So I waded, trying to figure out what the book would look like. I stalled when I thought about the magnitude of the project, paused when I wondered who in the world would buy it, hesitated when I realized how personal the content was. I grew quiet, finally seeing myself for what I was: someone who talked about dream chasing but never took a firm step.
Still I waded, mentally mapping out the book. As I reviewed my poems, I realized that there were some blog posts that tied them together nicely. And in searching for the point of it all, I found a theme: the search for understanding, love, and God.
I was not a fake dream chaser after all. I didn’t take a leap of faith years ago when some suggested, but every blog post was a step further into the water. With each spoken word performance, I waded a little deeper. By deciding to publish, I was wading. In choosing a title, writing more material, editing, organizing, and rearranging, I waded. Working with my editor and graphic designer, navigating the publishing process, I waded all the way.
I’ve appreciated publishing this book at my own pace, but it has presented challenges. I took hiatuses from spoken word and blogging to focus on the book. People tend to have a buzz surrounding their work before they release major projects, but I have been quiet for months. Would anyone remember me?
While I second-guessed myself, I heard from a few groups and churches I shared spoken word with in the past. They invited me to upcoming events. Confirmation. Even when I was barely blogging, I published my most popular post. Reassurance. People remembered and people were listening. “Keep wading,” God said.
Next month I will jump as I release my first book, Promises & Epiphanies: Life Revelations through Poetry and Prose. It is a story of the struggle for purpose, love, and happiness, told through a compilation of poems, spoken word pieces, blog posts, and personal essays.
My first book looks nothing like what I imagined years ago. However, it is an honest reflection of life that will touch readers. It has been a long time coming, but I’m sure God knew I would need every minute. The book and I are both better for it.
Some leap, others wade. Thank God He goes with us either way.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.