Growing up I wanted to be a Lawyer, a Teacher and an Astronaut. The thing that all three of these things have in common is that they are all things people told me that I would never be.
No one ever had the guts to tell me that I wasn’t going to be a writer though, that’s the one thing that I was always going to be, no matter what. Because I decided at five years old that I wanted to be a writer.
I also decided I wanted to have an interesting life. I should have wished for a wealthy life, now that I think about it, but then I wouldn’t have published my first book by now. I’d be doing something other than writing.
The thing with writing, is that it’s like being stoned. When you do it well, it’s because you refuse to compromise or hold back, when you do it right everything comes out. Your fear, anxiety, depression, stress, everything is released into the ether and created into something new and beautiful.
When you do it wrong, you know it’s wrong and everything gets thrown off kilter and then you convince yourself that you should quit because no one’s going to read your work right?
I’ve sold five hard copies of my book and about 13 digital copies. The fact that the numbers are small are inconsequential. The fact is that I made money off my book, I am now a Professional Writer. I am getting paid to write.
Wealth and power have never been very interesting to me, that’s why it’s taking me so long to produce a fictional story. What matters to me is the work, it’s making sure that younger Brown and Black girls, know that their voice matters.
I can only encourage them through my writing, it’s the one thing that I can do that no one can do the way that I would do it. That’s a skill, it’s a talent that I possess that I want to, and can share, with the world around.
No, I don’t think about myself in negative terms when it comes to my writing, I refuse to. I mentally smack myself back when I get that low and I remind myself that I’ve written a book, and I remind myself that I did it in less than a week, which means that if I spend more time on the next one, it’ll be even better.
When you start to feel low, distract yourself. It usually means that you’ve pushed passed the wall of no return, and nothing good is going to come from your writing then. It’s best to focus on something else.
It also helps to put post it notes up around your house to remind you that you are a good person with goals and dreams that deserve to come to reality.
Being a good writer takes work, and it also takes remembering that there are going to be people out there who think your work sucks, but you and only you have to decide if those opinions matter to you.
I don’t care if the majority of people think my book sucks, because eighteen people paid for my book and so far people seem to like what I’ve had to say.
That matters more to me than those who are going to try and tear me down out of jealousy and fear that they won’t have their dreams come true.
Are you a good writer? That depends on you. Are you a writer?
If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you want to do is write, you are a writer.
I can’t remember who said that but it’s the absolute truth. I don’t write first thing in the morning, it takes time for my brain to wake up and to find the words, but no I don’t think I am a sucky writer. I think I am an amazing writer who hasn’t been discovered by the masses yet.
But that’s because I decided that’s what I want to be. Your turn,
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall