Friday, August 19, 2016

Achieving with passion... giving thanks

Hello everyone. And apologies for my late and meagre post.

I tried. I did. I drafted my post and started editing it , getting it ready to post. But somehow, I could not get the words organized in the way I wanted them to sound. I just could not get in the right frame of mind or find the right space to create well. So much is happening in my life at the moment that I have to take time out and one day at a time. Today I listened to my body and took myself for a Swedish Massage. I know I will be sore for a few days am sure, but I hope this will help in the healing process, of my mind, body and soul. I promise I will be ready for my next turn.

I did say with me "nothing is set in stone"...

When Jewel contacted me about joining  novel spaces, I jumped at the idea. I had been a part of a couple writers forums in the past, however, I  had lost touch with that part of the writing world, so I was thrilled for this opportunity to reconnect with other writers in that way.  Never mind I can’t even find enough time or motivation to keep my own blog going, for several reasons - lack of discipline, too much going on , being in a constant battle with routines. I guess I am truly an as and when inspired, kind of person. And with me, nothing set in stone. It has its downsides. 

So much was happening around me that I could not find my space or the inspiration to write. It was when I received the email with Carol Mitchell’s blog that I clicked over and found that what I read, resonated so much with me. For I too have not been reading enough- always telling myself I can’t find the time. Nonsense.  I just need to set aside time for it. Not exercising  as I should- just life really. And although I keep wanting to find time to meditate, I just didn’t make it a priority. Until some heavy personal stuff knocked me so low that I needed something to hold on to, to pick myself up. Something to calm my nerves. Balance me.

 “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Is that an original John Lennon quote? Well that is exactly what happens. And on this stage of life, we have so many roles.  I am not just an author – which I am now qualified to call myself, having published my first book - I am also a mother, daughter, sister, friend, wife, woman. And we know how these  roles carry their own share of expectations, challenges and disappointments.

Back in September, 2015, I took on the very brave challenge of self-publishing my baby Force Ripe. Yes, I say my baby, because from conception to publication, this manuscript, on which I laboured on and nurtured, all those years, with hefty measures of love and patience, became more to me than just a book. 

And step boldly I did. With no set plans, apart from a paid for Marketing plan I could have googled myself,(never used it),  I threw myself into getting my book out there, outside of Amazon, into the hands of the readers I knew would appreciate and resonate with that kind of literature. And so, with no publicist, no marketing manager, but a few friends, my raw determination, undying belief and pure passion - well I guess my impulsiveness came in handy too- I set to work. I had done the branding stuff. Got my website up and running. Started blogging. But it was Facebook which connected me with my audience. So I worked  it, neglecting my website, which I intended to direct the traffic towards.  I posted and shared with diligence. The networking expanded. Force Ripe started its own journey. With no clear direction, the know how  or set plans, except from bits I had picked up along the way, some advice from the few who were accompanying me on this journey, I chose not to get bombarded by all the formulas being sold to me on the internet, and just go with the flow of things. And without naming or labelling this drive, I just did what I had to do to get Force Ripe into the hands of, and read by an audience which the story, language, voice, would appeal to.

I started locally, with book signings at any event I could get into; at restaurants, bazaars, any social event. Anywhere people were gathered, I took Force Ripe there. When I launched Force Ripe, in October 2015, I had no media coverage. What I had were a few family members, good friends and some supporters who have been there with me. It was the doing- the reaching out, sharing, connecting, taking time to engage with readers, which brought together this community of supporters, taking the Force Ripe journey on a different level. 

With no set budget and the general misconception that I was making loads of money – when asked, my reply was always honest – “low to no budget”, I dried up my “Rainy Day” savings, used whatever I received from book sales – self-published authors will understand this best- utilized the old battering system,  exchanging books for service, I ventured out, taking  Force Ripe to New York, DC, Atlanta, Toronto , Montreal, London and Manchester. There is a saying in The Alchemist, that, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Even with the forces convincing you that it will be impossible. The character, Lee had spoken to so many, evoked so many memories, emotions, nostalgia, that I was blessed with a community of supporters, who felt the passion, came on board and helped me to achieve this. Helping me to open doors, giving me a platform to share this story.

Despite the fact that I set out with no set plans, I now recognize this as the first phase of the Force Ripe journey. It was a journey of sharing, learning and discoveries, making valuable connections with people who will help me to continue this journey, rekindling old friendships, making new friends. One of the most rewarding part of this experience was celebrating my Grenadian heritage, through this story, with this community of very patriotic people who are with me, encouraging me, pushing me, cheering me on.  I believe this journey was written in the stars. I give thanks. #ForceRipe


Jewel Amethyst said...

Welcome to novelspaces Cindy. We're happy you could share this post. I've felt like that many times in the past. I just couldn't get the words right. So you're not alone. I'm looking forward to your next post.

Liane Spicer said...

Welcome aboard, Cindy. I've been there too--I guess we all have. Looking forward to hearing all about your writing journey.

Amy M. Reade said...

Great post, Cindy. It's amazing what raw determination can bring, and I'm so glad you're continuing your journey on Novel Spaces.

Charles Gramlich said...


Maggie said...

Cindy, thanks for sharing your experiences. And the Swedish massage sounds fabulous!

Linda Thorne said...

Glad to have you join us. You have been very busy. Keep at it as it looks like you have the right ideas and a game plan that will pay off.

Cindy McKenzie said...

Thank you all. Great to be on board!