Debut year recap – highs, lows, and what I’ve learned

Phew, what a surprising adventure it has been to debut The Goddess Twins! Talk about ‘Lit in the time of Corona’. The path of writing, publishing, and now marketing this book has truly been its own hero’s journey for me. I am grateful for this blogging space and future opportunities to share what I have experienced and learned with others who may need it while embarking their own paths.

a book, ready for publication, lies at the end of the tunnel

Last august, when I began envisioning the launch of the book I had been writing for over 5 years, I was given some really great advice that has saved me immensely. I was told by several published authors to focus on planning local readings and podcast appearances, as opposed to pressing for a national tour. This note took the financial cost of traveling and touring into play vs the more extensive reach of podcasts and online readings. I recognized it as a “work smarter, not harder” tip and took it seriously. So even though I was already planning to visit 6 cities for readings, I began making requests to be considered as a guest for different online reviewers.

Looking back at how everything played out, I am extremely grateful that I got this advice last fall/winter. Because when Covid hit and it became clear that there would be no way to do an in person book tour, I already had connections with YouTubers and podcasters and was able to pivot to a virtual only tour within weeks. I have learned so much over the past year, but definitely have learned the importance of having clear goals, yet flexibility in how they play out.

author sipping smoothie because publishing a book is so easy…

From the start of this journey, I knew I wanted to complete and publish a novel. I didn’t know if I was going to do an MFA for a while, but when I assessed it wasn’t for me, I found ways to get the education I needed to become confident in my craft. I thought for a while I might self-publish, but when I found I preferred the stories of authors who published with a firm, I found a new path towards making my dream a reality. It is not easy letting go of a specific path and picking up to start off on a new plan. It has taken a lot of resiliency, support from friends and family, and faith to find my way through.

There were a lot of low points and confusion, but my goal was achieved! I did not give up! I have more confidence in myself today, that I can follow what is best for me, and that I can achieve complex long term dreams. Today I believe 100% that I can write a screenplay. I know because I have written a novel. And I am so grateful that this gift, this accomplishment, The Goddess Twins, will not only feed into future creations from me, but hopefully inspire others to achieving the goals of their heart. Thank you so much for letting me share this journey with you each week!

xoxo,

Yodassa

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Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.

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