Finding My Voice: My First Attempt at a Novel

A funny thing happened to me the other day. I thought about a novel that I wanted to write almost eleven years ago. Hell, I still remember what the premise was, it was about an African-American man who ran with a notorious gang and had a reputation of being a killer; but when he learns that he’s having a kid he stops to think about his life and future.

If you thought this was a lame premise, well, I would’ve disagreed with you back then. Now that I’m much older and wiser, I agree wholeheartedly. Why? Well like my “friends” in high school will say it was nothing but a westside story. Which is also funny, because they love that kind of stories. Whether if it’s in a book, tv show, or movie. They’re suckers for that kind of story, where I on the other hand look for more sophisticated stories. Stories that have a deep message to it or some philosophical stance as well, but that’s for a different day.

What I’m discussing here today is that my first novel was shut down, by who? You guessed it by my own “friends.” They told me the idea was stupid and I should just give up on writing a book. Yet if another friend was a rapper and his lyrics were, to say the least, not good. They’ll tell them to work on it and they’ll get good. Now, following that advice they have gotten a lot better from ten years ago, but they got the encouragement to keep going. Where I, on the other hand, was told to just stop.

Honestly, it hurts just thinking about it. In fact, it makes me mad that these “friends” would say just a thing. I guess you can say it’s a learning experience for me, about how I shouldn’t let people hinder me from what I truly want to do. Writing is a therapy for me, I can put all my feelings on paper. I can tell stories based on my mood; I mean it’s an amazing feeling really. I just wish people would understand that, but I guess people will think I’m crazy, and people don’t understand crazy sometimes.

Before I end this, I remember I watched a video a few weeks ago of Stan Lee talking about how you shouldn’t let idiots talk you out of what you love to do. He tells his audience about how he came up with Spider-man and how his editor thought it was a stupid idea. Long story short it sold, and the editor pretended that he loved it, but the moral of the lesson was don’t let idiots tell you what to do with your life. If you have an idea that you think is genuinely good, then go for it. By doing the things you want to do your life, things will come out a lot better and stress-free. That’s a truth right there we all should live by. Until next time my friends.

Stan’s full keynote below:


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