Just do it.
photo credit Lori Mayall
Hey everybody! Renee’s here! It’s been a while since my last blog. I’ve been busy. I’ll start where I last left off. My last blog post was back in May 2023. In April of 2023 I went to a children’s literary conference in NYC. It was called Kweli Color of Children’s Literature Conference and it is for BIPOC writers and illustrators. I attended speaker sessions with many renown authors and illustrators. It was truly a wonderful experience, I learned a ton and I’m looking forward to going again this year. One thing I took from that conference that fueled my next steps was I belonged there. My work contends with the rest. On the last day of the conference we heard from a publicist who gave the most inspirational lecture, it was a perfect way to close the conference. The most important thing I took from her talk was, just do it. It can take a year or more to find a literary agent, especial for children’s picture books. You don’t need to wait for an agent to publish a book. In fact self-publishing could be an advantage when looking for an agent. She also said be present on social media, write a blog :) keep in touch with your potential audience.
I’ve been around long enough to know that my music circle / story telling is top tier. I’m not being conceited, just knowing I’m good keeps me going. It’s a hustle to say the least. I’ve been to the point where word of mouth works fast and spreads quickly, with my previous albums with regards to attaining work. However those albums were produced over 15 years ago, before the media craze that is today. Today the struggle is real, trying to get noticed, trying to get work, trying to get recognition is a much, much slower process than before. And yet I still push, I still illustrate for the stories that I’m still creating for the songs that I’m still writing. I believe in what I’m doing. I believe that belief can be the most essential tool one can use in taking the next step. I’m back to soliciting for a literary agent. Book number #2 is well under way. I have a 5 book series that I intend to complete. I do hope to secure and agent soon and I will continue my hustle in the process.
What is this hustle I speak of? I go to local schools, preschools, book stores, libraries and leave physical flyers. I send emails, I send mail through he USPS. I boos posts, update my website regularly and make phone calls. Guess what, it’s working. My last reel has 11.5K views! The events that I have had have been major successes, slowly my first book is selling, slowly I’m gaining the recognition I once had with potential for much more. Put one foot in front of the other. Keep doing what feeds your soul. The smile on the children’s faces, the excitement of the parents and teachers is all the proof that I need to keep moving forward. And I will. Thanks for reading and keep having fun.