- Posted July 17, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Impact Your World
Sherry Bailey: A Woman Who Informs to help Women Transform in a better Version of Themselves.
Sherry is an adventurous soul. Inform to transform is her mantra. Sherry’s passion in life is to help rekindle the fire in your bones to help people live in their highest potential. To achieve that, she writes inspirational books to lift your spirit. She believes, “living life in complacency is lethal. I want to leave this life empty; having poured out myself empowering others to live invigorated and purpose-driven lives.” Sherry has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, an associate’s degree in Radio/TV/Film and is pursuing her master’s degree in elementary education and divinity. In her spare time she works as a substitute teacher, teaching students from elementary to high school. Her five published literary works are: “A Kept Woman, Chronicles of a Pastor’s Wife,” “A Kept Secret,” “Begin Again,” “Simply Speaking Inspirations” and “Words of Wisdom.” She is the mother of three sons, two adults and one in elementary. Sherry is a licensed ordained minister.
How has your journey been and what tactics do you use in order to make your writing stand out?
My journey has been a bumpy and rough road to mettle through. During my first published work, I learned the hard way how to scrutinize and sift through the right publishing company. And being new to the game I lost money choosing the wrong company off the bat, but when you have skin in the game you learn quickly what pitfalls to avoid. In the beginning, I read books on getting published. I searched the Internet on various publishing companies and of course I asked friends. In the end, I can say that it took three failed attempts before I decided on the best publishing company to print my books. I choose Authorhouse. Their services fit my need and budget. To date, they have printed and published four of my literary works.
And to answer your second question, as to what tactics did I use to make my writing stand out… I would have to say it was shear honesty and pain…with an emphasis on the pain part! To me, it’s nothing like pain that will drive a person to drink, shrink or think. My pain provoked me to think which prompted me to print out what I was thinking. It was cathartic. In other words, it was therapeutic. Every time my mind would wonder about the atrocities and anguish I was experiencing in my marriage, I soothed my pain with the power of my pen. Even now, as I am speaking to you; my fingers are scribbling out words to say. And with each stroke of my pen I am being liberated from my past, my pain and springing into my purpose. I found that solitude and solace sharpens your thinking skills.
What inspired you to become an Author or a Writer, in general?
For me being a writer was ingrained in my soul as a child. I can remember stealing time away in my bedroom or my closet (if my sister was being fussy about sharing the space), spending countless hours reading. It offered me an escape. So reading, writing, getting published was all a part of God’s design for my life. To me the printed words on the page infused me with power. I didn’t realize it as a child, but now I can say, “yeah --- God’s hand was on me to write.” Even when I was 10 or 12 years old, I can remember one of the deacons of my church coming to my grandmother’s house (Meme, RIP), asking her if she would allow me to enter an oratorical contest. I don’t think she knew what that was. C’mon, let’s be honest, I didn’t know what that was either. But it was clear that he and others saw something in me that I didn’t. As a result of writing and delivering speeches in school, church and oratorical contests I won many awards. So, it’s like I said before writing was ingrained in me. It came natural. It was just like breathing. It was my solace. It was my escape. It was my sanctuary.
How do you balance your career as a writer, along with making sure your children and husband receive their time with you?
Ensuring my child receives adequate time with me is easy. Most of the time he’s with me. My son, Cedric just turned 11-years-old this month. I am divorced. And I am the custodial parent. So that means Cedric spends two weekends a month with his Dad. That schedule works for me. In the Summertime, however; he spends the entire month of July with Dad. That’s Mommy’s time to regroup, rest and rejuvenate! Don’t get me wrong though. It can be tough balancing work, school, parenting and the laundry list of other tasks --- but we manage. One of the things I insist on doing with my son is one educational activity or adventure a month. For instance, last month I took him to see the Dinosaur Zoo. It was a stage production of puppeteer dinosaurs. Cedric loves dinosaurs! I believe he’s going to grow up to be a paleontologist. It’s excursions like that I use to pick his brain and bond with him. I’m sure if you can ask any parent whose doing their job effectively how they do it; and they would tell you they make it work. My challenge is getting my two older sons; Wilbert and Jaime to help me out. Being single, unexpected events do come up. It’s during those times I rely on the charitable help of my two adult sons. Wilbert is the oldest. He is 33 and works in computers. Jaime is 29 and he works in public safety and is an artist. But balancing career and children can be done. You just have to be resourceful.
Since you have 2 books discussing this, explain to our readers your definition of being “Kept” and why this is so important…
Wow, that’s not easy to explain. I cover it more in detail in my book, “A Kept Woman.” But just speaking off the cuff about being kept, I would have to say it’s many things. For me being kept is Keeping Everything POWERFULLY Together to use an acronym. It’s keeping all your trouble, your problems, your issues in proper perspective. It’s about bathing that thing in prayer. It’s about putting things in the proper position. It is about keeping life circumstances in proper alignment with your convictions. If I were to use an analogy; it is like that warm blanket they give you in the hospital. It’s not long enough, it’s doesn’t stay warm long enough, but it makes you feel better in that moment. And being kept is experiencing that warm feeling perpetually. It’s like walking outside on a sunny day and all of sudden a down pour of rain slaps you in the face and drenches you with a hot shower. It’s knowing deep down in your soul that you are protected. If you permit me to read an excerpt from my book about being kept:
The chapter entitled, “The Price of Freedom” I write: “God kept me. He kept me from going crazy. He kept me from going insane. He kept my mind from snapping. He kept me from mutilating my husband. He kept my nerves in tact. The word of God says, “he will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast.” (Isaiah 26:3). That is what God did for me. He kept me from igniting explosives in the church. He kept me from ripping people’s heads off. He kept me from losing my cool. God kept me. That’s exactly what he did for me. I am a kept woman because of God’s goodness. He kept me from chopping up my husband into tiny pieces. He kept me from losing my identity. He kept me from tearing a woman to shreds. The word of God also says, “he whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall.” (Prov 28:18). God kept me with his love. He kept me with his peace. He kept me safe. He kept me calling on the name of Jesus. I praise God that I am kept woman.”
Is Chronicles of a Pastor’s Wife book based on a true story and what made you write on a topic that is such a controversial topic especially with so many women complaining about their sensual pastor or the news showing how a pastor is committing adultery?
My book, “A Kept Woman: Chronicles of a Pastor’s Wife” is a true story. And yes, you’re right it is a controversial topic. It’s tabu in our black churches, especially. But what makes my books stand out is that is exposes the duplicity and disgraceful actions that men of the cloth try to hide. My ex-husband was one of those pastors. It’s a shame, but it’s the truth. I’m not here to bash or degrade him or others. I am simply sharing my truth with the world in hopes of saving one person’s life. Because statistics show there were more than 193,505 incidents of domestic violence in Texas. Additionally, reports show there has been a 10% increase in domestic violence in the last ten years. What is more alarming is that studies show that more than 50% of family violence cases were not reported to the police. That’s incredible! So for me; writing these non-fiction books about the hidden secrets of preachers is important. Not only that, but many women suffer in silence. And my books give them a voice. I was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder and maniac depression while coping with being physically assaulted and financially indigent. That’s a hell of a lot. Yet I was able to write. I went through counseling, medication and jail to fight my way back to peace. So I can testify there is life after divorce. There is life after abuse. There is life after perfidious preachers. And when you’ve been broken by the one who vowed to protect you --- your perspective changes. You need therapy, prayer and whole lot more. My writing was my solace and my sanctuary. It gave me the courage I needed to forge ahead. I consider myself akin to a supernova. A supernova is a star that suddenly increases in brightness because of the catastrophes and explosions surrounding it. That encapsulates my journey. Therefore, greatness is all that is left.
In 50 words or less, Why should our readers support your book and lesson can we expect to learn?
They should know information transforms lives. Pastor’s wives are regular people like you and me. Some deal with deceitful husbands, financial problems, abuse, and more. My books bring hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, encouragement to the desperate and self-pride to those of low self-esteem.
So what can our readers expect from you, next?
Your readers can expect a children’s book next. I’m taking a hiatus from adult relationships topics for a while. It’s time for FUN and frivolity. My next project is going to be entitled, “Bernard the Bear goes fishing.” It’s a big genre shift, but I’m up for the challenge. And I’m sure parents would enjoy reading it with their children. Thanks Charron. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you.
My social networking contacts are:
Facebook.com/sherry d. bailey5
Twitter.com/sherry d. bailey
Pinterest.com/ sherry d bailey
Linkedin.com/ sherry d bailey
Learn more about the writer @ www.penlegacy.com