To say that 2018 started off rocky and rough for me would be an understatement. I was disappointed that I couldn’t travel and missed out on a festival in Florida where I was supposed to be a featured author. Book sales slowed down and things got shaky for a while, especially during the winter months. For the first time in a LONG time, I started to wonder if I should take a break from this full-time author thing and just go get a regular gig again. Then, I started to read all of the messages and emails I’ve received over the years from aspiring writers, poets and even other published authors who still have regular jobs but would love to write full-time. That’s when I realized that what I’m doing is bigger than me. I’m also one of the most stubborn and determined men alive so, I stopped moping and decided that I just needed to get back to being the savage that I KNOW I can be. Yes, the online sales had slowed down but NOTHING on this earth would be able to stop me from going out in the real world and making things happen so, that is exactly what I did!
I’ve heard people say, “Oh, you’re so lucky. You live in New York so you can do what you do. I wish I lived there,” and I always laugh because it’s somewhat of an insult when folks imply that what I do HERE is easy. This city is notoriously mean, ruthless, unforgiving and fast-paced. Most people give ZERO fucks about what you’re trying to do because they’re busy trying to survive this jungle themselves. 90% of the people you try to engage coldly ignore you. So, explain to me again how it’s easy? All the same, despite the difficulties and the anxiety I feel every time I step outside to promote my work, I do the damn thing anyway. I sell books every day to folks who didn’t step out of their homes with any intentions of buying a book. Some haven’t read anything since High School but I’m turned many of them into avid readers. It takes maximum effort in a harsh environment but, I am proof that it can be done…almost ANYWHERE if it can be done HERE! This is why I encourage other authors to stop making excuses for NOT going out and promoting themselves outside of Facebook and social media.
This is not easy. Believe me. I’ve suffered. I’ve done without. Birthdays and Christmases have gone by where I wasn’t able to make my children’s days as awesome as I would have liked. I am blessed to have two of the most amazing kids in the world. When I didn’t have, they never complained or even made me feel any way because they saw me killing myself every…single…day, just to make things happen. Sometimes, I stay out way into the wee hours of the morning because I made my mind up when I left the house that I would sell EVERY SINGLE copy and I meant it. They worry about me when I do. They’ll call me every five minutes to tell me to come home and to make sure I’m good. I couldn’t ask for better children.
2019 is just a few weeks away but I don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions really. I plan to keep doing what I’ve been doing, protecting my peace and working towards the long-term goals I’ve set for myself. What I DO plan to do is travel more, participate in more book events and take the time to celebrate the small victories with the same energy I celebrate the big ones. I’ve realized that at times, it doesn’t feel like I’m making progress fast enough because my eyes are SO FOCUSED on the finish line that I don’t look around to see how far I’ve come. I got emotional a few days ago when I thought about where I was when this year started and really took a good look at where I am NOW. Believe me, my life isn’t easy. It really never has been but I don’t mind. I’m proud of myself because I’ve proven, over and over again, that I’m TOUGHER and smarter than anything in my way. I never complain about my circumstances or what I’m going through. I just LEVEL the F%#$ UP!
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