I have been working on the rewrite of my book Last Stop for an upcoming project, and I'm realizing just how much I've missed Josephine's perspective of life. There is undeniably so much of me in this character. The way she views life and navigates the world is so Jessica circa 2012. Often I wonder if I have grown in the way I hoped. Not just in my craft but in my life and going back to this book has taught me that yes, I have grown.
My writing is different, my voice is different, but not only that, my perspective on life has changed. When I first started publishing, I was so naïve. I made all the rookie mistakes that, if I had just been willing to ask for help, could have been avoided. Because of that, I set myself back about five years and lost the amazing head start that was afforded to me.
I started self-publishing when it was hot and easier to reach an audience through social media, etc. Granted, my material will always put me at a disadvantage because I choose to write POC, and often that isn't what people are looking for. I have accepted that I put myself in a niche. But every time I get asked, "Why don't more people know about you?" or "Why is this my first time hearing about you?" I want to scream, "It's because I suck at marketing and never asked for help!"
That's the honest truth. My first book was poorly edited, and I put it out into the world with no professional feedback (which lost a lot of my initial readers and caused me a lot of embarrassment). Then after I got that remedied, I had all the greatest ideas about marketing but never executed. I would sit back and think about how something would be amazing for my books, and weeks later I'd see someone else doing it and profiting, and then I'd kick myself.
The last few years I've been working to change that. I've been pushing myself to produce better content and MARKET my work. I realized that a big part of the reason I didn't market even after getting a new editor and doing all the checklist items, was because I was afraid of being seen, and judged again. I was afraid of feeling that embarrassment I did with that first book.
The thing is, no matter how embarrassed I felt. I couldn't stop writing. I couldn't walk away.
So I pushed to not only keep writing but to push myself out of my box and into the world in a real way.
Here I am about three years after making that decision, rewriting my book so it can be adapted to script for filming! Its amazing what a change in mindset can do for you! And trust me, I am still working on mine.
I'm marketing in new and exciting ways while still trying to figure out some more complex stuff, like AMS Ads!
I'm finally being seen.
Funny how this story is about a woman who was given the gift of Sight (the ability to see the world in a whole new way) because I see so much more now than I ever did before.
I'm so excited to continue this journey and continue bringing more stories like Josephine's.
Thank you for joining me.