The Risk I Took, And The Reward I Reaped: Transitional Truths
I heard my pastor say, "You haven't taken a big enough risk for God to bless you, yet."
Wow. That's pretty much what I thought to myself as thorns prickled my eyelids in the form of salty tears waiting to slide down my cheeks, but they didn't. They stayed and they continued to burn -much like the desire I held inside pertaining to my career as a creator. You haven't taken a big enough risk.
Two days ago, I completed my #idontknow novel. And to be quite honest, I'm scared shitless to release it to the public just as I was the previous one. This newfound fear that has orchestrated within my core is disgusting, one that I am both discomforted and disheartened by. See, this wasn't always my story. When I wrote a book, the confidence was through the roof, no afterthoughts or over-judgment. That was before I gained my wings as a beautiful butterfly. That was back in my caterpillar days.
Beforehand, it was, "I fucked that book up!" Now, it's like, "I hope they like it." My... My... My... How times have changed. Well, without torturing you any longer, let me tell you what brought upon this shift, one that I am struggling to acclimate myself with.
I transitioned from Urban Fiction into the Romance genre. I've gone from my writing reflecting my daily life, situations seen, incidents heard about, people encountered, and images portrayed of the black society to completely banking on my imagination and desires for a more positive portrayal of black love. Do you know how hard it is to create images aside from the normal when your people are use to the normal? Seriously, it's both refreshing and challenging to create the love stories that are hidden within the black narrative.
It's easy to throw a drama-filled, common storyline, society driven novel together without a single doubt about how the audience will receive it, because it's what we see everyday on television, in the mall, on the news, in the streets, in school, and on social media. It's entertainment in it's most familiar form. But, I want to tell the untold. There's a disconnect there. When shifting your agenda - yet still housing a crowd who's reality is the very situations, incidents, encounters, and horrid images portrayed of the African American society - you have every right to lose your wits.
This is where my risk derived. I realized - last year - that it wasn't the shooting, the drugs, or the drama that I gravitated to the most when writing my books. It was the dynamic love stories that were the root of each of my stories that I enjoyed telling the most. I even discovered a theme going on in each of my books. I would create amazing love stories, ones that stood the test of time, and implement urban characters, situations, and settings. That was my "cover up." That was me NOT taking the risk, and hiding behind my urban roots -when even as a child in the hood that my grandmother lives in I knew that I was a romantic... a lover at heart. I was the girl that listened to countless love songs dreaming of her wedding day, wondering where her husband was and what he must've looked like. That was me!
Carrying on, at the head of this year, I decided that I had to take one step in order for God to take two. I knew that my victory would come, but I wasn't sure when or how. In fact, it has yet to appear at my doorstep, but it's all in the risk. I've decided that I am completely enthralled with the Romance genre as a whole and don't ever care to venture into the Urban field any longer. That just wasn't for me. It was a means to getting me to the place I belonged, here. With every risk, there will be losses. I'm not afraid to broadcast mine, because they are only gaps that will later become bridges created to lead me to my sacred place - a place of elevation.
In my transition, I've suffered:
- Loss of readers
- Lack of reviews
- Lower rankings on release day
- Loss of support
- Shift in confidence
- Lack of notoriety
While these bits may seem like deal breakers, you'd better keep reading to understand why I was willing to lose each and every one of those elements with pride.
In my transition, I've gained:
- A newfound sense of freedom (in which I'd give everything to have)
- Insane amount of support from my peers (Romance authors)
- New (more supportive) readers
- New aura about my writing career
- Hope (from myself and others)
- Steady release rankings (my books chart longer)
- New outlook on my writing process
- A need to present more polished content
- Encouragement to weather the storm
- Knowledge of a new universe
- Inspiration to birth ideas I had contained due to my conforming to the genre I was in
- New mindset
- New appreciation for my craft
Often times we're more concerned with our losses when transitioning... when elevating. No! Those thoughts will keep you drowning in your current state. Consider the amazing gifts you will gain, and let them lead you to victory. There is only one thing that I would change if I could, and that's the fact that I didn't convert earlier. Transitioning is a risk... A big ole scary one to be exact. Yet, it holds so much beauty and the unknown is exciting. I wasn't expecting the outpour of love and the acceptance that I have received while transitioning. Yes, I've loss so much, but I've gained something geniuine in return.
The freedom is another topic for another day. Gosh, it feels like I'm just starting to flap my beautiful wings that were supplied with my ascend. As of now, I'm without barriers, and can freely create outside of perimeters that were previously set for me. I just wanted to talk about love; that's all. Thankfully, I understood exactly what T.D. Jakes meant about not taking a big enough risk. I've taken mine, and I can't wait on the outpour of blessings to follow!
My new novel will release this upcoming week. It's titled Chest to Chest. Read snippets from HERE.