I’ll be the first to admit that having a strong international readership worried me.  There were many questions as to how I would be able to connect with those readers through my writing; especially when I have no idea how to relate to their culture.  Silly questions circled my head…things like will they enjoy reading erotica if I wrote one, and can they relate to divorce if I wanted to write a piece on it?

It wasn’t just the international readers that had me on edge, but the older readers who come from a generation of virgins and morals different from my own. I asked myself over and over, “how do I write for them?”

Now, the answer didn’t come easy.   In fact, as I dug deep to find the resolution, my barrel came up empty.  Two or three more times of digging, and I put it in faith. “The answer will come!”

Sunday morning I sat at the computer staring at a blank Word document.  The cursor blinked steadily, and begged me to type.  But fear of disappoint surrounded my space and I doubted myself for the first time in many years. After a few minutes of doing nothing, I closed the top and went on to do other errands.

Two hours later, the owner of Butterfly Effects Soy Candle Company {Tylesha Juliano} calls with hesitation in her voice.  We discussed our doubts, which were lead by fear.  Now one may ask, “what are two successful women doing doubting their success?”  I can’t think of any answer but “we are also human.”

Needless to say ten minutes in to my second attempt to write, the screen remained blank, and the cursor still encouraged me to do something marvelous.  I wrote a few lines, but quickly erased them.  The content wasn’t worthy of saving…something was missing.

Around 5:30pm a feeling overwhelmed me and told me that I should go to church, a place of solace according to the owner of Premier Social Management. So I listened. Maybe God knew that the “fear monkey” was not too far behind. Maybe he wanted to rescue me from it completely.  So I listened.

When I walked through the church doors, I just knew that something would be said or read that would remind me I am great at what I do.  I opened my bible and the first thing I saw was a bookmark that I placed there nearly a year ago.  It was from the book of Jeremiah, Chapter 12, Verses 1-5. 

Jeremiah’s Question

1 Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouth
But far from their mind.
3 But You, O LORD, know me;
You have seen me,
And You have tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
The beasts and birds are consumed,
For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”

The LORD Answers Jeremiah

5 “ If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain[
a] of the Jordan?

Ah ha! That was it! Jeremiah doubted himself, and not only did he doubt, he questioned his destiny.  That’s exactly what I was doing. I questioned my destiny, although it was revealed to me long ago.  I questioned if my writing was good enough and if in fact I should continue to write.  But after reading this scripture, I felt strong and determined to reach that destiny by any means necessary.  Essentially God was telling me to never mind the nay sayers, and never mind those who also doubt my talent.  Pay attention to the road ahead because it will be a bumpy one. 

And how ironic that I went to church to open the bible to see the passage that I bookmarked from the last time I saw the very same preacher send the message.  He explained that in an attack, the army (also known as the footmen) go in and weaken the enemy.  And after they’ve weakened the army, other militia (in this case horses) are called out to finish the attack.  Whoever is still standing at the end of the attack is victorious!

So with all of this said, I say to you, never give up! Small things will try to tear you apart.  And after that, bigger things will try to do the same.  But if you believe that you are destined to do something, then by all means do everything in your power to defeat the monkey of doubt! Keep the scripture close whether you are religious or not because there is nothing but victory in the word.

As for my fear…well, it’s diminished. I learned that I have much more in common with the international and older readers than I realized.  They’ve all been through struggles and doubt.  And just like me, each of them has a talent or a dream.  So if anything, my stories can help encourage them in some way. J