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Happy Birthday Soul Purpose













Today is the official 13th birthday of my first book Soul Purpose published way back in 1999. Where has the time gone? I wrote Soul Purpose when I was 37 years and achieved a life long ambition of publishing a book. Despite being out of print I still receive letters and emails from readers and in the last couple of years sat in the same carriage on a tube where someone was actually reading my book.

I am glad I had the courage to go and ahead with pushing the book out into the world. It’s part of my legacy and I am deeply thankful that Piatkus books took a chance on an unknown writer like me and published it in the first place.

At the time I was an inexperienced writer who had a choppy on off relationship with creative writing but had huge dreams and ambitions of being a writer. I modelled myself on literary giants, the likes of Maya Angelou, Alice Walker and the new writer on the block at the time Iyanla Vanzant. Whilst I admired writers from other cultural backgrounds these writers were significant because of their racial backgrounds, If they could do it then I believed in my heart that I could do it too. 

What I learnt from writing of Soul Purpose

  • One needs to cultivate a regular habit of writing. It doesn’t need to be an hour a day but it needs to be regular
  • Wanting to tell your story is not the same as knowing how to write your story. There’s an art, science and synchronicity that all work hand in hand when writing
  • Writing is a physical act. We write through and with our bodies and you need to show up and actually write to call yourself a writer
  • Soul Purpose was not the book I intended to write. Once I started to write the writing created it’s own path which I followed
  • We have to let go of our plan for the book and allow the book it is meant to be to come through
  • Writing is a practice
  • How grateful I am for that very first step of my publishing journey. I sent out ten book proposals and struck lucky. But I wouldn’t have given up

What I would do differently if given the chance to do it all again?

  • I would ask for more help. I seriously needed a writing mentor or coach
  • I would have more people read and comment on my text
  • I would have been much braver on writing about taboo subjects such as sexuality and race
  • I would have edited more and negotiated a new deadline with my editor to give the book more time to incubate and mature
  • I would have worked from a more organised work and writing space so my creativity could have flowed better
  • I would have delivered my second book for Piatkus and not let fear get the better of me which it did, which resulted in a seven year gap between books one and two
  • I would have invested more in learning the craft of writing and opened myself to more feedback
  • Made sure both my parents attended the book launch and invited them both to say a few words

What I would keep the same?

  • Definitely the cover, which I still love to this day
  • The first few opening lines at the start of the book
  • The quote at the beginning of the book
  • The opportunity to write Soul Purpose
  • My innocence in writing Soul Purpose
  • The synchronicity surrounding obtaining my book deal, which included a chance conversation with a stranger in a workshop queue whom it turned out, was a  commissioning editor at Harper Collins who at the time had my book proposal sitting on her desk.
  • The excitement and buzz at my book launch at the Ritzy Café in Brixton on the 11.11.1999

I have some exciting plans for Soul Purpose in 2013 & 2014 when it will celebrate it’s 15th birthday including publishing her on kindle.

Soul Purpose is my baby and holds a special place on my writing journey.

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