A couple of years ago, I was working at this office supply store and a customer came in looking for a specific pen. I showed her a few, we got to talking and I found out that she was a writer. ‘Cool’. I thought. ‘I write, too.’
Never before have I thought of myself as a writer, per say. Just, someone who writes. Now, I have developed a different ‘pitch’. I tell everyone I ever meet. ‘I’m a writer and most of what I write can be found at GMP.’ ‘I write what I feel so that you, the reader, can feel what I write.’ And I hand them my business card. ‘If you or anyone you know needs a writer, call me.’
It’s almost like when I was young and single. I printed up some cards with my name and beeper number and handed them out to every girl I saw. Any place, any time. I was a self made marketing guru at fifteen. Now, I use the same attitude and energy to promote my career as a writer.
Thanks to the customer in the office supply store, I now understand my purpose with the pen. You see, she introduced me to another writer, L.B., who introduced me to GMP, The Good Men Project, which further introduced me to a writer’s life I have never imagined. L.B. would take writings I emailed to her and coach me on style and content. Then one day, one piece I wrote, ‘Santa Don’t Come To the Hood No Mo’ really caught her attention. She told me of an editor friend of hers who would love my style of writing. I should send her the piece. This was November of 2015.
I sent her the piece via email. At this time, there was no submission portal on GMP. I had direct access to one of GMP’s editors. In retrospect, I knew not what I had embarked upon. This direct access gave me the opportunity to build a relationship with the editor while crafting my style. L.B. was still a part of my process. I would send pieces to her first, before sending them to the GMP editor. I was making contacts in the writers world. Then, all of a sudden, I was thrown to the wolves. Alone!
L.B. got sick and couldn’t coach me any longer. She was like a mentor to me. She got me into this and before long. She left me in this. But, I am not bitter. I appreciate everything she ever did for me. I even appreciate her for leaving me when she did. She had to do what she had to. ‘Best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.’
And because of her sudden exit from my young writer’s life, I have learned to use my voice and create an awareness of my literature. After about a dozen or so pieces, I am now writing for GMP on a steady basis. Two or three times a month,, since 2015, I have been published on the website. It feels really good to be able to call myself the writer that I am and to be able to provide actual written documentation of it. ‘I talk a lotta stuff, but I can back it all up.’
GMP stands for Good Men Project. But, I have given it my own definition of what it means to me, personally. GMP means to me, Gotta Master the Pen. Gotta Master the Pen means having to be a master or pro at your craft. My craft is writing. My writing is done with a pen. Simple mathematics. Let’s move on.
Other than the fact that I wish to have my words felt the world over. Other than the fact that I wish to feed those hungry individuals with some food for thought, the Ruff Writing way. Other than the fact that this is my God given talent and I wish to make best use of it as possible. I want the world to know my name. I also want to show and prove to LB, that her beginning efforts have not gone in vain.
So, I write, all day, every day. I write at work. I write at home. I write out on the porch. I write in the car. I write in my mind when there is no paper. And, hopefully, I don’t forget what I wrote, mentally. And create another masterpiece.
Some people hint I’m crazy for writing for GMP and not receiving and monetary props. My vision is bigger than now. My vision is greater than my bank account. All that will come in due time. Once I am done paving the way for success in this industry as the writer I am. I will not stop, then. This is just the beginning. GMP is my launchpad, yes. But, will forever, be my platform. Thanks, GMP.
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