Tag Archive | short stories

Some Things Just Come Easy

I was listening to a podcast this morning that I’m really growing fond of. The host is a Christian single woman who’s found herself in her mid 30s with her life looking nothing like she thought it would. Sound familiar? Well this morning’s interview was with another woman who has a strong faith but got married, and I suppose, has kids, yet still found herself waiting.

Still found herself comparing.

I was intrigued when she talked about her longsuffering. Unlike yours truly, her longsuffering came in the form of waiting to publish her first book.

She shared that she first had this inclination some 20 years ago, and did not get to see its realization until her 40th year of life. Wow. She would watch from the sidelines as friends, or peers, spit out their novels and transported their crafted stories into published works of art, when all the while she would wonder, “When will it be my time?”

Can you relate?

I know I can. Except not with book publishing. You see for me I have this knack for churning out content almost effortlessly. One of my close friends has even told me how much she admires how quickly I am able to produce written work. She too is a writer. A really good one I might add.

My very first book was short and sweet. I published it within months of writing it. My second book was a little longer, and required a tad more work. I had to conduct interviews and transpire what I was told into stories that made sense. Still, I conducted all said interviews, then typed up those stories, and again, published the finished product within a few months (whew!).

Now I am working on my third book, and first hand at fiction. It will be well over 500 pages according to Amazon’s handy template manuscript. I am so looking forward to this work as it has brought both joy and healing in a season of difficulty. And even though technically I started writing some of these stories in 2017 (when I lived with a roommate, and was still a W2 employee) the bulk of it was written during this here pandemic. The bulk was written in the last 9 months.

The funny thing is, even though writing tends to come easily for me, and ideas swiftly converge into thoughts on paper, I was always leery about writing a full novel. Honestly, I was downright intimidated. It sounded like such a large feat! Well, not only have I written 500+ pages of a compilation of short stories and novellas (sprinkled with poetry) but I also simultaneously wrote my first novel (which will be over 400 pages). Crazy right? I know.

And yet, there are others out there who do not have this grace to produce writing so quickly, for whatever reason. Whether it be time, resources, or a lack of inspiration, it just doesn’t happen for them.

Even recently I was presented with a freelance writing opportunity by one of my BFFs. I’m really excited about this position because it will give me a broader audience and an opportunity to continue enhancing my writing skills. There are some particular rules for writing for this online magazine, and as a result, I’m more challenged, but thankfully I always appreciate a good challenge (within reason).

So anyways, I submitted my first pitch for my first article four days before the deadline, and guess what? I already have the whole article written, and it’s not even due for two more weeks. I know. I know. Crazy.

But what I realize is, some things are just easy. Some things are really easy and some things are really hard, and depending on who you are, and your lot in life, the things that are hard and easy can vary drastically.

It took 20 years for this woman I heard on this interview to churn out her first book, and I have written two in the last year. Two. Now quality of course is more important than quantity so that’s not really saying much, but my point is, we all have our own graces.

The Creator knows our purpose, and identity and our end result. He also knows how to get us to “said end”. He knows the weaknesses that prune and humble us so that we bear more fruit. He knows the graces and strengths that offer us hope and encouragement. The ones that cause us to soar over the darkness that combats us in the valleys. He knows.

And even when we do not know, we know Him.

And that is another thing that has come easy for me.

Knowing His love.

Knowing His affection.

Knowing His intimacy.

SHALOM.

A Real Writer

Before this season I knew next to nothing about getting a book publishing deal. And can I tell you a secret? Even with two self-published books under my belt, I still didn’t consider myself “a real writer”. I mean, I’m a good writer (in my opinion) but I did not study writing or major in journalism (except for that brief time period freshman year, but God told me to “x” that idea). I mean, I’ve attended a few writing workshops but honestly, most of my training has come from, well, completely, Holy Spirit teaching me. πŸ˜πŸ’•

I have read countless books and have always been an avid reader πŸ€“. Books were a safe haven growing up for me. I was a loner. Born an only child and struggling in the friendship department (my how things change). Most of my pre-teen years were spent with my nose in a book. I would get so excited when my mom would take me to the library to pick out a few books that I could spend the weekend reading. (Yes, I spent my weekends reading, LOL!) And even though she herself was not a reader, she supported me in my reading. She supported me in everything…

It’s funny how fast God can move in some things. Like this writing thing for example. I was just reading about a writer (one of those real writers, I mean) and how she kept submitting her manuscript and query letter to publishing companies and then getting rejected. Over and over. Until finally, she got accepted. In my mind it was a given she would get accepted. I mean, she was a real writer. (Any writer who knows how to do a query letter, and submit their work to a publishing company, well, that is a real writer to me, LOL.) So that’s why the last couple of months are astounding to me. Because out of nowhere I got a message posted on my social media account from a distant relative (someone I hardly interact with) about a publishing opportunity for black writers. Well, I’m a black writer (I use that term loosely as I’ve already explained my perception of myself as a writer), so I should definitely look into this. Well, I did, and they wanted the first 30 pages of a manuscript. Now, I had resumed writing once the pandemic hit, but had no idea how much I had written, and I wasn’t so sure I had enough written. To my surprise, at the time, I actually had 150 pages written! SMH. So, I quickly started working on my book project to get it submitted. But the company also wanted a query letter included. Hmmm, here we go with that query letter again! Well, shortly thereafter a friend slid into my DM’s with contact information for a well known published author who was offering her services (free of charge mind you) to help black authors put together a query letter for this very opportunity! Crazy. Could God be anymore obvious? LOL. So, I jumped on it, and she really was a godsend in every aspect of the word. Within a few weeks I had my query letter! Then it came time for editing. Or so I thought. I turned back to social media, put out feelers for an editor and reached out to one in particular.

Now, I am a no nonsense type. I like to get stuff done. Give me a project, I’ll knock it out. I love productivity. So when this person suggested we wait to do the editing and that I should revisit the story and dig deeper (without actually having read the story) I was a little annoyed. Come on lady, I’m tryna give birth to this thing and you telling me I’m not done carrying yet! πŸ€°πŸΎπŸ™„. Now, she felt this message was from God and that she was hearing something. I’m not one to tell someone else what they are hearing or not hearing, but I know that if it is a word for me, then it is going to have to resonate with me. So I agreed to wait, although I was skeptical πŸ€”. But I didn’t have to wait too long. I sat with the story again, and Holy Spirit moved quickly. I began writing, and so much more came out of the characters. I was in awe. I sat with the story for a whole month after that and am finally meeting again with the editor (today actually). Hopefully we are ready for the editing stage (fingers crossed). I also submitted those first 30 pages and am awaiting a response from the publishing company. They have 3 months to respond so we have time (2 months left actually).

God has given me several words about this book project. I don’t know how much of an influence it will have but I know that it will have an impact. I love that it reflects my growth spiritually and where I have evolved as a person. It is relatable, down to earth but still revelatory. And to think, when I began writing it, I had no idea it would actually be a published work. I only started writing out of enjoyment.

I am looking forward to the outcome and to see the expression of the Father’s creativity through me in this season. And through so many others.

It’s our time.

SHALOM!