When I started my literary journey two years ago, part of my hesitation to write books was wondering if anyone would even read my books. Nobody knew who Joyce or J.L. Sapphire was, and I worried that the only few people I might would get to read my work was family. Two years later, I have come to realize that my immediate family are the main one’s who DON’T support me. At first, it bothered me…a lot. If I couldn’t even get my family to buy, read, and review my books, how could I expect anybody else to? I stepped out on faith, wrote my books, and published them, after many long nights of writing, rewriting, writer’s block, frustration with my characters, etc. Surprisingly, people I have never met read one of my books, then another, and before long, I had a following of readers who couldn’t wait for my next book. They left reviews and messages, telling me how much they enjoyed them. But what I noticed was, not many of those faithful readers were family. Sure, those closest to me would click like on my social media posts, and would even say how much they wanted to read my books; however, unless I was willing to give them my work for free, they weren’t trying to be supportive of me. I will never understand why people expect authors to give our hard work to them for free. I usually donate copies of my paperbacks to the local library and there was this one lady who would see me in public and tell me how she checked out my books at the library, and she loved my writing, how great an author I was, and when was my next book coming out. However, when I told her I had a new book out that wasn’t in the library, but I had copies to sell, her whole attitude changed. She was willing to read my books for free, but even though I was going to give her a discount, she wasn’t trying to pay for a book. I have had close family and friends who see me constantly posting covers, excerpts, and the like about my books, who have never bought or read anything by me, but they will turn around and say something like, “Oh, I just bought (insert name) book and can’t wait to read it..” It’s almost like they post things like that on purpose, hoping I’ll see it. And I do see it, and it’s sad that some people will go out of their way to support someone they have never met- and probably never will- yet won’t support someone they grew up with, or work with, or know personally. And it’s not just me..I’ve heard many authors say this same thing.
I think some people hate the idea that you stepped out on faith, took a chance and went after your dream, while maybe they were afraid to. Or maybe, secretly, they’ve always rooted for you to fail due to personal reasons. Or maybe they cant stand to see you doing better than they are. Whatever the case, all we can do as authors is keep writing for the people who do support us. At one point, I almost stopped writing, because I wasn’t getting the support from people who should have been, but that would have been giving them exactly what they wanted. As upsetting as it is, keep following your dream because guess what..once you make it to the top, those same haters will be there wanting a handout. To that I say, if you’re not riding with me during my struggle, don’t show up once I reach a high level of success. That’s usually when those who doubted you and secretly rooted for you to fail, choose to show up. And it’ll be too little, too late. For the readers who are down with me, I truly appreciate you all and stay tuned, because there’s more to come. Ciao 💋😘