Hey Bre gang, So let me paint a picture for you. In October 2017, I stepped out on faith and made my Facebook page as an author. I dropped a short story that blew up, racking in not hundreds but thousands of likes and shares. I was in disbelief but excited that people were enjoying something that I enjoyed doing. A few days later, someone reported my short story, , and it was removed from Facebook. Bull shit? Yeah, I know. And although I was mad, I still gained thousands of followers and they were waiting for me to drop something new.
After debating with myself, I finally took a book I had been working on in secret and decided I would step out on faith and become a published author. The process was nerve-wracking. I reached out to many publishing houses; some flat out didn’t respond, others just said no, some answered, but I didn’t fit with them or disagreed with their contracts.
But the one I remember the most was a company that was willing to take me on with the condition that they would sign me, but they wanted me to show their authors how I grew my following base. And I know Your probably like prefect, a simple sign on the dotted line. But I didn’t. Because honestly, I had no technical way of how I got my followers besides showing up. When I told that publisher no, her words put multiple different emotions in me. She told me I wouldn’t succeed without her company to back me.
I was discouraged, and a little broken. I was fully ready to run and hide with my tail tucked between my legs. But every time I got on Facebook, I had tons of people cheering for me that didn’t even know me. So I went to my safe place, and I talked (more like cried) to my daddy. He reminded me that all it took was the smallest amount of faith to make something great happen. And although I was raised in a religious household, sometimes, when you feel like the world is against you, it’s difficult to remember the simple things you were raised on. But with his words in my mind. I built my strength, picked myself up, brushed myself off, and decided to publish my book on my own.
I spent day and night researching information, joining Facebook groups, and more. And finally, I declared I would work overtime at work and invest in myself to release my first book, In the Name of Love, in January 2018.
I hired a virtual assistant whose job was to handle the pre orders that were coming to the website, get the book edited, formatted, printed, and shipped out. She told me she had gotten plenty of books published and
I remember the first day she messaged me on Facebook and told me the editing was behind. Unbothered, I took in what she said and kept going. Within the next few weeks, the excuses continued to come. She was almost done, but she in the hospital, she was on the last pages but was sick, her computer crashed, etc. I’m sure all my Scorpios out there know that my blood was boiling. But finally, the book was “edited,” Although now we were racing against the clock to still hit my deadline, we did what we had to do. She agreed to pay for the book to be formatted because of the delay, and I was excited all over again. I was that much closer to my dream being a reality. And I finally felt like I could see what my dad meant by letting that little bit of faith I had turned into something big.
But, of course, things couldn’t be that simple. I remember January 26st, 2018, hit, and I was over the top of my first book release day. Days later, the messages and emails poured in that my supporters had not received their books. I reached out to her, and there was no response. Two weeks came, and my supporters still hadn’t gotten their books, and some of them were bashing me and becoming nasty. And although I had been working on In the name of love 2, I was losing my desire even to put it out. All I could do was cry. I cried for days until those tears turned into anger.
As we got closer to the 3rd week. I reached out to the company my books should have been published through and found out there was never an order place for my books. My virtual assistant had run off with the money I paid her to do her job and all the money I got for my pre orders. And that was it; my faith was crushed, and I was trying to understand why God would let me get a taste of my dream come true and then snatch it away.
The hardest part was having to explain to people that there was no book coming at that. Some were nice and willing to wait; others didn’t even believe me when I explained what had happened. The following Sunday, I went to church, and the message was, “it’s not what’s going on, it’s how you handle it.” I sat there listening and realized because things weren’t how I planned them to be, and it was a little rough, I had let go of all the faith I had in myself, my craft, and my product.
And Monday morning, I got to work and set my idea in motion. I worked two jobs, and every bit of extra money I had I used to order books and get my support for what they paid for. I went live every time a batch of books came in and signed them right in front of my views to regain their trust. And though financially, my first book was a flop, I made it. I left the church to refresh an idea, willing to step out on faith all over again.
Not sure if you noticed, but the central theme in this story was faith. Faith…. complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Well, baby, my faith was tested at many points of my journey, and sometimes it wasn’t any more significant than a mustard seed when I stepped out on it, But I did. And as I sit here writing this in 2021, I am grateful I did because I learned such valuable lessons that I wouldn’t trade one bit. And now I am the author of 7 books and the winner of the 2019 Author of the year Roc award.
Even when it’s hard, have faith. Sometimes it’s the one thing that will get you over the hump.