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Daily Inspiration: Meet Cheryl Barton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cheryl Barton.

Hi Cheryl, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to today?
My story begins with my writing journey, which takes me back to 2010 with the sudden loss of my oldest brother. That was hard for me, and I turned to writing as an outlet to find something that was therapeutic to help me cope. I never knew I had the makings of a serious writer in me, but here I am, twelve years later, and I’m still at it. I wrote my first novel, Bachelor Not for Sale, in 2013. The response to that novel was excellent! What I thought would be one novel, and then I’d be done, has turned into 47 romance novels, 8 inspirational novels, some of those compilation projects compiled by me, and most of all, the joy of helping others publish novels as well. I turned my love for writing and the feeling of victory it gives me into assisting others with writing and publishing and seeing their dreams come true. My writing journey hasn’t been an easy one. Some may look at what I have achieved and think it wasn’t so complicated if I could write that many books in what they would consider a short period of time.
I believe that, what is for you, is for you. If you write and the stories never stop coming, the fact is, you have unleashed a gift that was inside of you all along. The right time to manifest a hidden talent can awaken at any time. It was the right time for me exactly when I needed it. That was the time for me to give birth to my hidden gift. I write love stories during a time when people are struggling with one catastrophe after another. In 2020, I learned a lot, and my way of coping and helping others to cope is through writing warmhearted stories; the kind that makes you smile. I also get that happy feeling when someone reaches out to me to ask if I can help them fine-tune their stories. I love helping others by using what I have learned to help make their process from writer to author a smooth one. I am blessed every day with the audience I have acquired with my writing, and the best way to honor my gift, is to use it to help someone else. The authors I have helped are indeed a major achievement for me. This is me, a woman who, before 2010, hadn’t thought about writing anything, let alone an entire novel. I’m still at it today, writing and publishing, and as long as I can continue writing and coming up with new stories to wow my fans, writing and publishing will continue to be a large part of my life. I look forward to the challenge of seeking out new fans to garner even more smiles. We need good stories now more than ever.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Nothing about writing or publishing is smooth, but it is fulfilling. The struggles I’ve had along the way as a writer are that I write, edit, and design my own book covers – pretty much doing it all myself. That, in itself, is a lot of work. Once you have the final product, a self-published author also does their marketing and promotion, which is where the real test comes in. That is the hardest part for any indie author. I work full-time, so all of what I do when writing and publishing is done after hours and on the weekends. What that looks like is the struggle to balance work, writing, publishing, and a personal life can be a mighty challenge. Somehow, I’ve made it work for me. Writing makes me happy. I’ve discovered finding that talent deep inside of me was the nugget I needed to find additional happiness. I’m still a work in progress when it comes to getting this all right, but thankfully, with each day comes a new opportunity to continue to hone my craft. Another struggle is the creative side. Because I want to continue to write, I have to constantly think of new stories to write about to keep them fresh and interesting, while also making them relatable to today’s world. For instance, during the world’s pandemic back in 2020, I wanted to write a romance story to bring a bright spot to people’s lives while not forgetting that many were struggling through the loss of family, friends, jobs, and hope; hope for an end to the pain to get back to some semblance of normalcy. I decided to write my book, Seize the Moment, a romance story with a spin to it about a couple who are locked in together due to the world shutting down as the work was done to find a remedy to the virus of that year. I loved that story because it was written within that time frame. I wanted to be sensitive to writing romance while not forgetting what was on people’s minds and how hard of a time they were having. That was important to me. I have another book I wrote called, Take a Knee. That was done when football players were taking a knee to bring attention to the plight of black men and their struggles. That book wasn’t about that struggle, but it was about a football player who took a knee and finally proposed to the woman of his dreams. He struggled with self-worth most of his life and didn’t think he was worthy of a great woman. He knew he couldn’t lose her, and with football being his life, he wanted to show her that he wanted and needed her to see him take a knee for their love. I needed to bring my spin to taking a knee while also remaining focused on the happy ever after; the love. I’m trying to convey that my writing isn’t just to put out book after book, but it’s to tell stories that people can relate to. That’s what’s most important to me. Along the same lines, when I work with a writer to get their book published, I look at the stories they want to tell. I make sure that what they have to say means something to me, not just as a writer but also as a reader. The stories always have to have a positive ending, even if the story is birthed from pain. I write and publish what brings about love, kindness, and friendship. That’s a way for me to do my part with healing and helping those struggling with making it through another day. Words can hurt and harm, but they can also heal and bring people together with an influx of love. I work hard at writing and publishing in hopes that I can do my part and lend my hand to change people’s hearts, minds and lives. Love can do that. I love writing, have a passion for telling a story, and love people. My story from the beginning to what is not yet the end, revolves around that; it always will.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I write romance and inspirational novels. From my first, Bachelor Not for Sale, to my latest, An Unexpected Destiny, it’s all about allowing a reader to escape the struggles of life and invest their minds in something warm, sweet, and loving. When it comes to writing, I am most proud that I didn’t write one book and then give up. I never saw myself as a writer, but I realized I could see a story in everything in life once I started. If I saw a tree, I could write about a man and a woman finding love under that tree, leading to the story that brought them to that tree at that particular time. If it was the pain of something else that led them there, my story would focus on how they were meant to meet each other that day because it would lead to their forever kind of love. If I heard a song, the title alone would bring about images of an entire love story. The beauty in everything, good or bad, can give birth to a love story. I’m proud that I can see it everywhere, and anyone reading my stories will know that they will smile and hopefully fall in love with love by the end.

I am also known for publishing. I am most proud of that because I can help someone build on their craft and find readers who can relate to their stories. I’ve heard some tell me that they tried to get help from others, and they couldn’t find the helping hand and patience they find in working with me. That’s because I know the struggle of having an idea and finding out how to get it to fruition. If I can help with that, I find the greatest joy in it.

I can’t say that what I love doing, writing and publishing, sets me apart from others. I hope that it brings me into the fold along with other writers and publishers, and together, we can continue to keep books in print, audio and digital, in the hands of readers who love to read. I am not only a writer, but I am also an avid reader. I can’t imagine a world without books. The only way the love for books will continue to grow is if all writers come together to make sure we never stop; we never give up. We have to work together but separately, focusing on the readers and not on us. I do it for them, not just for me.

So maybe we end by discussing what matters most to you and why?
Enjoying and appreciating life is what matters most to me. Time spent with my family, loving on my parents and celebrating them every chance I get. Time is so precious. Maybe years ago, I didn’t know how to appreciate them as much as I do now, but I make sure there is never a doubt that I love them; they are my world. Living a good, healthy, happy life is important to me. I look back on my life and I can see so much time that I wasted on not realizing how important every second of every day was. I don’t take that for granted. I grab onto what makes me happy and that’s where I focus. I surround myself with people who love me and those I love. Nothing negative is allowed in; there is no place for it in my space. Every single, solitary day is a blessing, and I don’t take it for granted. Each day is filled with many opportunities to fix what’s wrong or build on what’s right. What also matters is making an impact – something long-lasting that will live even beyond my years of life. It matters that many years in the future, romance novels like mine will be able to heal a broken heart and help someone take a break from stress and allow their mind to live in love. As a writer, the moment you put that first book out in the public arena, there is the chance that hundreds of years down the road, someone will still be reading your books and learning more about you that you can no longer share as a living person.

Being you matters; and living a good life matters. Helping others matters. That’s why I try to help when someone reaches out and asks me to speak on writing and publishing and how my journey started. I hope my story is encouraging, knowing that even if you didn’t have a dream of writing, there might come a time when something in life happens, and you’ll find that following your own dream will get you through to a point in life where you will see and know your worth. Someone will be able to fulfill a dream they didn’t even know they had because following a dream when it shows up matters. It could one day get you connected to people who may ask for an interview because there is something about you that they see could bless another person. I cherish every one of those doors that open for me like that. I hope everyone else does as well.

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