Do you always meet your deadlines? I often pride myself on getting work done on time, but sometimes things do not go as planned. I am consistent with meeting work deadlines, but sometimes I slack on getting stuff done for myself.
Have you ever prioritized the needs of others before yourself? No? Am I the only one with experiences of taking more time than expected on a project or having something at home interfere with productivity?
Let me give you some context to these questions.
In August, I announced my third book's release date for November 4, 2020. Well, that self-imposed deadline didn't happen! The book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity, is a self-publishing project that I am now aiming to finish by the end of the year.
I did not follow the academic press route that led to the publication of my first two books. Autonomy in creativity is vital to me. My preference for control in almost every step of this project outweighed the professional and social accolades that may come with a more traditional publishing option.
As leaders, we must be willing to challenge doing things "just because that's how things have always been done."
Can you think of any incidents or relationships that played a major role in how you see yourself today? I have traveled to Ethiopia's Tigray region, currently under conflict, to teach and join community initiatives. My wife is not the first woman I planned to marry. When reviewing the poems and writing the open letters of this book, I relived past travels, romantic relationships, and other pivotal moments in my life.
The eighty-two poems and eight open-letters of the soon-to-be-released publication reflect my experiences from a teenager to an adult. I share poetry that I wrote at age seventeen and revisited at thirty-eight. Each chapter starts with an open letter to introduce poetic themes and to offer the reader advice.
Does this sound like something you would like to read? (Respond in the comments)
When you read the book, don't judge me! As I say in the book's preface, "Seventeen years old, full of testosterone and courage are often the key ingredients to recipes that bake disasters." The poems and essays vividly illustrate my transition from boy to man.
Is the book completely independent from outside input?
No, I hired an editor, received feedback on drafts from family and friends, and connected with a graphic designer to create the cover. Despite these influences, the book remains raw and authentic to capture my voice and help you discover one of the best possible versions of yourself.
Between now and February/March 2021, I will provide you with updates in this space and on my social media profiles. The cover is in the design process this week. Formatting for paperback, hardcover, and Kindle is under revision.
With the progress achieved in this book project, I can focus on attending my children's virtual holiday performances next week. Their teachers have set up a Zoom meeting for a virtual sing-along. My baby boy has started practicing his class's songs around the house.
Finish what you need to do, so you can do what you want to do, is a guiding life philosophy I aim to live by every day.
Do you miss in-person Christmas school plays? I don't! I mean, I love to support my children and students, but I don't miss the searches for costumes around town or practices as a performance coordinator.
What's happening in your world this week? Are you participating in any virtual holiday performances? Can I count on you to purchase my book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity? Subscribe to this blog and answer one of these three questions in the comments below.