Many, many years ago when I was a shy and timid child, I had something intriguing happen to me when I was in the first grade at Mayport Elementary in Jacksonville, Florida. I can remember it like it was yesterday because I will never forget how it made me feel. It was in the month of April, in the afternoon during our “free time” and I can still recall what I was doing on that very day. I was off in a corner, by myself, scribbling down a story that I had running around in my head. I was so wrapped up into writing down my little story that I did not realize my solitary behavior was causing a concern for my elementary teacher. First, she wanted to know why I was off in a corner with my back turned and second, she wanted to know what I was doing. Before I could tell her what I was doing, she politely picked up the scattered pieces of paper I had sprawled across the class room table and started to read what I had written down. As I sat there quietly with my hands folded and tucked in between my legs, I began to wonder if what I had written down would get me trouble.
After she finished reading what I had written down, my elementary school teacher looked me square in the eyes and told me that I should be a writer. When I asked her how do I become a writer? Her answer was sweet, plain and simple. She told me to keep doing what I am doing and just write. For years I toyed with the thought of being a writer, but I would always dismiss it because I did not think I had what it takes to sit down and write a story. With school, work and household responsibilities, I just knew that job title was out of my reach. Life was pulling me in so many directions that I could barely keep myself together! As the years came and went, I often wondered if I really had what it takes to be a writer. I just knew that one day I would have to give it a shot or else I may end up regretting it. So in the fall of 2014, I cast my doubts aside, gathered some pens and paper and started to write. I was going to write the best story that I could think of or die trying. Whether I succeed or fail, I can at least say that I gave it a try.
Fast forward to March 2015 and the birth of my debut novel Poka City Blues was born. In December 2015 my short story Spurned was born. Since I embarked on my writing journey, I have encountered a number of people who also want to delve into writing, but feel that they are incapable of writing a story. To those very ones, I give them the same advice that I was given. Just write. Sit down and write the best story you can think of and go from there. Never give up because you never know where your journey may lead you. I cannot wait to see where mine will take me.
Until next time…