I can exhale – just briefly- but it feels good. I have gotten things accomplished and I am proud. As I prepare dinner for Christmas, I’m reflecting on what I’ve given and sacrificed, just over the last few months. I couldn’t buy Christmas gifts this year, but those who love me most, weren’t expecting me to. They understood that I had plans, and those plans cost money. I also made sacrifices for the greater good and made investments in my son’s future, as well as in my business. All of which cost money. I made a decision to move to a more financially comfortable and safer area in the urban center of Detroit. I made charitable donations to organizations and renewed my memberships to help preserve others. I spent thousands of dollars on Super Son’s current education and future college endeavors, including the sacrifice of not buying my flat screen television that was on sale for only $260. I even gave of my time and talents to help a woman, who turned around and accused me of trying to take advantage of her, and of riding her coat tails when she had no coat to begin with. I did a lot for others. And this was all during the last quarter of 2010.
So, as I put the finishing touches on my first full book, The Goodie Bag, for its release this weekend, on Christmas Day, I felt a huge weight lift from me. As I created the cover of the paperback version and watched the files upload, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. It is a beautiful book, if I can brag just a little. It’s different from other erotic fiction books written by other authors for more than one reason and I’m proud of what I’ve done. It might become somewhat controversial, but I’m ready and able to handle that. It might even bother or upset some people, but I’m ready for that, too. It’s worth it. I’m an artist. But I’m sensitive.
In a live version of what I consider to lyrically be the best women’s anthem ever written, Tyrone, Erykah Badu introduces herself by saying, “I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my sh*t”. I can completely relate. My art form is different from Erykah’s, but it is art, just the same. When I decided to write The Goodie Bag, and put my other book concepts on hold, I had to prepare myself for all of the possibilities that come with being an artist. Would people like it? Would people hate it? Would an ex-boyfriend of mine confront me about something he thought might be about him? Would it sale out or just collect dust on a shelf in the bookstore? What would the “critics” say about it? What would my friends and family say? Would I forever be stuck in the erotic fiction genre if people really like it? If there was a “what if”, I considered it. I contemplated it, weighed it, tossed it in the air and accessed it. Then I had to release it. All of it. All of the fears. All of the doubts. All of the worries. All of the “what ifs”. As an artist, I decided that I just needed to put myself out there and do me. I’d worry later, but for now I had work to do.
I put myself into my art – literally. I’m in every picture from the front cover to the back cover. I imagined each story, combined it with some of my actual experiences and wrote it for the whole world to read, if they want to. Some of the stories took a few minutes to write and some took months. I wanted each story to have a uniqueness about it. I wanted each story to draw the reader in, excite them, then make them want to add a bit of fantasy to their own reality. I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t. I wanted full color photos inside the pages of the book. And I wanted to be my own model. Not out of vanity, not because I’m narcissistic, but because I believe in my own vision, and I felt that no one else could capture my vision better than I could. I think I was right, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. Plus, other people had too many stipulations and demands that I knew I didn’t need to be hindered by. That’s the beauty of being an artist. You develop a bravery within your craft and you are willing to stretch yourself to preserve it.
I don’t know how many books an author has to sale to become “best selling”. I haven’t done any sales projections or set any sales goals. That is too much unnecessary pressure. With this project, I preferred to use the “if you write it, someone will read it” method. From a business standpoint, that may not be good to do, but as an artist, it allowed me to be free to concentrate on the art itself. However, if The Goodie Bag sales 100 copies in the first two weeks, I’d be very pleased. If The Goodie Bag sales 1000 copies in the first month, I’d be very happy. And if, by chance, The Goodie Bag sales a lot more than 1000 copies within a month or so, whether that makes me “best selling” or not, I’m sure I will have sold a lot more than many authors and publishers who have been at this longer than I have. I’m not trying to out-do anyone else in book sales. I just want to make my own mark and I hope you notice, read it and enjoy it. If I make a difference in one person’s life, with my blogs, my books or my smile, I’ve done well. So, this Christmas Day, which also happens to be my 36th birthday, when you buy your copy of The Goodie Bag, which is available through, Super Woman Productions and Publishing in paperback (ships to your home address by priority mail after the holidays) and eBook (available for immediate download to your computer or eReader), keep an open mind. When you read it, you might want your husband, wife or significant other present, with the kids out of the house. I’m just saying. I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t. But my sh*t is also very good.