The Road To Publication and Forrest Gump
How many times have you seen Forrest Gump? If you're like me whenever it's on television you pause momentarily and watch it for a few moments. I know all the lines and all the scenes, but each time is different. Somewhere deep down inside of me I still hopelessly root for Forrest to get the girl of his dreams and live a life of courage. As a kid I empathized with the misunderstood quirky character. I often wondered why his life was so challenging and why simply he didn't just give up. Surely, I would have under some of the circumstances. The mother inside of me wants to protect him. Yet, his courage and bravery is one that says a lot about his character and choices.
I'm on this unsure, rocky, and often times challenging road of publication. E-books are in and paperbacks are nearly extinct. I don't have a fancy degree behind my name, Oprah isn't my best friend ( nor Facebook friend) , I'm not an expert in any field, and my experience goes as far back as working as grocery store clerk. I'm just a girl who loves to read and one day I made a choice to put pen to paper or keypad and write a book. Challenging ? Yes. Impossible? No. I have been writing for the past nine years. I've paid for the expert opinionated books on writing, building a brand, and etc. Trust me, after a while it all seems redundant no matter how many times someone puts a new spin on it. With all those things combined for a while I didn't understand my identity as a writer. By identity, I mean what was going to be my message to the world. Zane, had sex covered. Nikki Turner and K'wan owned the urban fiction genre. And Victoria C. Murray dominated the Christian fiction world. More often than not I felt like there was nothing else left for me to write about...all of the bases had been covered. That is, until I started to look deep within myself.
My list of favorite authors grew continuously each year. But, none of them were discussing my experiences or my realities. So, I decided that I needed to write the book that I wanted to read. A book that would not only change lives but give me a platform as a writer. My debut novel deals with domestic violence and faith. I am a woman of great faith. I married young and when my marriage became less than idyllic my faith was one of the first things I questioned. Experiencing and witnessing violence around me made me more aware that I was in a cycle of domestic violence and so were the women around me.
One scene that stands out in my mind in the Forrest Gump movie is when Forrest begins to run. In his mind it was just off of instinct and his desire to run, but he keeps running and running. Before long he's crossed America and impacted lives and led people behind him. My journey to publication is just like that. All of the promoting of my book, promoting other authors, revision, editing, networking , and more can take a toll a person spiritually and mentally. I an unknown writer at this point in my career. More often than not it feels like I'm standing in a grand canyon throwing rocks into an open space. No one is checking for me or Googling my name. So, why do I keep promoting, talking about my novel, and etc.? Why did Forrest keep running? Instinct and faith.
Just because the world can't see your vision does not make your vision invalid. Majority of people are not born famous. But, it is the ability to stand behind our choices and have faith that someday our plans shall manifest. I write not only for myself. I write for my friends, family, and other women who are too afraid to walk away from there situation. I can't change the world, but I can change a life. When Forrest finally stopped and turned around realized his impact...his vision had impacted several lives. I , too intend to do the same on my journey to publication.