Suntia Smith, Licensed Independent Social Worker & Couples Therapist, author of “Single Woman’s Wake-up Call” answers 6 questions about the inspiration behind her writing and she discusses her passion for helping individuals and couples reconnect and rebuild their relationships.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I am a relationship therapist and writer. I am originally from Miami, Florida and moved to South Carolina when I was 16 years old. I have always been creative and had different viewpoints from other people and realized I needed a way to positively express myself. I would dance and draw at a young age, then when I was about 12 years old I started writing down my thoughts and feelings. Writing was a powerful outlet for me, something that no one could take away. I noticed how happy it made me feel to write then share my writing with others. I would say to myself “Wow did I say that? it was the best feeling in the world. My book Single Woman’s Wake-up Call was published in July 2014.
What is the inspiration behind your writing and was there a life changing event?
My inspiration comes from all of my life experiences. As a little girl, my mother and father were in and out of my life, so there were a lot of challenges I faced, from self-esteem issues, navigating relationships to knowing how to stay true to myself. Needless to say I learned many lessons but they all were valuable and made me who I am today. I know if I had those experiences that other women must have had similar experiences. After all, we are all connected in one way or another.
I wanted to speak from real life experiences to real women to let them know they were not alone. One significant life event that inspired my book, Single Woman’s Wake-up Call, was when my mother passed away. My brother was 10 and I was 26. I had to make a tough decision about the woman I would be and the life I would live. No more blaming my mom for everything that went wrong in my life. It was time I became accountable for my own actions. I realized the question was not “if I would change my life” but “when would I change my life?” And when I answered “Now” it was the starting point of me discovering the power I had to not only change my life but rise above all the disappointment and pain to find true happiness.
What was the greatest challenge in writing this book?
The greatest challenge was the decision on what personal aspects to include. I never wanted my writing to put others in a negative light or hurt anyone’s feelings. I struggled with how much of my personal story to include. But then after contemplation, I realized my words were those of love and forgiveness. My story is a part of me and in order for it to have a positive impact I must tell the truth. It was hard to write about things that many people including close friends and family didn’t know about, yet it was a growth process for me in understanding how to let go of the attachment of how people saw me; the persona of myself. True vulnerability is when you can be true to yourself, reveal that truth, and let the pieces of your life fall where they may.
Do you have another job?
I am a Licensed Therapist specializing in Couples Therapy. I have a private office in Greenville and Anderson, SC. I help individuals and couples have a better relationship with themselves and their partners. I truly believe that the relationship we have with others is just a reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves.
How does this story resonate with women?
This story resonates with women because it addresses the inner and outer conflicts that arise in our lives. Society wants us to believe that there is a certain type of beauty/success/love that we as women need to have in order to be happy. My book motivates women to walk their own path in life and define what beauty, success, and love is on their terms.
What is your best advice for beginning writers?
Decide on your intent for the book. For example, do you want to motivate teenagers to go to college or do you want to inform society of the dangers of violence. Once you have your intent then you can create the vision of how the story should be told or the information should be written. Tell the story the way you choose and stay true to your vision.
The intent for my book was to motivate women to stop settling for less than they deserve. My vision was to tell my story in a way that would speak to the hearts of other women.
Ask Suntia Smith questions by visiting her website: http://suntiasmith.com/