One day, I went to a local department store in Mount Pleasant, SC. While I was there, I stumbled upon a pile of cheap unorganized journals, and luckily, a red leather one caught my eyes. I bought the journal, because if I didn’t I obviously would have no point of writing about it right now, and took it home to my family’s little town house. I began to write in it, just random things, and I suddenly found myself making a story outline. Surprisingly, this half of a page story outline became my 243 page novel, “Choice”. But, this did not happen within a few seconds, this took two years plus another year of getting it ready for agents. This book was the first time I ever thought to myself, “Wow, I could honestly publish this right now if I want to.” Many have asked me, “So, Jinapher, why haven’t you published?” Well, here is why.
- This book has brought me to tears on more than one occasion, and I simply want everything for it to be perfect, including the publishing house. A book, in a way, is an orphan looking for a family. First, as its mother, I have to find the correct orphanage. Then, I have to give that orphanage all of my faith and trust that they will help my book grow and be seen by the world in a wonderful way. After that, my book will be sent out to the world, and all of its companions (fans) will be the judge of what happens next.
- Yes, I have thought about self-publishing. Self-publishing is pretty much a faster way of getting your book out there. It also can be much less expensive. There are many pros to going through the self-publishing process, and I have not ruled it out, but I feel that self-publishing should always be the second option. There’s just something magical about the idea of being published through a publishing house.
- My final reason, if I want to publish through a publishing house, I have to find an agent to support me. Currently, I am emailing, writing query letters, and finishing up my final manuscript. I hope to be able to have an agent by the end of the summer. If for some reason I change my mind, my book will be self-published by August.
Now that I have put forth my three reasons for not being published yet, I would like to go a little more in detail on what helped me A TON when writing my book.
- Confidence- Honey, let me make this as clear as I can: YOU HAVE TO BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE. If you do not build you confidence, the moment somebody criticizes you, you are going to break. Your book is YOURS, you should have the confidence to keep it as YOURS. There are always going to be people out there who want to put you down, but most of the time, that is because they don’t recognize your wonderful talent.
- Belief- confidence and belief go hand-in-hand with each other. Not only do you have to have confidence the your book will one day make it, you also have to have the belief that others will love it.
- Strength- To be a writer, I will let you know, you must be strong. At first, writing may seem as a simple task, but I am sure you, by now, may have found otherwise. Writing is a challenge in itself. You have to have the strength in your creative muscle to power your writing. Without strength, you cannot expect to succeed.
- Creativity- Fiction, Non-fiction, or whatever, you will have to have creativity. When somebody picks up your book, they are not looking for the same style of writing as the book beside it, they are looking for a whole new style. Creativity is your open door to characters, style, and life in general. If you can think creatively throughout your book-writing process, you will surprise yourself with the outcome.
Of course, these are not all of the things that helped me write my book, but I plan on going more in depth in another post. I hope you enjoyed this post and please feel free to ask any questions, whether it be about your book, writers block, or maybe even a complicated life situation dealing with self-confidence, I am here to help and inspire you to become a better person & writer.
Jinapher J. Hoffman