You've Got To Be Your Own Best Cheerleader...
On this rainy morning, I galloped from my bed to sit at my computer and start this beautiful blog that tells of a little girl from Memphis, TN that became someone she never dreamt of being with the key component to her success contributed to becoming her own best cheerleader. That little girl has grown to be world renowned, penning the most intriguing stories one will ever lay eyes on. She's been in the hands and on the minds of people that she'll probably NEVER meet a day in her life, but they trust her wholeheartedly to continue to dip into their greatest fantasies as if she's snatched the thoughts from their minds personally. With over 35 titles under her belt, this amazing little girl has been deemed one of the best in the industry -named amongst the greatest. That same little girl packed her bags and moved to Dallas, TX without having a blood relative for at least 420 miles away from her humble adobe in the heart of the city. The little bitty girl fought through the devastating loss of her daughter's father, using her imagination to pen stories just to cope on even her greatest days. Depression and self-neglect had turned that little girl into a mere shell of who she once was, a vibrant soul.
Today, that little girl is known as National Bestselling Author, Ghostwriter, Publisher and Screenwriter, Mercy B... and she is ME!
Each day I roll over in my oversized bed, in which is much too large for my tiny frame. If I'm not frustrated from someone calling to interrupt my sleep, then I am squeezing my lids to have a quick word with the man upstairs. To start my morning, I don't go too tough, asking him to save me from myself. A simple thanks is fine. Nevertheless, my mornings are pretty upbeats, especially with an active six-year-old running around before school is due to turn in. Anyhow, I'm saying this to say that last week, I noticed that sometimes my mornings aren't as jolly as they should be. Here's why...
I'd concluded a manuscript that topped off a little over 60k. I was pretty darn furious throughout the entire week, feeling the wraths of incompletion. Through a hasty decision, I'd realized that I didn't need 20,000 words of my outline, and that I could get my point across in much less time. Needless to say, I scrapped the 20,000 words, cutting my manuscript from 80,000 to 60,000. Bummer.
My shoulders were slummed, and my pride was tucked under my ass. I was coming down hard on myself, until I questioned my reasoning. Like, seriously, what reason did I have to be sour when there were people simply trying to push out 5,000 words, or learn to self-publish their own books. There are people that are writing amazing stories, today, and not a single soul knows about it. Really, what did I have to be upset about?
My highlight came during a random email to my list... It's when I realized I had to cheer for myself as much as I chastised myself. If I'm going to do either, then there must be a balance of some sort.
My email went just like this...
Today is a special day for many reasons, one being that we have breath in our bodies. Secondly, is the day before I release my _____ book. I can't remember the number, exactly, but it's either at or right below #40. In the midst of this revelation, I was talking to my friend, and I stated something very important while we chopped it up on the phone. (Download At Your Request, NOW)
"Just as we are our own worst critics, we have to start being our best cheerleaders, too." -Mercy B
It's true. We push, shove, poke, and bully ourselves into seclusion, self-doubt, insecurities, and end up with miserable, sad, and never stepping out on faith to do that thing that we were going to do or always wanted to do.
We're so damn horrible to ourselves. Just think of how offended you'd be if someone said the things that you say to yourself to you... You'd be BIG mad, huh? Exactly, so why say them to yourself? It is all the same. We're beating ourselves up half of the time for nothing.
Example: I botched 20k words from my outline. Snipped it. Cut it completely off. I had decided that my story didn't require it to be told in the manner that would get my point across. Plus, I was having the toughest time getting this story out of my head and onto paper. I'm a third person writer, that's without question. I wrote this one in first. Also, I shed the dramatics of the common black love stories and searched for deeper complications... Geez. It took a bit from me. I was feeling iffy about the novel in general, so I did something that I never do. I had it test read. The readers both returned with outstanding feed back, and wondered where the hiccups were and what exactly was my concern. After breathing a breath of fresh air, I was reminded of the conversation that I had with my friend about the extremes we reach when tormenting ourselves. Right then, I knew it had to stop.
I'm the hardest on myself, criticizing each aspect of my life, and focusing on the negatives. I made a promise just yesterday to combat every negative thought that I have about myself with something positive, and I want you to join me.
And since that email was pushed into the inbox of my subscribers... This happened.
Just look at how these things pan out...
This review said it all... I had to even post it on my Facebook...
"I've struggled, internally, with faith in my transition from Urban to Romance, in which I've desired to write for some time now. Again, being my worst critic! I've bowed my head and prayed to Him that I discover equilibrium within my journey, in the midst of my distaste to pen the genre that brought forward my essence in this industry. I bit the bullet with my latest release, and decided that my time had come to ascend. Whoever you are, you brought me to tears. My struggle wasn't in secrecy as I had thought. It's been on display since November when I released Dade + SaeKu."
I'm always so hard on myself, so hard! I can admit that the bulk of my energy is derived from the things that I see. Social media has been a huge part of my negative outlook on what I have going on. It's the devil. It's not only my problem, but the problem of many others too. But listen, that is not your journey. You can't measure how awesome or fucked up your life is by the way their's is going. You could never amount to them, and vice versa. We've got to stop comparing our lives to other's. There's a plan for you, as well as others. Everyone has a time and a set destination. You will reach yours when you're ready... When life is ready... When God is ready.
The moment I feel the fogginess that social media is causing me, I shut down completely and take to the real world. When I step out and sing my own tune, it amazes me how much people listen and how enthralled they are. Aside from the countless authors and entrepreneurs cramming the internet, there are very few people in the world that has actually encountered someone of my occupation who is successful. I mean, seriously, who has written over 35 books that you know that aren't online? Exactly.
This is when I am reminded that I am special and what I am doing is as well. At this point, a praise/cheer rumbles in my belly, and I am renewed again. Sometimes, it takes those measures. Seriously, go out into the world and tell a stranger about the things you have going on. Gosh, they will tuck away their clothing and bring out the pom poms. But this is the thing, it shouldn't take a stranger to celebrate you. You should celebrate yourself, pigtails and pom poms!
In all honesty, we're just easily discouraged -altogether. Life comes at us so fast, and we're hardly even coping with current waves before being hit with new ones. As stated before, I prefer jolly mornings, ones that I'm not focused on what's going right instead of what's going wrong.
If we all just took a second to stand on the sidelines, we would be able to see that, even through the many adversities, we are truly amazing. So many obstacles are placed, strategically, to hinder us from our goals but we prevail through the most daunting conditions.
Do you know what it took for me to pick up my pen and actually publish the books I'd been writing? DEATH! I can't say this enough. In the midst of my storm, I conquered and became everything that I never dreamt I would be. In the midst of chastising and criticizing myself about all that I should've done and could've done better, something bigger was happening before my eyes. I hadn't saw it until the time had come.
So, after all of the badgering you're putting yourself through, make sure that you're ready to cheer just as loud. Don't be too hard on yourself, because as long as you're doing better than yesterday's you, then you're on the right track! To hell with what you didn't do. Focus on what you have done. If you wrote 10 words yesterday, as long as you write 11 today then you're good.
You have to cheer yourself on, even when you don't want to or no one is cheering beside you!