Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hate Me Now. . .


I've taken a much needed break from my own writing, and now catching up on my reading.  I've gone through quite a few books in the last few weeks, and anyone that knows me well will tell you that I love to read memoirs and biographies.

I enjoy reading about why famous people became the 'people' we know and love today.  What paths did they choose and why?  What adversities did they have to overcome and how do they feel about their fame and fortune?  Most people treat celebrities like they are a different kind of human.  As if what we, the unknown folk experience, is somehow different than those who are celebrities, and this is a huge, and I do mean huge, misconception.

In fact, celebrities are human too.  They go through the same crap that we do, with the exception that they are known more publicly than we are.  Some people act as though they have a personal connection to their favorite celebrities, when in fact they don't know them from Adam.

They love, hurt, cry, get angry, eat, go to the bathroom, pay bills, drive, have family, experience death of loved ones, put on clothes, etc., just like we do, but when you're in the public eye, everything you do is under a microscope.  Well, I, in no means feel as though I'm a celebrity yet, but I have become more known, and it shocks me sometimes when people I do not know contact me and ask me the very questions that I often wondered about entertainers I enjoy.

Which brings me to a topic that has been coming up more and more as I meet other authors, and that's how our lives have changed since we've become published authors.  For the most part, many of us go through the same things because we're independent authors.  The world of publishing changes faster than the wind blows and it's almost mind boggling to try and keep up with it, but keep up we must to survive in the literary jungle.

One of the biggest changes for me has been how those that I know personally changed toward me, since I've become an author.  The very people that I thought would be in my corner, exited my life like roaches run and take cover when someone puts a light on.  To say I was surprised is an understatement.  People who said they would assist me and support me ran from me as if their life depended on it.

For the longest time I tried to figure out why this was?  I asked myself did I do something to these individuals to make them angry?  Did I say something I shouldn't have said?  Did I zig when I should have zagged?  I didn't know what the deal was.  It wasn't until I started reaching out to other indie authors who told me they experienced the same thing.  I didn't feel so bad after hearing some of their stories.

The bottom line, I guess, is people hate on us because of what we do.  Are you laughing?  If not, you should be because that is the most ridiculous statement for me to write, but the truth is, we are hated by some, and thank God not all, or we'd never get anywhere.

So let me get this straight.  Some people have cast me aside because I wrote Mello and June.  I had several people say to me, "wow, you were really serious about this writing thing, huh?"  Aaah, yeah, why wouldn't I be?  And then when I wrote Silent Knight I lost more supposed friends from my life.  And to learn that other indie authors were experiencing the same thing made me begin to search for the answers.

I think I finally figured this out.  Some people hate what I do because I dared to dream, dared to put my dream into action, dared to put a marketing plan together, dared to be me and do me, dared to live out my dream and dared to continue to do what I do, which is write.  So for those reasons, some hate me!

Once I realized that I had done nothing more than be a self-motivator, an entrepreneur, a woman with a purpose and plan, I chuckled to myself.  How sad it must be for some people who never know what they want to do in life, or better yet, never get the nerve to just go out on a limb and try to live up to the dreams in which they may possess.

With my small celebrity status, I've gained a lot of fans.  I've been offered assistance from people I never met, but want to see me prosper, and, more importantly, don't want anything from me in return.  And the saddest part for me is, much of my help doesn't come from my own race of people.  In fact, the majority of my fans are not African-American.

I recently had a conversation with another author friend of mine who stated the same thing.  Why is it that our own people do not support what we do?  Why do many of our people hate on us because we're doing what we love to do?  Don't get me wrong, I am thankful for each and every fan I have regardless of their color or background, but it would be nice to be supported by people within my race, but many of them are often too caught up in their own self-hate to feel proud of other minorities.

If I were to vary from the type of stories I write to be more geared toward a white reading audience, then I'd be accused of being a "sell-out!"  Much like Oprah Winfrey has been accused of being.  To me, what Oprah has done is cater to where the money is and caters to the viewing audience that helped put her on the map, and unfortunately, that's not the African-American community.  Many in our viewing audience criticize her for being "too white" and doing shows that don't relate to a black audience.  Hmm, and some wonder why?  If she were to wait on African-Americans, she wouldn't be owning her own network now.  She's a brilliant mastermind, and I should hope to be so blessed with her business savvy and guts!
Rapper Nas
When I thought about writing this blog post, one of my favorite rappers came to mind, Nas.  He wrote a rap entitled, Hate Me Now!  "You can hate me now. . .cause I won't stop now. . .cause I can't stop now, YOU can hate me now-oow!"  When I first heard that years ago, it became my anthem of sorts because it's so true.  He basically was stating to those African-Americans that hate on him for being a rapper, and living well and having money, go ahead and hate on him because no matter what, he's going to continue to do what he do!  What kills me is that many of us wonder why we never get anywhere as a people!~~You must first stop this damn hating, that could be a starting point!

So, with that, I say, hate me now, tomorrow and in the future, cause I will never stop!  To all my minority indie authors feeling a little down because some of your own people hate on you for doing what you love, keep it movin' and Write ON! writers.  Don't ever stop doing what you do!