myself. I feel like I don’t really set aside time to reflect — like many others — but this book encourages you to do so. Now that the book is completed, I plan to read it strictly as a reader and journal as I go. Professionally, I have further cultivated my writing and editing skills. 

How was it working with your mom in a professional setting?

It’s my mom, so I feel like she’s always right. But I had to put on my editor hat and really have a critical eye for writing conventions and comprehension. For example, as her daughter, I knew the backstory of some sections in the book that a general reader might need more context to understand. In such instances, I posed questions to prompt my mom to add clarifying details. I enjoyed working with my mom in a professional setting. 

What are your plans for the future?

As a creative, writer, and mentor who is passionate about advocacy and brand management, I hope to further fuel my passions through my work. I’m currently working part-time at Driven Society, a talent and experiential agency, as an assistant project manager and doing freelance work for small businesses through kierrapittman.com. I look forward to making a lasting impact in communications and on the world.