Five shades of brown faces sit before me, garnished with eyes of eager expectancy. Five heads simultaneously lift, jutting chins in my direction in silent approval and confirmation. Each seems to say, “Nicole, you are the teacher. Teach.”
I am the teacher. But really, I am more of a coach, and that terminology tastes new to my fingertips as they type out the word. I was blogger, and then author and now coach.
For one hour we forget the 90-degree weather that has crept inside the window-sealed room void of air conditioning. We are lucky enough to have the small fan and water bottles stuffed in the fridge the library’s manager provided. I don’t even mention to my attendees that there are also popsicles in the freezer if they’re well-behaved.
And indeed, they are. They are deserving of even gold stars. I kid them and tell them that. They are engaging, thought-provoking, and the perfect students for the material I cooked up in my Canva-made PowerPoint slide.
Side note, did you know that Canva makes PowerPoint slides? I hadn’t a clue until I was having issues with Powerpoint and looking for an alternative and voila! Watch out Microsoft 365!
Anywho. I share my journey with them and how this writing thing has slowly evolved. I am personable and vulnerable, and I thrive off of small groups like this. I admit to them that just before my first attendee popped up, I had doubts. There are always doubts, no matter what stage of entrepreneurship you’re in.
Interestingly enough, when the fears began hula-hooping my mind, I caught a glimpse of a quote posted on the wall by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
Wow. Did not know MLK had bars. But seriously, I was ministered to right on time. That statement hit me because I know my journey in writing has been a step-by-step process.
One of my good friends showed up in support and even referred someone else who attended. She asked during the workshop how I got started even though she knows the whole story as she’s watched the progression for several years. But she asked because she wanted the others to know.
We can see where someone is now and think they’ve always been there, but more than likely, that isn’t the case. We’ve all had to crawl before walking.
I shared with my “students” that someone else needs their story. My greatest motivation for writing HTOHB was knowing that someone else would be helped by my transparency. It was a humbling experience. I had to air my “dirty laundry.” But how does said laundry get clean if it’s not first aired?
In the words of the great Maya Angelou: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Wow. More Bars.
I shared this quote in my presentation to encourage my attendees.
Regularly, I come across so many who desire to write that book or publish that manuscript, but life gets in the way. I desire to help people push life to the side, if only for a little bit, to tell that untold story burning inside. That’s why I created my first hybrid publishing workshop, Calling All Authors!
I was even more blessed to have it presented at the Cleveland Public Library in the midst of the Cleveland Reads Initiative, which broadened my marketing audience.
Even though it was an intimate group, starting out small has helped me be grateful for every single person who is touched by what has been deposited inside of me.
These days I’m thinking about doing a challenge for my writers who struggle to manifest their dream of publishing.
If I issued this challenge, would you partake?
Stay tuned for more on this front. I am just getting started…
In other news, did you know that I just dropped the pre-sale for my debut novel When Love Wins? You can check out more here! This time around there is an audiobook in addition to the eBook and paperback versions. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to catch special offers, discounts, insider information, and more!
Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out. I have a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube Channel.
And, lastly, if you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here. I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).
As always, thank you for your support!