As an author …
I wish I could tell you I know all there is. I don’t.
Truth is, when i first started writing I barely saw a return on the investment I put in. Hours upon hours of writing but no money was being made. Time spent away from family and friends and even some of them will not support. My name printed real cute on the front cover of books and you can find me on Amazon but that’s about it.
I should quit, right? I BET NOT and neither should you.
Here’s some unsolicited advice.
1. Invest in yourself and your gifts. The same way you go to school for a degree or certification; study your craft. Spend money on the best book cover, editors, proofreaders and promoters. Cheap is not always the way to go. Trust me, I know.
2. Build you a team. People who will push you, encourage you and pray for you. Have someone on your side who will tell you the truth, even if it hurts your feelings. Get to know people who are on the level you’re trying to make it too and one day surpass. Ask their opinion and take their advice.
3. Do NOT write book series if you don’t have the time to finish it. You will lose readers that way. If I have to re-read the first book just to read the second one, issa no for me.
4. Believe in yourself. There will be some folk who will not like what you put out and you may get some bad reviews. Trust your gift. Family may not support. Trust your gift. Nobody showing up at your celebration, trust your gift. It will pay off.
5. NEVER GIVE UP. I told you, for years the royalties I received couldn’t even pay my water bill (the cheapest bill in the house) but I did not quit. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not in a position to quit my jobs but I am finally seeing a return on the investment I’ve been putting in. IT TOOK YEARS though! You will see it too.
6. Stop comparing yourself to someone else. You are you and they are them. I don’t care how many of their books you read, you will not write like them. It’s their gift the same as it is your. Find your own footing. Sure, I said before, take advice but don’t copy them because that will only make you a copy of them and not you.
That’s it for now.
I don’t know it all. I haven’t made the New York Times’ Best Seller. My books are not in Barnes and Noble or Walmart stores. My name is not rolling in the credits of movies. I am not being called on to headline book events. Fact is, I’ve never even won a book award but I’m Lakisha … Author Lakisha and people know me and they read my books.
“Writing didn’t find me, God etched it within my soul when He formed me in my mother’s belly.”