“I want to write a book someday. Oprah says writing a book can be cathartic.”
Those are the words I spoke to my speech class during my senior year of college at Florida A & M University, after someone had read off of a small slip of paper that my impromptu speaking topic would be “books.”
I know there are no accidents in life, and that spring day in 1990 seemed designed to get me to verbalize my deepest desires. That is the first time I remember saying out loud that I wanted to write a book — words that surprised even me.
Grand opening, grand closing
It would take nearly nine years — circa 1999 — until I finally had the published book in my hands. I’d buckled down and taken two years to write a salacious novel that could’ve rivaled E.L. James’ best fare, but soon after I began promoting the self-published novel, God made it pretty freaking clear I needed to stop doing so.
Alas, I felt like a failure, ran away to California and switched to the mode of writing screenplays. I pretty much gave up on getting back on the book-writing horse — that is, until my memoir began calling my name.
Getting rid of writer’s block and forgiving myself
The biggest impediments to seeing my own words in print haven’t always been snarky or kind editors that act as gatekeepers to the world — either frustrated writers themselves, or kind ones who used to send me rejection letters that said I “can really turn a phrase.”
No, I realize now that my biggest road block was usually my own mind, will or emotions.
By 2011, I’d built up a slightly impressive list of published magazine clips and bylines that were featured in national mags like Writer’s Digest and online publications like Yahoo. The world of book publishing had changed too, with the ease and allure of Kindle edition books on Amazon once again kindling that desire in me to create something of longer length than an essay or magazine article.
I took the plunge and wrote a book for Christian women under a pen name, and later wrote the memoir that had been itching to get out of my soul, titled From Slut to Saint. Doing so was marvelous, like opening the dam to unleash a flood of books — some under my real name, some under pseudonyms.
Readers love a portion of my books more than others, and I’ve taken to not reading most of my reviews, only glancing briefly at their combined average customer ratings. I spend lots of time, however, pouring over my Kindle book royalties, which I’m watching climb to more than $1,000 earned in the past six weeks — soon to hit the $7,000 mark overall — (if not already there) — and pray they continue growing at a rapid pace.
The 12 Years a Slave Book by Solomon Northup is doing well, along with my “Work at Home Jobs ” tome and books like “How to Publish a Book in 2014 on Kindle on Amazon ” and “How to Publish a Book – Amazon Kindle Books Self-Publishing .”
Yes, the road to getting my first book published may have been a winding one, but it’s a journey that I’m glad I’ve embarked upon at last — I and am excited to see where it takes me.