I’ve learned so many things from publishing my first book that I will carry not only into writing and publishing my next book, but life as well. Maybe they’ll help you. Here they are:
1. Show love to the people who’ve helped you in the process!
Why do you think this is number one? Listen. God literally placed the most perfect people in my life to help at the perfect time. Not only did God already give me this beautiful testimony, but he placed people on my path that were beneficial in their own special ways. For instance, my editor was amazing. She not only helped me edit my book efficiently and on my crazy deadline, but she helped me find an interior designer for a great price and told me other options if I felt trapped. She was like my book mom! Her expertise was very resourceful for this tough task. My honey was amazing during this time as well. Funny story: One night I was in the kitchen freaking out because my bank account had been compromised by fraudulent activity. I had fees to pay in order to get my book to the next step and was trying to juggle two jobs and school! I just felt helpless and overwhelmed at that time because it was like I kept pushing and trying and things kept holding me up. Anyway, I was cooking and chopping up chicken and this angel of a man (my honey) comes over and starts talking to me about how I was going to cook the chicken. I just started BALLING. Literally, I was crying so hard. I had the ugly face, hiccups, and everything! He just hugged me. He didn’t say anything for a while. After a few minutes of letting me sob and soak up his entire shirt, he said, “Babe, what did I do?” I kept crying. “You’re doing everything right.” He grabbed my face (I know I looked a hot mess, snotty nose and all). Then he said, “Take your time. Everything WILL work out. I am here to help.” Wow, you see what I mean? You need to remind these type of people how much you appreciate them because they keep your world on its axis at the times you need it most.
2. Do Your Research.
It wasn’t what I expected. It turns out, I should’ve done a lot more research than I had — Like months worth of research. The process could’ve been smoother if I was more prepared in terms of how long the process could take, how much effort it would take, and how much it could be. But applying this concept to life is important. Plan and research before you jump into something thinking it’s going to be easy. So for those of you out there thinking about writing and publishing a book, or anything major… do your research and planning first. It will run so much smoother and be less stressful, I promise.
3. Be Patient and Flexible.
I am seriously the most anxious and stubborn person I know. I get so excited and devoted when I have a vision that nothing can change my mind. I get extreme tunnel vision and while this is a blessing, it can be a curse as well. Often, I have to remind myself to slow down and take a deep breath. I literally start over-working myself and expect a long-term vision to get halfway done overnight. Why? That’s because I’m already picturing the end product in my mind. When writing Perseverance Is My Power, I was so busy trying to crunch for time and prepare for graduation, that I was stressing myself out. I wrote this book while being a full-time student-athlete and working two jobs. I was pushing to meet the deadlines in the classroom, on the track, and my own deadlines for my book. And you better believe these things tested my patience and did not always go as I’d planned. When I didn’t find a designer or editor meeting the deadline I wanted, no lie, I was pissed and flustered. I had to learn to readjust and work with what time I had. So, if publishing a book has taught me anything about life — it’s to be patient and flexible!
4. People will pretend they’ve always been there.
People are impostors and pretend they were there the whole time. There have been several folks that come out of the blue saying and claiming how much they love and support me and truthfully, these are the same people who never gave me the time of day! These are people who spoke negatively about me, didn’t believe in me, or didn’t really care until now. You’ll see when you go after something in life, and become successful, everyone will come around. I advise you to keep them at an arm’s length. I don’t know why it goes this way but people only come around when they see something beneficial for them. I just think it’s not okay for people to pick and choose when they support me. You’re either be in my corner continuously or not at all! Know what I mean?
5. Believe in yourself, even if people think you’re crazy.
Even though I started off knowing nothing about the publishing realm, I knew that someday I’d be a big shot! I still hold this mentality. Some people thought I wasn’t even capable of writing a book. Honestly, I’ve touched more hearts than I thought. I never thought I’d write a book, let alone people would be interested in reading my story. I have impacted the way someone thinks and lives their life! I found it amazing to see those blank pages get filled with my life story. I learned that I have a calling to inspire and that I’m pretty awesome at putting the pieces together so that others can understand and relate. So now I know just how powerful a little bit of faith can be!
6. Hustle and Hustle Harder.
There were times I was over it. I was over all the work I had to do and all the things I had to juggle. I came so close to just not publishing my book! I shed a lot of tears and had a lot of late nights with my tea in my hand, but I did it. You have to hustle for what you want because no one is going to do it for you. No one else had my experiences and could write my story, but me! I had to hustle and when I got tired I hustled even harder to get it over with. Do THIS.
I published my first book as an independent author (Woot! Woot!). Let me tell you, it was a rejuvenating and uplifting feeling. But I was surprised at how much work still needed to be done once it was out! Publishing is only the beginning of being an author and even that process is complex. Okay, okay, I’ll answer your question. Why did I go with the independent route? I decided to go with the independent route because I wasn’t comfortable with letting someone dictate my life story and vision for my book. I did receive agreements and acceptances from a couple of companies willing to traditionally publish my book, but I was not okay with them earning all the royalties and dictating my book. And I do not regret my decision! It felt amazing when it was over. Overall, I’ve learned a lot about the whole process and I am happy to use what I’ve learned to start my next book soon. For now, I’m developing my advertising plans and I am in the process of establishing my own brand and it will be launched right here within the next couple weeks! Stay tuned and thank you for your support lovelies!
As I opened my eyes
I didn’t know I’d be surprised
By a woman so heartless
All I felt was darkness
I heard the squeak when she opened the door
I heard her footsteps on the floor
She snuck in and didn’t knock
Then all I heard was the ticking clock
Loud was my heart in my chest
Drained from the pain I just wanted to rest
My spirit was rattling inside me
Nothing about me was at ease
She dragged me across the cold hospital floor
Just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore
She propped me up and began hurting me
The devil must have felt me rejoicing
So he sent this demon to hurt me
And when it stopped
The experience is still with me
TO BE CONTINUED…
– From whips and skin-splitting lacerations
And ships and being taken from our nations.
– From hard times and a life of doom;
Being placed in our own restrooms.
We were segregated, separated, and hated.
Our beauty is understated.
– From our children being torn from the arms of their mothers;
And running away from slave hunters.
– From Jim Crow laws and not giving up our seats;
And being scared to plant our feet.
– From being beat
Again and Again and AGAIN.
From the curse,
Of black skin.
The anger within.
The future and history.
– To having our families back.
Finally it’s not a crime to be black.
And although we still suffer;
We must remember,
How incredible we are.
Our bodies built this nation,
We carry the scars!
To all my brothers and sisters,
Mrs. And Mr.’s;
Take this day
To be proud;
To love being black — Out loud.
Here’s to being allowed!
We are AMERICAN;
And we will be so in our own skin.
At a certain point in time, there was always one particular thing in my life I wished I could have changed. I used to wish I had both parents there to raise, love, and provide for me. I had friends whose parents bought them cars for their sweet 16 and wore clothes more expensive than I could’ve imagined. I didn’t have those things and it wasn’t until I started college that I was okay with it. Being raised the way I was has been beneficial for my adult life even though it didn’t seem that way growing up.
Honestly, as I’ve lived this life and embraced a change in my perception, I’ve learned that being raised by a single parent was not a downfall, it was an advantage — a beautiful piece of my story. I grew up seeing the real world for what it was or what it could become. I learned earlier than most, life isn’t always fairytales and daisies. It is hard-work, sometimes bad credit, and joy in getting the smallest gifts. And because of this truth, I realized I have more guts and knowledge than most. I am grateful that I was exposed to such truth so often, and so soon!
There are seven things so far I’ve gained from being raised by a single parent:
1. Don’t ever be ashamed of who I am: This is important, that’s why it’s number one. I may not have the wealthiest parent in the world but I am grateful for her guidance and protection because I wouldn’t know what I know today if I wasn’t shown the truth from the very start.
2. Make smart decisions because you get no redos: Nine times out of ten, a single parent would tell you they wish they could go back and change something, but they can’t. I was told this several times, and I took it to heart every single time. If I ever thought about doing something without thinking it through, I heard this in my head.
3. Invest and plan for my future: this one is pretty self-explanatory but very important. It’s essential to sit down and think about what you want to do with your life before time gets away from you. I am thinking like a fifty-year-old at twenty-four-years-old.
4. Always be appreciative and grateful for what I have: Never be the person that takes things and people for granted. I’ve seen the hard work that comes with getting even the simplest things- that’s the advantage I’m talking about.
5. Be independent: Never rely on anyone to do anything for me.
6. Have a back-up plan: You know everything doesn’t always turn out as you planned. So, have a fail safe.
So, to those of you out there like me, embrace your powers and change your perception. We were not punished — we were being prepared. Prepared for how real life can be. One more thing, use your upbringing to remind you that hard work can get you anything. You’ve seen it your whole life might as well make use of the lesson learned, right? It doesn’t matter where you come from all that matters is where you’re going. We’ve been equipped with lessons of life, so guess what? You can’t use a single parent as an excuse anymore.
Have you ever been in love?
It’s like seeing the sunset
If you haven’t been in love
You have not lived yet
Since I’ve known true love
Nothing else can compare
It comes from above – never elsewhere
I am soaring like a dove,
It started the moment we met
Since I’ve loved
It’s like being refreshed
With him I dance in the rain
And let my soul undress
Since I’ve been in love
It’s like meeting my guardian angel
He is what I’m proud of
And for him I am grateful
Ever lean on your love’s shoulders?
It’s gives you immunities
Love made me stronger — bolder
And it’s crushed my insecurities
Since love there’s never been a time better
If you’re missing love, you’re missing a treasure.
What opportunities have you said no to? How many times should you have said yes? I’m sure you answered those questions with the feeling of regret. It’s time you face it. You’ve said no to opportunities that could’ve change the whole trajectory of your life. Don’t let that happen again, change by taking advantage of your blessings.
It is in our human nature to want better. But we can’t have better, if we are not taking advantage of the opportunities to improve. You have got to stop saying no to your blessings and opportunities. When opportunities come knocking at your door, don’t you hide under the bed; And then later question why you aren’t where you want to be.
I used to be like that. I used to say no. I said no out of fear because I was scared to embarrass myself or worse, let myself and those who believed in me down. But we can’t live in fear of failing, because trying is better than not trying at all. Take advantage of opportunities like helping others with what you have access to, going up to the alter if your pastor asks for a testimony, or even taking on a long-term and complex task at work you think you’re not ready for. Chances are you will surprise yourself with what you can accomplish. Just say yes, simple right?
You’ll find that most people do not say yes to opportunities. If they do, it’s not right away. For example, years ago I was asked to speak at a seminar because of a poem I submitted to an academic journal. I had a hard time even submitting the poem, to begin with, because it was about a very personal experience, but I did anyway. Who would’ve thought it’d land me in a room full of interested people? I basically said no to speaking, but the committee insisted. They had more faith in me than I did in myself at the time. For me, it was easier to write what I experienced than it was to get in front of a room of people and explain why I wrote this poem. It was nothing short of terrifying. At last, I said yes. After I spoke and presented the poem, my website and poetry took off!
Another example? In 2017, I was asked by the newspaper adviser to apply for the vacant Sports Editor position at the university I attended. I thought, “little ol’ me, could never.” I told her that I didn’t think I was ready for a job so important. There was no way I could edit and guide people on how to write sports articles using the right format, pictures, lingo… everything. After debating for a few days, I finally said yes. I was named the first FEMALE Sports Editor the university has ever had. Imagine how that looked on a resume. And wow did this blessing open the door for other blessings. But that’s enough about me.
What about you? What opportunities in the future can change your life? What can you do differently? If you don’t change that nasty habit of saying no to your opportunities, you will never reach your full potential. God wrote your story so perfectly. He does everything for a reason and at the time He knows you ARE ready. Opportunities don’t present themselves for no reason, they appear for you to take them seriously. Stop listening to those doubts and fears. That dream of yours is still yours if you claim it. Even if someone, or yourself is saying you can’t do it. People have told me I can’t make a career out of writing and still eat full meals. I called B.S. So know that you can and you will. But first you have to grab those opportunities by the horns and ride that bull all the way to success. You have blessings with your name on them, claim them. Don’t miss them again.
“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” – William Arthur Ward
Beautiful tears come from happy cries
I’ve learned cries can come from light
I remember how it was
A time before I counted butterflies
And before my soul took flight
Something kept me concealed
Wishing for a moment I could break free
At last the truth revealed
There was something special in me
I became what I’m supposed to be
Landing on flowers and touching the sky
I’m finally happy to be me
Now joy comes naturally I don’t even try
Counting my blessings in butterflies
Spotting grace on their wings
Grateful for all my lows and highs
Fluttering above the springs
Covering the distance and all the skies
Untouched by anything
I could’ve went with any other word to be the theme of my writing and blog. Truthfully, I am glad I didn’t, but I had no idea how mighty the word was when it dawned on me. I’ll tell you that I would choose it again because it is a remarkable thing. When I was 20-years-old and experienced my third near-death experience, I realized something. The way I saw the world, came from my experiences and consciousness.
I knew that day by sharing my perception with others, could inspire and even change the way someone else lived their life. I know it isn’t a thought a typical 20-year-old would be having, but I never turn down a blessing when I encounter one, so I ran with it. God allowed me to noticed just how important perception really was and still is.
Almost everything everyone does in life comes from their perception. We literally make choices every single day based on our consciousness and experiences. For example, I am living my life because of how my consciousness tells me to live it. And my conscious speaks to me different than yours speaks to you. But with all that said, the key to living a happy life regardless of what you’ve been through or where you come from, is all based on your perception. Isn’t that huge? Once you change your perception you can change your life.
- The result of observation and consciousness.
- The organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment.
- Is interpreting or noticing through the senses.
- The representation of what is perceived;basic component in the formation of a concept.