Last week was a great week of books, writers, and inspiration. I started off by attending the Next Generation Indie Book Awards In New York City where my novel, Anytime Soon, was recognized as a finalist in the African American category!
This award was uplifting, and I have to admit, timely. The road of a new author is one that offers detours of doubt often with no direction to clarity. Like many new authors, I have questioned myself as a writer, my novel and whether or not this is “my time.” Receiving this incredible honor affirmed my decision of becoming an author, and it felt good to be an honoree. I love writing and creating characters, and nothing feels better than knowing my work is valued...and liked.
The awards ceremony was inspiring and being in a room full of talented authors, editors and others in the book industry made the experience even more significant. Next Generation certainly knows how to put together a remarkable event and the intimate setting, tasty hors-d'oeuvres and the being able to “work the room” made for an excellent time for everyone.
As writers, we all face challenges. I was able to speak with some accomplished writers, editors, and others in the book industry and learned they too, have been there at some point. The point? Keep pushing.
This week, I also had the chance to spend a couple of hours in the presence of the incredible Pearl Cleage who read a few excerpts from her new novel, Things I Should have told My Daughter” and shared some of her struggles as a writer. Ms. Cleage is an insightful and incredibly smart woman who further inspired and motivated me to continue on my writing journey. Nothing is perfected overnight, and every great artist needs time to develop, and while I am indeed under construction, it feels great to receive encouragement and recognition from my peers.
The goal is to keep moving forward, believe in yourself and believe in your work. Remember, it doesn’t matter how fast you are going so long as you are moving forward. Through all of my struggles as a writer-trying to juggle family, personal life and a demanding career, I love being an author and will continue to work my craft. I fully intend to walk down that path of success and greatness.
And it certainly helps to hold the title of Award-winning author.