In one of the novels I had read, I remember reading about the ‘great American novel’ and I thought it would be interesting if I were to write The Great Jamaican Novel. Sadly because of my living conditions and the mindset so developed, it would be a dream that would lay dormant for many decades. Eventually, my expectation to write was relegated to a period where I would be retired and needed something to occupy my time.
To say the least, my childhood was tumultuous and while I appreciate the kindness of the family members who gave me an opportunity, it was not conducive to having specific dreams especially one that seemed to be possible only to highly educated persons who were otherwise employed and their ability to write was an offshoot of their ‘real job.’
The legacy of abuse and neglect for some people, is not conducive to living a normal life as many of the horrors of childhood prevents the victims from achieving their full potential and I did not know it at the time but it certainly explains why I always felt like an outsider and, therefore, an observer in whatever situation or group in which I found myself.
Eventually, I found myself at home without a job. After years of dealing with anxiety and depression, my ability to cope in work conditions which were quite contrary to my desires, petered out. I no longer wanted to be a part of that scene and I felt forced to walk away.
I completed my first novel, The Awakening of a Giant in 2011, which was self-published with the help of my daughter who is a wiz on the computer compared to me, and subsequently wrote five more. I currently have several other projects in the make including my autobiography.
It was while I was writing my autobiography that it struck me how I would have appreciated a book written for a fifteen year old who was experiencing neglect and abuse from the author’s perspective.
I thought it would be a cool idea to write a book to myself at fifteen and make it available for other teenagers who might learn something positive despite the many negative experiences I have had, both by the bad choices I made or not being more present in the choices others had made for me.
But I am not there yet, there still lingers a reluctance to complete that project not only because there will be criticisms, and sarcasm even though it is not my intention to ram anything down anyone’s throat, but also recalling long forgotten memories have proven to be quite crippling and slows the process dramatically. Essentially, people can either take it or leave it and I am sure there will be those who will question my qualification for advising anyone, after all I am not perfect and it won’t be a book with advice.
Notwithstanding, I am more receptive to someone telling me about a dark road they had walked down than hearing it from someone who only know about that road and lack the experience of walking down it.
Meantime, the books I have already written are purely for enjoyment and mostly meant for adults eighteen and over with two, the aforementioned first novel and MOMENTS OF GRACE, which might be read by a younger crowd with parental guidance.
It took me a while to recognize my desire to write as a dream because I was not encouraged to dream. Now that I have acknowledged my dream, I am committed to realizing more success because there was no greater feeling than holding the first printed copy of my first book in my hand and seeing my name in print staring back at me.