It is in the dark when I am most alive.
When the rest of the world is sleeping,
I am awake, letting my mind take over.
The true meaning of the dead of the night.
It’s when my creativity is heightened,
My mind unwinding and letting
The words flow like the waves of the ocean;
Loud yet peaceful and soothing.
The moon is my lamp,
And the stars are my thoughts,
Scattered across the sky,
Each one telling a story
Of my past, present and future.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
At least that’s what I’ve heard.
But is it really in the eye of the beholder?
For when we talk about beauty,
Isn’t it the outer appearance that we speak of?
That’s shallower than the morning
Tide of the ocean.
What about under the make up
She has caked on her face?
Under the bundles of weave that weigh
Her head down as if many burdens
Were placed upon it?
What about under the clothes that she
Wears to impress men who don’t notice her,
And women she can’t stand?
What about beneath the skin,
The blood that flows through her veins?
What about underneath her scalp,
The brain that has worked overtime
Through two degrees and a master’s?
What about behind those eyes that have
Seen such dark things that light
may never shine through them again?
What about under her large breasts,
A heart that has been broken many times?
When I first started writing novels, I cannot tell you how many inquiries I submitted to book publishing agencies. Every last one of them were denied. I believe I submitted over 100 inquiries and all were either denied or there was no response. When I found out about self publishing, I jumped on that ship and never looked back. Self publishing is honestly the best route if you want complete and total control of your work. Here are some other benefits:
- Set your own release date
- creative control
- more royalties
- can choose which outlets to sell on
- can take however long you want to finish your novel
- no one can tell you what to write
- you can choose how your book is promoted
- you can even sell books out the back of your car
- you get to handle all elements of book tours, readings and signings
With traditional publishing, it is basically the opposite of what I listed above. There are some perks though.
- you don’t have to worry about promotion
- all things regarding signings, readings and tours are taken care of by someone else
- given a specific genre or topic to write on makes the writing process easier – you don’t have to create something yourself
- better chances of getting your book noticed by a larger audience
- you have a deadline, that prompts you to actually finish a book and not leave it undone for years
- you have someone to hold you accountable
There are ups and downs of both, but I like my money and book publishing agencies can be super expensive. I say choose which route is best for you, but I will always be in favor of self publishing because you have control over everything and you can do things the way that you envisioned, as opposed to someone else. It’s your work; make it how you want it.
Growing up, my mom would buy me diaries for birthdays and Christmases. I wrote through all of them, poems, my feelings and thoughts, my latest crush, everything. I was one of those kids who loved to write. Even when I wrote letters to my friends, they were always more than two pages, front and back, all for one idea. They hated it, but I didn’t care. When I express myself through writing, I have to add every single thought that comes to mind, even if it is irrelevant. I do that when I make YouTube videos as well, but I edit some of it out.
Recently, I got back in to personal writing, or journaling as most call it. It has proven to be very rewarding. I bought a few of those composition books that kids use for school, the ones that are $.88 at Walmart. I am already half way through one and another is being used as my prayer journal. I think that is why I have been so stressed lately because I don’t typically talk to people about my problems, and when I write, I leave it all on the paper, close the book and I feel better. I feel like a weight has been lifted.
I highly recommend to those who feel like there is no on listening to their problems, to write in a journal. You don’t necessarily have to talk to someone about everything that is going on because nine times out of ten, people get tired of hearing it. Writing it in a journal, you are still putting it out into the universe and not bottling it up inside. I can guarantee that if you spend at least 10 minutes a day writing (I typically do one to two hours), you will feel a sense of relief. I write longer only because I have a lot bottled up inside and it is hard to stop writing once I start. Many thoughts come to me at one time.
I’ll give an example of when I write. I don’t normally write two hours straight. First thing in the morning, I have to use the bathroom. So I take my journal and pencil and I write what I like to call “Toilet Thoughts.” It’s really about how I am feeling that morning, the dreams I had the night before and how I feel the day may go. That really helps to get the negative feelings out. If I feel a sense of negativity, I write in order to put the negativity into the journal, and get it out of my mind, body and spirit. It really does work because then my day turns out better. This actually happened this morning. I had terrible dreams last night that when I woke up this morning, I felt terrible. I was sad and down. So I had my “toilet thoughts” session and I feel more empowered to take on the day.
I know quite a few people who journal and I’ve heard how it has helped them. I feel like it can help anyone and no, you do not have to be a writer to journal. No one ill see it so it is okay to misspell words, use ebonics, write like you’re texting. Me on the other hand, since I don’t do any of that in my regular writing or texting, I don’t do that in my journal. Because I’m a writer, it would bother me too much (don’t judge my life, lol).
If you decide to take up journaling, please don’t be afraid to let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you if it has helped, and even if it hasn’t. If you do journal, let me know how it has helped you.
Stayed tuned for my next post about music I listen to while writing my novels, journaling, or any other type of wordsmithing.