How My First Novel, Hello Diva, Was Conceived (and how Simply Self-Published soon followed.)
Creators are often asked, “what inspired you to write / paint / develop…”I find myself inspired in so many ways, but mostly, it all starts with my real life.
No, for real. Almost all of my stories, novels, and such come from real experiences. Here, I’ll show you. First, here’s the experience I based my first full length novel (50+K words) on; the novel that brought the Simply Self-Published program into being.
“My hair ain’t never hung down to my shoulders…and it might not grow, you never know.” Eryka Badu, Cleva.
I began losing my hair in my late twenties (1992 or so). A small, dot of scalp that seemed determined to not grow hair. I didn’t think much of it at the time. I was too busy being a single parent to wonderful little kid. And to be honest, no one but me and the occasional hair stylist ever saw it. Side note – if you weren’t aware, hair is a major source of self-esteem in the Black community. How your hair looks, the texture, the length, all combine to contribute to how you’re treated by others. My hair had NEVER garnered many (if any) compliments. It was, at best, a definite representation of my Ghanaian ancestral roots (no pun intended). I was fortunate that I still had hair and as long as it was styled just so, the bald spot was my little secret.
Fast forward to 2001. Despite my father’s death that February, my divorce that December, I spent most of 2001 living a life I was finding to be reasonably good. I’d been through some things, found a new love, all while feeling pretty good about myself, even about my hair. I’d get it professionally styled every now and again, but for the most part, I left my hair alone, and it, in turn covered my head.
Then in 2003 – my new relationship ended in a broken engagement, my grandmother died, and a lay off left me jobless with all manners of financial drama. My friends rallied, helping me keep my chin up. I patched over a few of the dings to my mental health, moving forward as best I could. Right up until I noticed the patch of bald scalp at the top of my head had gotten noticeably bigger. It was a struggle, but I convinced myself it was just stress; once things settled down, it would surely grow back.
SIGH. Come 2005, I’ve got another lay off looming and a mom who’s just come through a bout with breast cancer. This go round, recovery involved a cross country move, letting my condo go into foreclosure, and taking a job that paid significantly less than what I’d been making before. Once again, I sucked it up, putting my self-esteem back together as best I could whilst noticing the truly significant lack of hair strands on the top of my head.
At this point, it wasn’t just my hair that I’d lost. I’d lost any sense of creativity, worth, motivation – my fears (limiting beliefs) were at an all time high, my confidence at an all time low.
Que the Dramatic Music
Tune in tomorrow as I continue the story; through this experience, I learned one of the key principals of the Simply Self-Published program – regardless of your fear or sense of self-worth, you and your story are worthy of being heard. Writing Hello Diva started on my journey to becoming a confident, bald, self-published entrepreneur.