Bestselling author Cheryl D. Tatum is a wise mother who foresaw the turbulence, pitfalls, and difficulties that come with teenage years, and took action. With great determination, she penned the words of her groundbreaking book, A Teenager’s Guide to Affirming, to prepare her now 15-year-old son Demariun for this season of his life. “The greatest moment of my author career was when I watched my son, who inspired the book, read, and apply the principles to his life,” says Cheryl.
Her daughter DeKauri is now six years old and will also learn the principles of speaking and affirming who she is with the power of her tongue. Cheryl is a shining example of Zig Ziglar’s affirming words that “you are born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”
In her interview with VBD Magazine, Cheryl Tatum shares her wisdom on writing, engaging with readers, and the kind of mindset that is needed to be successful.
VBD: Who inspired you to begin writing?
CHERYL: As I look back, inspiration has always come from God. I didn't know it as a child, but I began writing poetry and songs at 8 years old. I only stopped when life became busier. I was nudged by the Holy Spirit around 2012 to begin writing again.
VBD: What was the scariest part about becoming an author?
CHERYL: It would be sharing my true feelings out into the open and giving intimate details about my experiences with God.
VBD: What advice would you give to authors who just entered the publishing industry?
CHERYL: Whenever inspiration hits, write! If you have to jot down notes on a napkin or in your phone, write. Also, never be afraid to voice your true feelings because I guarantee there is someone out there who feels the exact same way and you can never know who you'll be helping. I always add a disclaimer in my books, "This is solely my opinion and if this doesn't resonate with you, then it may not be for you at the present time."
VBD: What are two tips for engaging with readers?
CHERYL: Let them know that you are human too, and you have made mistakes along your journey. Let them know the feelings that arise are feelings anyone could have. Let them know the experiences they experience can happen to anyone.
VBD: What kind of mindset does someone need to be successful?
CHERYL: A mindset of “all knowing.” Knowing there are infinite possibilities out there. Knowing that anything is possible. Knowing that God gave us the gift of co-creating our reality. Knowing that God has already paved the way to a blessed life and all we have to do is know that whatever our heart desires within God's will is already created in the spiritual world and our believing faith brings it to pass in the physical.
VBD: What is your go-to Scripture when things get tough?
CHERYL: Psalm 23. I am reminded that there's no need to want anything because it's already done. God's blessings and blessings to come are laid out for me. Whatever energy, feeling, thoughts, or emotions encapsulate my soul, God will restore it by making it anew and put me back on the path of righteousness. Not only that, but even though I go through hard times God's protection and love never leaves me; comfort and the love of God is always there. When I consider my protection, this Psalm reminds me that when I feel wronged, God is the one to bring vindication. I do not need to utter a word unless it’s to thank God for His victory. Finally, I will forever have God's grace upon me, and I will forever dwell within the love of God.
VBD: What's next for you?
CHERYL: Currently, I’m working on more inspirational books to show people who they are in the eyes of God, letting them know just how God sees them. Also, I'm working on a podcast with a dynamic author and screenplay writer as my first guest.
Book Link: A Teenager’s Guide to Affirming