I still can’t believe we are at the end of 2019, the end of the decade! It’s impossible for me to mention the end of 2019 without mentioning the end of a decade. I started self-publishing in the middle of the decade, in 2015, and if you ask me, I wouldn’t even say that’s when I really started publishing. There was so much I didn’t know about self-publishing, so many mistakes made, but those mistakes taught me valuable things. My first story, No Fraternizing, Pt. 1, wasn’t even supposed to be a part 1. “Part 1” was supposed to be it. But after almost a year after publishing that story, I got a few messages from readers curious about how the story continued. I didn’t even know I had readers before their messages. And that’s what this decade represented for me… a time of discovery.
I learned so much about myself as a person and a creative. I can procrastinate better than the next person but creatively, I’m very type A lol. Before publishing my story on Amazon, I knew that as a romance writer, I wanted my stories to be like a slice of real life, real relationships and real love. Capturing intimacy in all facets of the black experience including falling in love with a stranger, getting back with an ex, having a change of heart for an enemy, and turning a friendship into something more. I wanted to do all of that but in my way and I think I did what I set out to do.
2019 was a culmination of all the lessons I’ve learned since hitting that publish button on No Fraternizing, Pt. 1. I’ve always loved creating a story, but along the years, I learned to love and respect the editing process. I edited more this year than I’ve ever done in my whole life. I even edited other writers’ manuscripts as a beta editor something I got a lot of joy from doing… as much joy as writing! I perfected my designing skills. Last year I dabbled in designing, creating the cover for A Love Deferred. Before that, I’ve always created mock designs of my covers before sending the cover designs to professionals but this year, I stepped out of the comfort zone I put myself in, and designed my cover for Ebb & Flow and the first (and all the covers) from my upcoming Love is Cure series.
I was my most productive this year, writing nine different stories when I made the goal of just writing three! Two of those stories are already edited and ready to go while the others, because of my experience with editing, is well on their way to being complete too. I learned that only writing when you are inspired ain’t it because you might be waiting a real long time for inspiration to hit. As a result, I learned the importance of planning and having a schedule and also taking necessary breaks to recharge to maintain my commitment to my commitments. Keeping my commitment to my commitments helped me with launching my online book and mug shop, something I’d been putting off for a whole year!
Life outside my computer was tough this year. I found refuge in my relationships and in writing. I cried a lot more in 2019 and learned that it’s okay to do that. Was more fearless in doing things that scared me in year’s past. Being more emotionally open and daring in my every day life trickled into my creative life with me taking more risks. Writing stories that got people talking and thinking. Many loved it, some didn’t agree with my direction of things. But the most important lesson I learned in my writing life was that if I do things with love and give it my best once it leaves my hands it will be criticized whether for good or bad, and I have to be absolutely okay with that. The peace I get from understanding that is knowing that before I presented my work, I gave my projects my absolute best and my all. I left my heart on every single page I typed. And sometimes all that isn’t enough. But hey, I’m following my dream and doing something that brings me joy and fulfillment, and that… that is enough for me.
I thank you for your support this year! I do this because I’m in love with writing, but your support makes it an even more enjoyable experience. Thank you for rocking with me in 2019, and for those who have been supporting me from the beginning, thanks for sticking with me for half of a decade! A big thank you to all of you for sharing my posts, telling a friend about my book, taking a chance and reading just a few pages of a book written by me, 1-clicking my releases, and leaving your reviews. Thank you for reading, for being invested in these characters and their stories, for reaching out to me via messages, commenting on my social posts. Shoot, every and anything you did in support of my writing life, just… thank you! I am so very humbled by your support. I look forward to you joining me in this next phase of my writer’s life. It’s going to only get better!
So what’s next? Check out my post on my next release coming spring 2020 🤸🏾♀️