I've shared a love affair with writing and reading my entire life. There's nothing quite like the feel of pen or pencil to crisp, white paper or the sound of my fingers passionately tapping away on a keyboard. Heaven!
A clairvoyant once told me I was a writer in a past life, and you know what, I believed her. Nothing has ever embraced me with such a sense of power, passion, and purpose as writing. Early on, I realized that words were powerful. . . they could change your life, your perception, your reality. As I stated, I've had a passionate love affair with reading and writing since I can remember. My lover has never failed me, and as his mistress, at times I was at his beck and call.
I have a great love and admiration for contemporary writers such as Terry McMillan, Eric Jerome Dickey, Kimberla Lawson Roby, E. Lynn Harris, etc. to name a few.
Contemporary writers were the first ones to inspire me to follow my dreams. I vividly remember the first time I read Disappearing Acts; I was in absolute, undeniable awe. I discovered characters that looked like me, talked like me, acted like me and I savored each and every word like a fine gourmet dinner. I felt the character's pain, triumphs and their joy because I could relate. I didn't want that novel to end. It was with true sadness that I read that last page. From that point on, it was on; I devoured any African America fiction I could get my hands on; I was addicted. To this day, I'm still addicted.
Life inspires me. Living each day and experiencing the joys and tribulations of everyday living inspires me to write. I've experienced a lot of death in my lifetime, and I realize life is precious and we have to embrace each day as if it were our last. It may be, you never know. Life is an amazing journey with so many fantastic lessons to be learned. That's the beauty of it all, you can always elevate yourself to the next level. The human spirit and resiliency never ceases to amaze me.
Also, I love to go to the mall, a restaurant, a park or some heavily trafficked area and just people watch. You never know what you may hear or see. That inspires me; just breathing and embracing life each and every day is a platform for tons of novels.
That hasn't been any one book that has influenced my life the most. From a very early age, I realized the power of the written word; books can change lives, ideas, beliefs, your view of the world and yourself. I've embraced all books as the precious gems they are.
I'm currently reading Do You Take This Woman? by R.M. Johnson.M
I know this is going to sound sappy, but so be it. . . Follow your dreams, believe in yourself and never give up. Mentally picture where you want to be a year from now, five years from now and claim that space. Scream it to the universe for all to hear! We all have stories to tell, but there are only a few of us who actually sit down and put pen to paper. That makes you unique in itself.
Believe in your gift and use it every day. Network and surround yourself with people and places that uplift and promote your creativity. Distance yourself from the negative energy people who want to dash your dreams. Listen to your inner spirit. The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking. Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you're right.
The best writing advice I've received is to continue to hone and polish my craft. Keep learning and improving each and every day. Write to please yourself; don't worry about anyone else. It's true; you can't please all the people all the time. If you believe in what you write and you're passionate about what you write, readers will pick up on that aura.
Keep the faith and it will come. . . .
First of all let me say, primarily, I'm writing for entertainment value first. I write for the readers who want a mini-vacation without ever leaving the sanctuary of their home. I write for that reader who on a cold, wintry day, wants nothing other than to curl up under a warm afghan in front of a toasty fireplace, sip on some hot tea, and read about somebody else's life. Not just read about it, but get pulled in, engulfed by it and feel the pure emotion. Feel the heat.
If readers take something away, a life lesson, in the process, then that's great too; that's an added bonus. I've accomplished my goal and much more; it makes it all worthwhile.
I took the summer off, did absolutely nothing. That's a rare phenomenon for me! I'm eagerly working on my fifth book.