As a shy and stuttering little girl growing up, I was always afraid to talk because of how my friends and other people would perceive me. Sometimes it took me so long to answer a question even when I knew the answer but the words couldn’t come out. Some people would finish my sentences or try to guess what I was wanted to say. I became so frustrated and angry at myself that I entertained the idea of learning Sign Language but such option was hardly available in my homeland. Consequently, I decided to do the next best thing, which was writing.
I started writing about my feelings, and the events that took place in my life. The more I wrote, the more aware I became of my emotions and myself. I became relaxed, and somehow liberated.
I began to write poetry in third grade. My teacher was very impressed by my writing; she couldn’t believe that a timid girl like me could write so well. In my art class, while the other students were drawing trees, houses and flowers, I was writing poetry. My first poem in Haitian Creole titled “the person I wish I was” won a first prize in a nationwide competition. In that text, I talked about how easy my life would be without my speech disorder; how popular I would be if I were an outgoing girl. But then again, these challenges helped me to discover myself and travel to the other side of my imagination.
As I was growing up, writing became not only a way of expressing myself but also to encourage and inspire others. I touched on everything that was bothering me. My pen quickly became the voice of the invisible and the outcasts.
When I was 12 years old, I wrote my first Christmas school play titled “Christmas on the other side of the Lake”. I highlighted how the “bourgeoisie,” which is Haiti’s higher class celebrated Christmas compared to the “domestic servants” working for them. It was a heartfelt and eye opening play. The adults were puzzled by my imagination and my awareness of social disparities in my country.
Writing was my life; I would go to the countryside every weekend to my mom’s farm, sit by the water under the tree and write poetry, and short stories. I would watch the sunset over the water and describe it in my writing. I gave a voice to everything around me, I created my own world. I dreamt of being a writer so much that I became an avid reader, I wanted to learn about great writers, what they write about, and how they write. I would read any book that I could get my hands on, I became addicted to the point that I read the“Larousse French Dictionary” cover to cover, read the Holy Bible twice in less than one year by the time I was 16 years old.
I came to the United States when I was 17 years old. It was a drastic change for me. I had to integrate into a new society, adjust to a new culture and life style, and moreover learn a new language. That was an overwhelming experience, but I didn’t abandon my writing behind. In fact it was what kept me going. I felt at home once I started writing. I wrote my first English poem titled “You and the Nature” as an assignment for my English class. It was published on poetry.com as a seasonal poetry competition and won third place. It was followed by “The cry of a Nation”, a text that depicted Haiti’s political turmoil, economic hardships, and our need for divine intervention. My English teacher, Mr. White was so impressed with my writing and creativity since English was my second language that he encouraged me to keep writing in English. He submitted some of my poems to the school paper. I was hesitant since I was never published before, but he saw the potential in me and encouraged me to keep writing.
Although I had a passion for and excelled in writing, I still didn’t major in English literature or communication in college, I got my MBA in Business Management and kept writing on the side as my main hobby and a place to escape when life became too overwhelming.
Over the past 2 years, my writing went through a substantial and visible metamorphosis. My life experience, my deeper understanding of the concept of existence, a more acute sensitivity toward mankind, helped me inject a little more depth and consistency into my thinking process and approaches. Consequently, the essence of my writing gradually changed from poetry, love stories to devotional meditations. During a time where I was going through serious emotional struggles on a daily basis, once again I found a refuge in my writing. There was born my first book “Daily Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals for Your Soul”. Here is a short description of the book:
“We live in a fast-paced society and sometimes feel overwhelmed to the point that we question God’s plan for our life. Daily Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals for Your Soul offers a dozen meditational reflections, supported by daily key verses, as a regulator to give our lives the rhythm we need to enhance our self-esteem, elevate our morale, increase our faith, and strengthen our fellowship with the Lord. We all need vitamins and minerals to stay physically healthy, and we need the Word of God to remain spiritually healthy. These pages contain nuggets of peace and wisdom for a troubled society and its weary people-and with daily meditation and reflection on God’s Word, you will nourish your soul and soothe your spirit”.
My childhood dream to become a writer did not only come true but with my first book in less than six months of publication, I became an Award Winning Author. My book was the recipient of a Bronze Medal from the Readers Favorite 2013 International Book Award Contest. It is such a great blessing and honor to be awarded a medal for my writing.
It’s been a great journey, full of discovery and surprises but more importantly, I learned a lot about myself. My journey is far from being over, I pray that my writing will live in the hearts of people, inspire and encourage them, whether it’s poetry or devotional, I want it to touch lives on a personal level.