First month, first idea – an anthology with 2 separate collections of poetry organized around 2 themes. Healing is Difficult + The Human Condition.

I’ve been sitting on half of the manuscript for this project for several years. The other half was written in a short period – about a month, give or take a few days – following the ending of an encounter (it was complicated, and calling it a relationship doesn’t sound quite right) that left me feeling broken.

I’m good now, as good as I’ve ever been. Since then I feel like I’ve become this whole new person that my 24-year-old self would hardly recognize, my 13-year-old self always knew could exist, and my future self will look back on with approval.

But more on the project and why I chose to start with it. I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember – since the second grade to be exact. My first poem was titled Flowers and I performed it at the JCDC (Jamaica Cultural Development Commission) speech and drama competition representing my primary school at the time.

I’ve always loved writing and the way exploring my feelings with words on paper always leaves me feeling better about any and every situation. So I’ve decided to challenge myself with a publishing project. My first one, long overdue if you ask my 14-year-old self who was insistent on publication by 18. But alas, even as we plan God laughs. And fears, doubts, and life itself often get in the way of the things we hope for without a proper plan of action.

The anthology is short – 98 pages – and is really a preliminary project to test the waters. Now that it’s done, I’m already busying myself with writing the next project. Because there are so many more stories left in me.

I am pleased to have made some progress. The manuscript has been edited and typeset, the cover has been designed, and I have uploaded the final product to Amazon KDP (I’m self-publishing). I did it with hands shaking and a tumult of doubt. (Like, what if it’s crappy and no one likes it? What if it’s full of typos I missed? Undeveloped lines? What if no one buys it?) I tell you, fear is a talented illusionist and doubt is its favorite sibling to wreak havoc with.

I am eagerly awaiting the proofs – I should have them in a few days. Then it will be time to share it with the world. In the meantime, I’ve already started working on my idea for December…