Where do you want to be in a year?
How to Get Away with Publishing ™ is a weekly newsletter and blog that provides emerging writers with practical advice from author Faylita Hicks.
Everyone has been coming face to face with an unprecedented amount of time alone — and everything that comes with that time. For some people, that means they are working more or spending much-needed time with loved ones, while the rest of us are mastering the fine art of cooking on Tik Tok.
Whatever you’re doing with your time, there’s no judgment here. …
How to cultivate a creative corner.
*Originally published via my Substack: https://faylitahicks.substack.com/
Before I can tell you what I know about publishing, I have to tell you what I know about creating. And what I know about creating is that you should never underestimate the power of a dynamic creative space.
When you make an effort to designate a physical space for creativity, you are preparing your mind and your spirit for creation as well. Intrinsically, you will know that you are entering into that space intending to develop a creative idea. …
Trump’s only talent may be his ability to successfully convince folx to look the other away.
This year will go down as the year we all had to finally look ourselves in the mirror and ask, “Who are we?” While some of us hoped that 2020 would be the year of reflection and clarity, i.e., 20/20, I don’t think we were prepared to have our America’s disaster of a soul put on display for the whole world to see. But here we are.
After the tumultuous start and mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the amplification of civil unrest and necessary protests against police brutality, and what has felt like darkly comedic presidential campaigns from both Biden and Trump — America is finally sick and tired of the BS. …
On May 2, 2010, my car broke down, for the third time, on the side of the highway. Soon, an officer was knocking on my window and asking for my ID. I would spend 45 days in a county jail for a failure to appear warrant related to a bounced $24.87 check to a local grocery store. My poverty — which was something I had experienced since childhood — led to one of the most traumatic events of my life. …
It would be easier for me to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. We could move on to gifts, flowers, breakfast in bed, hand-made cards, and laughter. It would be easier for me to do this — if I were not a Black child. But as I am one, it is harder to turn an eye to unfettered joy when I am confronted with the truth daily: To bring a Black child into this world, knowing what awaits them, is to be willing to always have your head in the lion’s mouth, always prepared for the worst.
It is dangerous enough for Black children, turned Black people, to love ourselves in a world hungry for our destruction, hell-bent on consuming our sculpted bodies and prolific minds and spirits. But it can feel even more dangerous to love our vulnerable young who, at any moment, can become like chaff in the wind. The danger being that the world has always found a way to destroy each and every dark and beautiful love — like ours. …
The Cite & Release Ordinance
Dear Council Members, As a 17-year resident, local author, and Texas State University Alumni, I urge the Council to enact the proposed Ordinance 2020–18, which would protect the legislative rights of residents and community members as set forth by the Texas Constitution’s Bill of Rights Sec. 3a., Sec. 10, Sec. 13, Sec. 18, sec. 19, sec. 27, as well as the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 14.06, which addresses, specifically, a peace officer’s citation for misdemeanor charges in the state of Texas.
I am in favor of the law enforcement’s judicious use of field release — which has been severely underused in the last decade. The practice frees up officer resources, saving tax-payers money, and it provides an intermediate tool for officers between a mere warning and a necessary arrest. …
Stop waiting for permission to get what you really want out of your creative career.
When I signed the contract for my first book of poetry, HoodWitch, I told myself not to get too excited. Books of poetry rarely get the shine that nonfiction or fiction books do.
I told myself NOT to aim for the stars or the moon. Be more REALISTIC. Aim, for say, the front yard. Definitely not anything next door or down the street or across town.
I realize now that this sort of “small steps” thinking is a common problem.
Telling myself that it isn’t realistic to hope for a sold-out book that people love, or to dream of a nationwide tour that takes me from Austin to New York to Los Angeles, almost certainly GUARANTEES that it will never happen. …
Part 2 of the “Art of Aiming High Series”
Every day creatives are faced with the difficult task of surviving — despite a lack of resources or support. Too many of us are living paycheck to paycheck, putting our dreams and desires aside for the urgent needs of NOW. But as creatives, it’s important that we don’t let the pain of LIVING become so distracting that it takes us from our REASON for living.
Trust me. I’ve worked in a call center as a sales agent, in a warehouse as a janitor, at a couple of restaurants, and even played cash poker to make some extra money. …
Books are a gateway into the higher consciousness we sometimes avoid in our day-to-day lives — either because it hurts too much or it requires we change. It’s easier to listen to something with a beat or to lean into a movie. It’s easier to drown in a sea of one-liners via Twitter — to glance over glossy images with clearly depicted symbols that tap into our underlying discomfort with the status quo. It’s so much easier than reading a book.
For a lot of people, it’s harder to set aside space and time to read a full-length book; to dig into someone else’s mind and interrogate the validity of their assertions; to ascertain for themselves where they stand on the issues. …
Below are 41 books that moved me or loved me or socked me into writing my debut collection of poetry, HoodWitch. They sat on my writing desk, were propped up on my altar, leaned in an unorganized pile next to my chair.
When my voice started getting weak while writing, I would lean over and open one of them up, asking myself if I was brave enough to go wherever they were. Sometimes I was. Sometimes I wasn’t. Either way, I enjoyed the journey.
I learned a lot about what kind of writer I wanted to be reading these authors. I thank them for their authenticity and work. I recommend them to you now and hope that you find something of real value in their pages: Power. …