June 29th marked the start of the first day of my life... As cliche as that may sound, it is my inevitable truth. If I never publish another book, the fact still remains that on that day I became a published author, entreprenuer, and small business owner. Boy, do I look good on paper... (*pats self on back). I am no longer just Tonia, the imaginative girl with the cynical sense of humor, I am the woman that went out on a limb, spent every extra dollar, nickel, and penny that I did and DID NOT have, and put together a fantabulous book release event at a premiere venue to match the masterpiece of a novel that I finally decided to publish after 6 years. Everytime that I tell someone that I wrote a novel (which is rarely, because I often forget), I am usually met with a wide eyed stare followed by, "That's amazing. I have never met anyone that wrote a novel." And may I add in that this same novel, that I was petrified to publish, has stellar 5 star reviews on Amazon. A certain football somebody even thought that my accomplishment was so noteworthy, that he graced my friends and I with two bottles of premium libations for my "out of the ordinary" achievement. You would think that life is great, that I am living my dreams being #richforever, #poppingbottles, #twerkingonweekdays, #throwingitinthebag, #rockingVersaceVersace, and all of the other coonery that accompanies being rich and famous.
However, the reality is that this imaginative girl with the flames shooting from her fingers and three books in her reserve has no idea what she is doing. My book release was absolutely phenomenal, my Amazon reviews have not seen a star under 5, and my fans are raving, but the reality is that I have no earthly idea what I am supposed to be doing next in this process. How do I sell my masterpiece in a market oversaturated by other writers that share the same sentiment about their works of art (whether justified or not), and overcome my fear of facing a room full of black women engaging in a therapeutic ritual known as "beauty shop day" to give my speil on purchasing my novel? Oh, how I envy the boudain and CD/DVD man that has no problem sauntering in on my therapeutic salon days to offer me the latest Kevin Hart movie or that Drake that hasn't even hit the shelves yet.
You can't tell me that I wasn't born to write... Even though my closest friends were pleasantly surprised that I was able to produce a "real" novel almost effortlessly, I have been writing since I was a child. While other kids were playing outside soaking up the rays, I was somewhere tucked away with either a novel or a pen allowing my thoughts to run rampant and escaping into whatever magical place my imagination felt the need to contrive. I might not be able to dribble down the court or even run a half a lap, but give me a pen and paper and I can show you some things. Yet, here I sit, with a five star book, no dollars, and a dream, without the slightest clue of how to sell books outside of my local fanbase. When you say your prayers tonight, please send one up for me, because I refuse to be a coulda been, woulda been, shoulda been..... Right now, I may be doing it wrong, because of my fear of failing at doing it right, but keep watching, because I will be something different....