Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon
Note: Before I begin, you notice I have not posted entries quite as much. This is because I needed the time to continue to recuperate and I'm also working on a few written projects. I'm satisfied by the results so far. I plan to keep on going. With that in mind, here is something I would like to say......
What does it take to become an author? Does it take a special skill? An above-average knowledge? The right connections? No to all questions. In fact, becoming an author is possibly one of the easiest roles you can 'slip' into. All you need is a great fictional idea or real-life solution, a computer or laptop, lots of money for editing, producing your work in book form, and advertising. After all that, you should be set and on your way to join the legion of authors great or small.
I remember the days before I wrote my first book. I had my form of success writing articles for small press magazines and community newspapers. I even wrote dozens of short stories and poems that did not see print in major publications. I imagine as I continued to write, the idea of a book appealed to me. When the moment came to announce to the world I plan to write a book, I received unexpected but welcome help from a now fellow author who introduced me to a publisher who eventually released my first book, The Depths of My Soul. I was thrilled the day I had my book signing party. I read poems, signed books and smiled the whole time. Finally, I achieved my long awaited dream of becoming an author!
That is my story. For many published authors in this world, their stories may be completely different, but no less enjoyable. The joy of holding that published book in your hands with your name on it is one of the most worthwhile feelings you can ever have. That's one phase of the literary journey we authors have to take. The other is promoting and advertising your work.
There are authors I know who have the backing of a traditional publisher that will take care of the promotion and news of their released novel or self-help book. For an author such as myself who does not have a traditional publisher to promote my works, I rely on social media to 'get the word' out that my books exist. Unfortunately, there are millions of authors who face the same problem. There's no East coast publisher that can send copies of their book to television and radio stations, create a television series based on the book or even signal book clubs of the release. It's up to me to catch the attention of folks to let them know I wrote a book and they should support me in buying it.
It's a lot harder than it looks, believe me.
Becoming an author means you have made a huge accomplishment in your life. Now people know who you are and what you have produced. You're not simply "John Smith", but now you're "Author John Smith". It's a great feeling to know your friends, family and potential new readers know who you are and what you have created. Now you can meet anyone, anywhere all because you wrote a book. Politicians, celebrities, influencers and nearly everyone has enjoyed the honor of writing a book. Now you as a new author can meet these folks because you both have something in common. You can even become social media friends with them. Becoming an author is one of the great experiences you will ever have!
If you're struggling to write that first book remember, all it takes is for you to make the time to sit down and write your story or non-fiction manuscript. Then you have to find a good editor who will make the necessary changes to make your written work better. Once you get past those two steps, the rest will take some work (setting up promotion, advertising, etc). The results will show you it's worth it if you happen to reach your goal.
Becoming an author is one of the best things in my life. Finding like-minded literary artists was the next best thing. When you become an author, you can sit down, crack open the pages of your book and smile. You've done it. You accomplished your dream. You reached success. I would like to remind everyone who plans of becoming an author is to never give up on your dream. Write because not only is it fun, but it makes you appreciate your dream more. Best wishes to the unpublished authors reading this. Your time will come soon.
The picture plus the caption (posted last year on a social media site) tells it all. I forgive everybody who may have done me wrong. This is the time of forgiveness; whatever happened in the past should stay there.
So if I met you online or off and we didn't agree or argued on whatever the subject is, trust and know I will not hold it against you any longer. That's it.
This is going to be short, but I want to share this with you folks.
As you may (or may not) know, I have spent time 'ranting' about social media. I would like to say that it's not mandatory for anyone to stay on one of those platforms if the affirmations, conspiracy theories and other mess gets to be too much. You can leave anytime you want, but you do not have to stay if it gets too much for you.
That is my metaphorical line in the sand. I urge those of you reading this to take the same approach when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, even Tik Tok if you must.
That's all I want to say. Take care.
What does CRT mean? Critical Race Theory.hoe
The newest controversy 'sweeping' the nation right now.
To be honest, if I l lived in a Southern state, I wouldn't want my education departments to teach it either. Why? Someone I know like a family member of long-time friend may have participated in 'those activities' designed to keep 'the coloreds' in 'their place' plus other undignified acts committed in this nation (the bombing of Tulsa 1921 for example)
Our children have the internet so they can see and witness the horrors of racism for themselves. It would be nice to teach how the negative effects of Jim Crow and Separate But Equal limited the American Dream of equality, but parents teaching their children about these historical events in the comfort of their own home will just have to do. The Traditionalist who shout against CRT will just continue to do so, but over time it's going to be a losing battle.
This is the era where the curtain will be drawn on our national hypocrisy. Much will be shown that will outrage us all.
For most of my life I've been called 'smart', 'bright', 'proper'. The last description isn't meant as complementary, instead it's been used as a mockery towards a person such as I. In the dominant society, intelligence is appreciated, valued. In the Black community, it's seen as someone who thinks they're 'better than you', a stigma such as the usage of the word proper to be applied to you like a scarlet letter on your chest. Intelligence carries with it a curse - one where your own people will shun you simply for possessing a mental acumen that's higher than the rest.
It's a stigma that even at this late age, I find it difficult to shake off. If I performed well in school and achieved high grades but keep quiet, does it mean I think I'm better than my classmates? Isn't it a sign of earning an education that will lead me towards a better way of life? Will being intelligent gain me the friends and associates I deserve? Once the intelligent person uses words, language that is not normal to their peers, they will not see you as a person worth knowing. They will see you as someone they will stay away from.
Even in a romantic setting, that stigma is hard to shake off. The intelligent person may like a person of the opposite sex, but the person whom the intelligent person likes is too afraid to move forward because they feel threatened by the intelligent person. They stay away from him/her and either find someone else or choose not to deal with that person altogether.
It's hard to grow up in a community where a trait to be celebrated is looked upon as a sign of disdain or hatred against that person who is intelligent. The irony is in school and in college, difference makers in history are known for their intelligent plans and fiery speech. Who knows if the intelligent person rejected by the rest is destined to be one of those difference makers? We will never know.
I would love to go inside a classroom and observe serious young men and women in study, understanding intelligence is a benefit not a trait to be rejected because it's 'not cool'. The goal of becoming a 'class clown' in school may be fun in school. In the real world, it doesn't get that person far. Intelligence does. It's a shame not too many of our young people understand this.
Intelligence is a value that elevates you to levels of success. It helps you become a well-rounded man or woman. Once we accept that it is something everyone can attain instead of rejecting it, the much better off we will be.