Do It For Yourself

June 05 2013

I've been reading nuggets of joy, nuggets of sadness, and nuggets of great information from fellow Listserver writers. I've pined and pined over my chance to find something to say. What would I say? Would I procrastinate, despite having 48 solid hours to come up with something? BAM. It hit me.

My dream is to be a great writer someday. I will either write a novel directed at women, or create books and books of poetry. I'd love to create something for women of color, specifically. However, I create all the time and hit writer's block quickly. While the dream hasn't died, I've shifted over to poetry. Poetry is rich, poetry is exciting, poetry is a diary entry--shortened. I've fallen madly in love with it--so much to the point where I've self-published a short body of work from the first half of a fake leather book I was given in 2008.

I challenged myself with the project. I named the file "Four Years", and decided that no matter what, I was doing this for myself. I wanted to prove that I could dedicate myself to something I loved. Unlike the many "darlings" rotting in my writing folder, this darling was going to live and grow. This was a "darling" that wasn't going to be killed.

I must admit that I had high, somewhat pretentious hopes about people buying my book. I made it available on Kindle and at CreateSpace, rambled about it on my tumblr page, and guess what? ONE person bought it. Overjoyed, I knew more people were coming. Well, they never did. Was I disappointed? A little bit. However, I was still high off the joy of completing something. I was high off something I'd done for myself. I reflected on the late nights I spent at my desk with coffee, music, and my own fingers dancing across the keyboard. I reflected on rushing home for my hard copy to review before the final print.

It wasn't about the money, the notoriety, or any kind of praise. I did it for myself. That's so important! Why? I was letting everything I could think of hold me back. I feared self publishing because of the negative commentary I read on a blog. I feared putting myself out there, anticipating ridicule. I'm not a master poet! I'm not going to poetry slams and reads. I'm a quiet woman who types from her room computer and iPod Touch when the muse rubs my noggin. My poems are strange little stanzas about my life. I get a like or two, you know? Nothing special.

However, I just want to close and say this--do it for yourself. No matter what it is, focus on the goal. Doing it for yourself means you're showing love for yourself. It means you're doing something for YOU. Sure, it might affect someone in your circle. It might improve the life of your family in the process, but we often forget ourselves in this life. We often feel like something is missing. So therefore, doing something for yourself is like giving yourself a great gift to grow from and learn from. So years from now, you can quietly (or noisily) say to yourself....


Love yourself endlessly. Be kind to yourself. Invest in the one relationship that determines how you treat others. Remember what RuPaul says--"If you can't love yourself, how in the heck you gonna love somebody else?" As you do for yourself, I'll be cheering for you. You can do it!

Love and light,
[email protected]
Chicago, IL

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