Article by Sonia Johnston
It finally happened. I am a published author. I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR. I could say it a hundred times and it never gets old. And every time I say it, I still say it with a huge smile on my face. When I tell you God is good…
Words have always whispered to me. I’ve always wanted to write and I’ve always been drawn to words. As a child, I was an early reader. When all my friends were reading Judy Blume, I had already graduated to The Catcher in the Rye. And when there wasn’t a book around for me to read, I’d read liner notes off of albums. Yes, I said albums. Don’t you dare start trying to calculate my age! I loved reading so much that when there was nothing new to read, I’d bury myself in dictionaries and encyclopedias…
I had it bad.
Enter my pre-teen and teenage years and suddenly I was writing rhymes, trying to be the next best female MC:
“I stand alone, isolated on this mountain I own. I’m just a renegade, a rebel, and the stage is my throne…”
I was pretty good, if I must say so myself, but then I fell in love with poetry. Next thing you know, I was writing songs, and finally, I returned to novels. Only this time, I was writing my own. Next thing you know, I got married, had children, and fell in love with my family. I quietly took all of those poems, all of those lyrics, and all of those stories, packed them neatly in a box and slid everything under the bed.
I know. That was bad too.
But you see, the author in me was always whispering, trying to find its way above the noisy chatter of life. So, every now and again, when I’d hear it, I’d start the beginnings of a new novel. I’d jot down ideas, conversations, you name it. You see, my characters, had already decided that no box under a bed was going to keep them contained. So they fought, even when I didn’t, to be heard.
Fast forward to 2015, and my persistent characters were still there wagging their fingers and rolling their necks. And one day, the seriousness of having twenty years pass me by with me not having done one thing to further my writing career dawned on me. I looked around and evaluated my life. My husband and I were still going strong, our kids were practically grown, and my business was thriving. But the one thing that was inherent to me, the thing that came so naturally, writing, was the area in my life that was unfulfilled. There was no way, I could let that happen.
I pulled out the box from under my bed.
With prayer, I decided to take the plunge and turn the tide. I enrolled in writing workshops led by the talented award winning author Victoria Christopher Murray, whose support has been unwavering. I listened and I learned. I wrote a vision board and I prayed and I prayed and I prayed…and I worked. I made time in my life and I put in a lot of hours. Writing may be a natural talent, but nothing about writing is easy. To be good at it, you have to work and train as consistently as an athlete. You have to be committed and you have to focus. And you also have to be prepared to face rejection.
But God and my characters had a plan.
Enter the summer of 2016 and one of my characters, Tasha, is being featured in my first short story, Hundred Dollar Money in the Brown Girls Books anthology, Single Mama Dating Drama. That makes me a certified author! Another one of my characters, is currently being chronicled in my full length novel, Real Love, which is now in the editing stages. And because God is so good, and because I’m now, literally, wearing my author shirt, I’ve written another short story entitled, Home for Christmas. Stay tuned for details on that and many, many more stories that will finally make their way out of the box under the bed.
But wait, there’s more: I just recited a poem in front of a live audience at the nationally acclaimed, Tuesday Verses. I will also be in the studio soon to work on production for my song, “Power of Prayer.”
I’m smiling as I type. God is good. Life is good. And finally, I can say the writing is good.
I’m an author. I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR. Stay tuned because I’m only just beginning.
“God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing.
All you need is faith.”