When I started my full-time writing career I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be one of those “starving artists” decorating the culture of America, not able to provide for themselves; poverty and financial struggle weighing down their shoulders. As far as I was concerned, that was the pitch-perfect picture of failure and as bad as it may sound, the Aries in me always likes to win.
Yet, of all the positions I’ve held in my career, I can’t deny, hands down, writing has been the most fulfilling. That’s saying something since my career has now spanned 20 years of my life. Wild to realize when I still remember being that very age: 20. I was a misguided college student, not sure of which path to take but very aware of the life-influential decision I would be making.
Recently I had the honor to speak with a college student, now clad in those life-defining shoes. She, unlike me, knows she wants to be a writer. She just doesn’t know which kind. Or, where to start.
In our conversation, I was able to assure her by sheer life experience that her path doesn’t need to follow any staunchly set societal rules. She could start off a journalist then move into publishing then do editing in the next five years. There’s simply no limit to where she could go or an exact blueprint she must follow. It’s all going to shape out the way it was intended as long as she’s following purpose.
But one thing I did motivate her to do was to practice her craft.Being a writer only works when you write, and you only develop your gifts by using them. Click To Tweet
Ending that call had me in awe because it was a mile marker. Not only am I in a position to educate someone else in this field but it was a someone who reached out to me. She found me on Linked In, saw that we had the same alma mater, and sent me an email. Wow. Her professor encouraged the students to speak to someone in their field and get intel. I was honored.
This reaching-out to-me-business has been an eye-opening experience that I honestly didn’t think about as much as I should have. I didn’t, until a fellow author shared that my book When Love Wins was featured in The Cleveland Magazine. I was shocked. This mag is well known in the city and though there are 61 books listed that were released this year there weren’t too many in my genre that had gotten chosen. I was in awe that I was chosen. I was even more in awe that they chose me without me screaming at the rooftops that I was here.
So much of the journey of being an indie author is marketing, branding, and promo. I. E: “screaming.” You can write amazing stuff, yet no one will read it if they don’t know it exists. It goes back to that age-old question:
If a tree falls in the woods and doesn’t make a sound, did it fall?”
In the case of being an author, I would say, it doesn’t. I want people to know my tree fell. I want them to hear the sound. But now, I’m realizing, they are hearing.
The article was a huge pick-me-up and I knew was God’s way of showing me, “It’s working, Nicole.”
I’m gaining visibility.
I had a couple of other instances where folks reached out regarding my upcoming event, “Girl Talk.” They were interested in participating. This too awakened me to the understanding that I now have a platform to create spaces for others. Wow. And it happened when I didn’t even notice.
Going into this next year I think we need to take inventory of where we are and where we want to be. I’ve found myself doing this mentally and it’s probably the first time ever. I’ve also been looking back at where I was this time last year. I can see I’m in a healthier place this year: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationshionally. As I shared with my friends I am not where I want to be but I’m not where I was either.
I’m reminded that things don’t happen overnight. It is the day-by-day inching forward that gets us to the finish line. It may take a while, but we will get there.
As I enter into this next year, the impression on my heart is, “next level”. I believe there will be a next level of increase but that means I must shift my mindset to see myself at the next level. I charge you to do the same.
We cannot go where we cannot see. As a man thinks in his heart and so on.
There are cycles that need to be completed in our lives. Some of these cycles can take years, but still, that doesn’t mean they won’t be completed.
And once they are, guess what happens?
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
In other news…Did you know that I just dropped 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!