My last post ended with me sharing that I needed to decide whether I wanted to pursue the way forward as an Indie Author.
And the answer is. . .
I got my mojo back! Two things solidified my decision. First, I stumbled across a blog post I’d written almost three years ago and second was the love and support from the Divas (more about these awesome ladies in next week’s post). With these two tailwinds at my back, I knew I had no other choice but to embrace a piece of advice my author mentor, Beverly Jenkins shared with me years ago, “write the stories of your heart because that’s the only thing you have complete autonomy of.”
So with all the challenges I’ve faced both personally and professionally, with all the fluid components that shape the literary world, I’m back on track and in for the long haul. And for those of you who have been thinking about indie authorship and self-publishing in lieu of traditional publishing, get your “Proud Indie Author” badge/button like the one above at Zazzle.com and pursue the way forward as an Indie Author with me!
Here’s a re-post of the blog that got me back on track:
A couple of weeks ago, I looked over my youngest son’s shoulder as he put the finishing touches on his English project. The assignment was simple. From an approved list, he had to write a five-paragraph essay on a famous African-American author or poet. When he finished, I asked him what he’d gained from completing his assignment on Maya Angelou. This twelve year-old man-child, glanced up at me and with a soft smile said, “She made it because somebody taught her how to read.”
Long after my son drifted off to sleep, the profound lesson he’d learned settled deep in my spirit. My baby got it! In the most elementary way imaginable, he finally understood what I’d drilled into him since he was able to string two complete sentences together—it’s hard to write, if you can’t read. Authors, we’d do well to remember that in all probability, our stories might’ve remained untold if some unsung hero hadn’t taught us to read.
Lest I forget the blood, sweat and tears of those who paved the way for the opportunities I take for granted today. They’ll never be noted in history books, never be placed on an approved list for future generations of students to write about, and never be presented with a lifetime achievement award for their literary accomplishments. Yet, they are the reason I can place the title of author in front of my name. My forefathers learned to read and passed down the power of this precious gift with the hope the generations they’d never live to see would one day face a brighter tomorrow.
Therefore, I resolve to remember and honor these unsung heroes.
Whereas, the next time I fix my mouth to complain about the unfairness faced by African-American authors, I’ll remember those born into the bonds of slavery. Ignoring their uncontrollable circumstances, they forged towards the horizon of knowledge by learning to read, even under the threat of losing their very lives; and
Whereas, the next time I want to bitch, moan and groan about the challenges I face as an author, I’ll remember the children of those slaves. With World War I nipping at their heels and despite their ability to read, they faced limited opportunities. Countless professionals emerged from that era and they believed in the collective power to foster change and pressed on; and
Whereas, the next time I have the unmitigated gall to give up and throw in the towel on this literary journey because my work isn’t readily accepted by mainstream, I’ll recall those who courageously sought what generations before them had been denied— the belief they had the same rights as everyone else for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They huddled together to form the Civil Rights Movement and despite the dogs and water hoses blocking their path, fought to repel the laws of Jim Crow. Covered by the grace of the Almighty God, they held firm and their perseverance paved the way for the comfort I enjoy today; and
Whereas, the next time I want to wallow in despair because my compensation falls far below authors who look differently than me, I’ll look back on generations past and continue to strive toward the mark of parity. So what if I live in a time with a disastrous economy, two wars, marginalization for the genre I pen, uncertainty within the publishing world, and second-class recognition for my work? My destiny has been carefully placed on my shoulders by those unsung heroes of yesteryear.
Lest I forget!
Until next time – stay well and be blessed.