Today’s Guest Blog is by author Charlie Cain-Tolbirt. Charlie shares her author journey from beginning to now. She is the author of the best-selling book Words With Wisdom.
About The Author: Charlie Cain-Tolbirt was a child of poverty and spent most of her childhood either homeless or in foster care. She was exposed to many horrible things in her early years. She is a survivor of neglect, child abuse, and rape. Being placed in more foster homes than she can remember, she learned from each family how to be a functioning member of society, and realized exactly what kind of person she wanted to grow up to be. One that could overcome her obstacles, and survive, thrive and become a better person despite the upbringing that she had. All of her experiences led her to grow up way too soon. Realizing she no longer wanted the life of poverty, and wanting to break the cycle, she decided to take on the responsibility of an adult, got a job, and began her life over, this time she was the adult that had been missing in her life, and she was in charge.
Writing has always been a huge outlet for me; a therapeutic way to address things going on in my life by writing about my experiences as well as how I learned to deal with them.
When I first realized that others were able to relate to my stories and enjoyed reading not only about the many trials in my life but also the triumphs, I knew that I had finally found my purpose. I have always enjoyed counseling others, but when you put your experiences on paper, people are able to relate better than if you just tell them what you’ve gone through.
“Our weaknesses are what make us strong. Fighting a broken heart or an illness will only make you weak long enough to feel sorry for yourself. Allow yourself time to experience your pain, so you can learn the true meaning of strength, then let it work with your faith to sustain you.”
Receiving emails from people all over the world that have read my book, telling me how much they could relate and thanking me for sharing or telling me how much I helped them deal with something that has happened to them, it encourages me and motivates me to keep doing what I love.
I began writing quotes that were related to real life experiences; while most were about my own experiences, some were about others and things they were going through. So many people enjoyed them, so I just kept writing them. One day a friend of mine told me that I should compile them and write a book, thus my first book, Words With Wisdom was born.
Even though I have been writing since I was a child, I had no idea how to publish a book, which is ironic, considering I had, at that point, already written one Young Adult novel and five children’s books, all of which were not published. So, I began a lot of research on my own and consulting with a very dear friend of mine that also connected me with a couple of other people in the industry that not only walked me through the process but also connected me with others that helped me in other ways.
I began to self-promote and continue my research. I started scheduling my own book signings, hitting the pavement and trying to get my book in the hands of as many people as possible. I decided to offer to speak at battered women’s shelters, women’s groups, churches and anywhere that I felt my story could help other people. I offered to do all of this, at no charge. My primary goal with my first Words With Wisdom book was to reach and help as many people as I possibly could.
I designed my own promotional materials, including postcards with vital information about my book, website, Facebook Fan Page, info on how to get my book and how to contact me. I continue to promote myself on social media and offer up myself for radio interviews and personal appearances.
In order to make a name for yourself, you must be willing to work for it and sometimes that means putting yourself out there as well as setting yourself up for rejection. Anything worth having– is worth working hard to achieve.
There are many nights when I don’t sleep, I write, I brainstorm and try to come up with new avenues to help me achieve my goals. I created a website, a Facebook Fan Page and an Author Page on social media. I believe that everyone needs direction at some point, especially if they have no idea how to get started but once you are pointed in the right direction, it’s time to get your feet wet.
Ultimately, it’s up to each of us to make our own success, and in doing so we will also face adversity, failures and setbacks. Getting back up and back in the saddle again is the important thing. A thousand people may turn you away, but all it really takes is one person to believe in you to make all the difference in the world.
If you truly want to become a writer, nothing should stand in your way; the same goes with any purpose that you feel is your own. Your primary focus should always be taking control of your own destiny. Accept the help of others but don’t rely solely on them to do the work for you. Get your hands dirty, put yourself in a position to be turned away, at least, you will know what does and doesn’t work. Eventually, someone will say yes.
“Someone once told me, “you can’t save the world.” I would like to think, I am not changing the world, I’m just encouraging them…to save one another.” -Charlie Cain-Tolbirt
My goal now is to continue with my Words With Wisdom series but also publish, Children of the Woods, a Novel that started as a Memoir that tells the true to life stories of children that were raised primarily homeless and in foster care because of an alcoholic father that died when the children were young, and a mother that was sheltered her entire life due to her less than advanced mental state and inability to comprehend adult situations and take care of the family.
They were all failed by the system and this book tells the story of how the children coped and how they adjusted as they grew up. Children of the Woods is just the beginning as I continue my love for fiction as well as helping others cope with the unfortunate events that sometimes plague our lives. I look forward to the future and all of the different things coming my way, whatever they may be. I know that creativity on paper is only part of the process. Being successful takes creativity in a lot of different ways.
By Charlie Cain-Tolbirt
You can grab a copy of Charlie’s book Words With Wisdom on Amazon.Click on the book below to take you there.