Boldness is an awkward, uncomfortable thing. It forces you to step outside of your cozy little boat and to walk on the unpredictable water. It’s sink or swim once you get going.
This week, I decided to relaunch my creative writing school project. I started marketing it again, this time at a coffee shop and local bookstores.
At a popular coffee shop, I asked the manager for permission to leave flyers on their counter. Immediately – and almost unnaturally, I must say – the lady shut me down. ‘We only allow a select few businesses’ pamphlets here.’
Hurt and offended, I walked out of there feeling personally attacked.
I wasn’t sure what to do. I thought of asking my mom to come with me to the bookstores, just to have that moral support. But then I realized: no, I’m a grown-up. I’ve got God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit by my side. We’ve got this; we can do it. I mustn’t allow one bad experience to hold me back.
First, I visited The Bookstore, and the gentleman was sitting by the counter. Nervously, I browsed the books, gathering up the courage to speak to him. Eventually, I approached the man. I gave him some background of myself and said, ‘I want to host my creative writing school next year. I was wondering if I could leave some pamphlets here for interested readers to take home…’
Enthusiastically, he replied, ‘Yes, that would be incredible! I’ll even put up a pamphlet by the window for people to see.’
I was shocked to receive such a wonderful response. I walked out of there, feeling encouraged.
The next stop was the Lavender Blue Book Exchange. A lovely Afrikaans lady was working there. This time I had the boldness and confidence I needed, right from the start. I approached her with renewed freedom. I gave her a summary of who I am and what I wanted to do.
She replied, ‘It’s interesting that you came to me, because just this morning I spoke with a friend of mine, and her daughter loves writing and wants to join a creative writing class.’ I left a couple of pamphlets with her, as well as my contact info. She blessed my business by saying, ‘I pray that it will be successful!’
I couldn’t believe how easy this was becoming. My final stop was the Book End, which is situated next to Newton Hall. The husband and wife running the store were also very welcoming, although at first saying that they ‘only get the old people’ coming in. ‘That’s perfect!’ I responded. ‘One of my target groups is the retired people. They have so many stories to tell and they’ve got the time. It’s a wonderful way to leave behind a great legacy as well.’
I felt like I was on a high when I left the Book End. ‘Where should I go next?’ I asked myself. But alas, my marketing was done for now and it was time to go home.
All these experiences reminded me of when I was a child. I was very bold, and I made friends easily. I loved doing fundraisers as well, and every year my school held a competition to see who could raise the most funds. One year, I won, and I was only eight years old. How did I do it? I went door to door, knocking and asking for donations. I was bold and didn’t scare easily. Some people were friendly, some weren’t so friendly. Some said no immediately, while others said yes gradually.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these…’ These kids had boldness in them; they had no fear and no reservations. They came to Jesus, freely. May you and I have that same spirit, that same childlike boldness, and freedom. May we not be scared to step out on the water, even when rejection and offense come our way. For they will come, but so can a spirit of boldness.