I cannot remember when exactly I decided I wanted to publish a poetry book; however, it’s been a dream of mine for quite some time. And that’s how these things go, it starts with an idea, then you look for how to do it, you do the work, and BOOM, you’re an overnight success. Haha, just kidding, not in this industry; I’ll explain a little later.
I knew I wanted to self-publish over traditional because I wanted more control over the book. Nonetheless, I researched traditional publishers who accept poetry submissions, and I was going to choose one, but when I returned, the website wasn’t working anymore. Not sure what happened with that.
The process took about five years, from the time I started writing these poems to publication. I believe I started writing in late 2016 or maybe early 2017. During this time, I was going through a difficult period in my life, and writing was therapeutic for me. While writing, I was drawing closer to God and going to therapy, which is why the start of the book is dark and sad. But the book goes through the hurt, healing, and overcoming process.
You can say that I haven’t stopped writing because I still write poetry, but when I finally sat down and decided to organize the poems in the order I wanted them to appear, it was 2020. Not all the poems made it to the book; once I hit page 200, I felt the book was long enough. I then asked my aunt, who is an artist, if she would do the pictures for the poems. She said yes!
It took over a year to organize all the poems and send them to my aunt. Her part took about a year too. So, that brings us to 2022. I decided to go with the self-publishing company IngramSpark because, from my research, I saw they had a worldwide book distribution option to retailers.
IngramSpark has the option to design your whole book with them. You upload your manuscript in PDF format, and they have a book cover design tool. I didn’t use the book cover option with them, but since the book cover I submitted didn’t align with the dimensions needed, they sent a template for me to use, which I forwarded to my aunt, who fixed it. I liked that they responded quickly to any edits made to the book. They then send you a PDF version of the book for you to review and approve.
Once you approve the PDF version, you can order an author’s copy to see how the book will look. One thing I forgot, I didn’t know that the fonts had to be embedded, so I received an error when I first submitted my manuscript, and I had to figure out how to embed the fonts. Thank God for YouTube and my husband because I was getting frustrated.
While setting up your book, you set up your pricing, and IngramSparks will calculate everything for you to see how much your return will be. Because IngramSparks is the distributor, they take their cut, and of course, the retailers take their cut too, and you’re left with the rest. I didn’t want to set the price too expensive, but the prices I was putting in gave me a negative return. I settled for $19.99, and the return is not much back. I am not in this for money, which is why I said earlier this industry is not a get-rich industry, unless you’re famous because you already have a following. This has to be a passion of yours, a love for the art of writing, and wanting to share your story/words because the amount of work, time, and investment you put into it isn’t compensated with money. To me, as long as people enjoy my work, can connect with it, and it helps at least one person, it’s all worth it.
The publication date I set was July 22nd, about a month after I approved the book. This gave me time to develop a marketing plan, and if I had to make any changes, I could. I did end up having to make edits, and each edit you submit after you approve is $25. I didn’t announce the book until after July 22nd because I wasn’t sure which retailers were going to pick the book up. And I had my book photoshoot scheduled for July 23rd, and I wanted to use those pictures for marketing.
On July 22nd, at around five in the morning, I googled my book, and three retailers had it, Barnes and Noble, Target, and Book Depository. I wanted to scream with excitement, but my son had finally gone back to sleep, and I didn’t want to wake him up, but I couldn’t believe that Barnes and Noble had it for sale.
I’ve had a few people ask me how the process was because they, too, want to publish a book. I am willing to help anyone interested or answer questions they may have. I’m no expert; I can only go based on my experience; however, if I did it, you can too!
I blame myself that we didn’t have the happy ending of the movies.
I tell myself I’m not that pretty and that is why you stepped out to find prettier.
It’s my fault, I didn’t cook enough, didn’t pay enough attention.
I should have laughed more.
I should have been freakier.
I should have argued less and demanded less.
I should have loved more.
I should have dressed better.
Maybe if I would have spend less.
Maybe be at home more – not too many girls night.
I should have had more interests in your interests.
Maybe If I would have listened more and catered more you wouldn’t have stepped out to be with them.
The truths I should tell myself
I am enough.
I am beautiful.
I am worthy.
It wasn’t my fault.
I don’t need to change myself to prevent it.
I did my best.
I gave my all.
I don’t need to compare.
I can do better.
I will do better.
I deserve better.
Although my heart is in pieces, my soul is crushed and my ego is torn, I will dust myself off and get up again. I will no longer, give the power to someone else to destroy me.
I write about betrayal often because it’s something I’m very familiar with and pain runs deep inside. But that wasn’t my whole story, just part of it. I overcame the hurt and pain. I stood victorious on the other side of the door; after years of being in the dark, I found happiness. I found peace and joy. And I write to tell you that if you also have been in a similar situation (which unfortunately is so common), you too can overcome it. I only ask that you don’t let the bitterness that comes with this pain rotten your heart.
It’s easy to stay mad and to pity in your pain and hurt. Easy to stay drowning in the betrayal because it’s overbearing, but don’t stay in that place. You are worthy of so much more. As long as you have a pulse, you are worthy! I am here to say that God has so much more for your life. This is just a phase; it’s, unfortunately, a chapter in your book but not the whole book. Start writing chapter one of a new book! Burn the old one; I know you can. If I can do it, you can do it. You are loved, you are worthy, and you are powerful. Remind yourself every single day!
The warmth of your skin no longer felt against my hands.
All I have are memories.
But I need your presence.
Did we have enough time?
To share – to live – to love.
Wanting you here is selfish when you’re in a better place now.
So this isn’t a goodbye – this is a see you later.
Rest in Peace – Papa
An honorable and righteous man you were. Honest and ethical man were the words from your coworkers. What a privilege it is to know my grandfather was respected and admired by many, all over. Near and far your life impacted many. You were a good friend, father, husband, mentor, and grandfather. Even great-grandfather. You were the definition of a leader. A man of few words but honorable actions. I am proud to be your granddaughter. I would like to follow through with my words just like you did. I would like to be remembered just like you. With honor, respect, admiration, and righteous. I love you and I miss you so much. Your granddaughter, Heidy.
I was meeting my girlfriends for dinner on a random Friday night.
We were waiting to be seated when through the crowd, our eyes met.
I instantly got that fire deep inside – same one I got the first time we met five years ago.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, but there you were walking towards me, looking exactly the same since the last time I’d seen you.
I told my girls excuse me, and I automatically started walking towards you without giving it a second thought.
You gave me a hug and told me it is such a pleasure to see me. And there I was speechless.
Why, after all these years, you still had that effect on me?
I felt the butterflies again and flushed in the face as you gave me that look. That same look, you always did many moons ago.
You noticed the ring on my left hand and said you knew someone wouldn’t be stupid enough to let me go.
You told me you’ve been busy traveling for work to settle down and was here on a business trip.
As we exchanged words, the world stood still.
You gave me a kiss on the cheek before turning to walk away, I felt the spark.
And smelled the very familiar scent that was once my favorite.
You whispered – I would steal a kiss, but those lips are now forbidden.
You always see on movies or series that there is that one that got away. And when the ex-lovers are reunited, the fire is still there and like time hasn’t passed. Always something there, especially if the break-up wasn’t a bad one. Which is why it’s hard to believe that exes can remain friends. What do you think? Can ex-lovers still remain friends and be “just friends?” Let me know your thoughts.
Like this post? Subscribe with your email to receive my posts straight to your inbox! 🙂
One of the biggest pain is the pain of betrayal. I hope you never experience that pain. I hope you never have to lose the trust of the one you love. The one you least expected to hurt you. I hope you never have to experience the confirmation of the unfaithfulness. The vomit in your mouth – the turn of your stomach, the punch in your throat – the anger and fire through your vain – the tears flowing like a river and the sharp stab right through your chest – feels like your heart has been ripped out of your body and stomped into a million pieces. I hope you never have to see him on his knees begging for forgiveness and all you want to do is spit on him.
I hope you never have to debate whether to leave or stay. I hope you never have to question whether you’re worth it because you’re always worth it. I hope you never have to think you’re not worthy of love, of happiness, of faithfulness. I hope you never have to go back in your mind and replay the trauma like a broken record. I hope you never experience the triggers – then you’re back to being hurt all over again – the wounds reopened. Bleeding again like the very first time.
I hope you never have to walk around with doubt in your mind. Thinking this was all your fault. I hope you never have to go on social media and see comments, wondering if she was one of them too. I hope you never have to compare yourself to them. Thinking – what do they have that you don’t have. I hope you never have to fight for his attention. And I hope you never have to pretend that you’re happy when you’re slowly dying inside. I hope you never experience this type of betrayal. I hope you never experience this type of pain. No one deserves this.
God has a person for you that isn’t perfect but is perfect for you. God has a person that will treat you just as you deserve – like royalty. God has a person for you that will make you laugh, the person will listen to you and support your dreams. God has a person for you that will comfort you and will be there on the hardest days. God has a person for you that will become your best friend. A person who is compassionate, understanding, and gentle. God has a person for you that will love you unconditionally, will accept you as you are, and won’t try to change you. God has a person who will pray for you and with you. God has a person who will draw you closer to him – never away. God has a person who will be patient, build you up, and have a positive influence in your life. God has a person just for you. Be patient – never settle. God’s timing is always perfect.