Today is the day I picked up my first order of bookmarks! It's also the day I mailed out copies of my book! Talk about excitement! Some may not understand or say, "What's the big deal?" It's just another book with a flimsy piece of paper to mark the pages. Oh, please don't let me hear anyone say that! If I do, the news will report it as just another ramdom butt kicking by an unknown assailant. Then a blurred sketch photo will flash across the screen, because the victim won't know what actually happened to him/her, or who did the damage.
Wait For Love: A Black Girl's Story has been a long time coming for me. At one point in my burgeoning writing career all I thought about was the word rejection. Rejection...Rejection... I seriously thought of changing my first, middle and last name to mirror this one word. Reject would come into play as my nickname.
Ahhh, the woes of becoming published. They can feel insurmountable at times; comparable to falling off a mountain that you’ve tried to climb bare handed, with no safety net to catch you, and no one to offer words of comfort. So why get up and keep trying? Why continue on a journey when many times you feel there’s no end or glory in sight. It’s simple; it’s my and your write to breathe.
If you inhale air and exhale a story, a poem or a novel, you owe it to your every fiber to continue. This is your God given talent, and no one; not a publisher, an agent, or an avid reader can take that gift away from you. Why yes, of course you need all three to be successful, but when you begin to accept their words of denial as your own, you begin to suffocate. Suffocation is not part of your write.
I type this as a voice of experience, a voice of belief. Over time, that I seem obsessed with keeping track of, I have somehow amassed a complete novel of rejection letters. I have them organized neatly in a red binder in order of their receipt. At times I peruse them, wondering how can someone in their position deny me, my novel, my excellence, a chance at being revered by the reading public. What is their problem exactly? Don’t they know this is my write, my life, and my worthiness on this earth?
It would seem they didn't for the letters of dissent kept coming. The thing I love most about the letters is not the impersonal feel of them, but the fact that I’m so good at handling rejection. I have two or three from the same publisher, each on different stationary, but with the same HELL NO signature at the bottom.
I had the idea of attempting to have my rejection letters published. I changed my mind by realizing doing so would take away from the excellent writer I am. Who wants to be known as the Queen of Rejection on their first attempt? That’s not the image I’m going to portray or the story that I have to tell.
My story is one of success. Becoming a published writer - an accomplished novelist. One who can weave a story to entice you, to hold you, to bring you inside of my world, make you stay, and tell you when it’s time to leave. Those are some of the requirements of my write to breathe.
As I neared the end of seeing Wait For Love: A Black Girl's Story in print, rejection had become a special friend of mine. Every time we met I became stronger, more determined and destined to never meet his distant cousins by way of the postal service again. Keep in mind that another can never take away what’s in you or define your life’s calling. Then go back to your typewriter or computer keys and inhale. I promise you after all of this, you will still exhale your write to breathe.