“If there is a book you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
This quote was the motivation and kick in the ass I needed to just start writing. Since the pandemic began, I’d been working and sitting at home watching countless TV shows and eating way too much Munch (it’s seriously the best thing ever!) Oh, and drinking too much wine – if that’s a thing. (19 Criminals is my new fave.) Anyway, a co-worker asked me what was my favorite book and I struggled to answer because I realized most of the books that I’d recently read were for school (oh yeah, I was in a doctoral program…long story!) So I was reading about adaptive leadership, similarity attraction theory, mindfulness – blah, blah, blah! I literally hadn’t read a book for enjoyment in years!
I finally answered the question – ‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison. I read that book in college as a Black Studies minor and loved all things, Toni Morrison. But the weight of the pandemic inspired me to find a ‘light’ read. Beautiful Black Women + Sexy Ass Black Men + Love + Romance = Yeeesssss! That night I decided to read my first romance novel since reading Eric Jerome Dickey and Terry McMillan in the late 90s, early 2000s. Stephanie Nicole Norris’ Safe With Me (Falling For A Rose Book 1) and I was hooked! I read every available book in the series in about 5 days. Then discovered other boss authors like Christina C. Jones and Alexandria Warren! Anything that makes you forget the premiere of This Is Us had to be good!
I probably read a new book every few days. But then I was inspired to write! I had a story in my head – it wasn’t pretty or perfect – it may piss some people off but I decided to release the words from my heart and head and put them on paper….one title ‘Treasure’ and 240 Word pages later…..and that damn manuscript is STILL just on paper! I’ve never published. I will, but not yet. I’m not ready. (Another long ass story!)
Then I connected with one of my favorite romance writers on Facebook, Stephanie Nicole Norris and my world changed! She curated a group of aspiring black women authors and challenged us to write something – anything, every day that would ultimately be published before Christmas. I wrote and wrote – then deleted that. Then wrote and wrote some more until the story of Nia Bledsoe & Garrett Marx in French Kiss Christmas was born! I fell in love with so many characters in other authors’ books, but this time, –I fell in love with my own writing, my own words – my own voice.
So I say all of these damn words to say, if you have a story in your head, heart, and soul – you need a release. Don’t think about who will like it or hate it, or how many books you will sell – just do it – for you and nobody else! So if you want to be a writer, you want to tell a story? Write!