Small­wood over­comes per­sonal abuse, pub­lishes book

The Calvert Recorder - - Community - Q. How long have you been writ­ing, and how did you get started? Q. What in­spires you to write? Q. Do you con­sider writ­ing to be a ca­reer? Q. What kind of writ­ing process do you use? Q. How did you pub­lish your book? Q. Who are some of your fa­vorite au­thor

Seanna Small­wood was born in Fort Belvoir, Va., but moved to Wal­dorf in 1983. She at­tended Thomas Stone High School and at­tended the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land, but trans­ferred to Walden Univer­sity on­line. She later launched a lu­cra­tive ca­reer in real es­tate and mort­gage fi­nance.

The South­ern Mary­lan­der moved to Fort My­ers, Fla., ear­lier this year in what she calls “a rush to break away from so­cial abuse and slan­der as­so­ci­ated with end­ing an abu­sive mar­riage,” and is now di­vorced.

Her new book, “Let­ters To The Soul,” was re­cently pub­lished by Ama­zon and is avail­able at www. ama­zon.com.

“The book is truly a clever mix be­tween psy­chol­ogy and all uni­ver­sal laws of love and abun­dance,” Small­wood wrote in an email. “It takes the reader on an eye-open­ing jour­ney through the heal­ing process.”

Her first book, “Dear God: Book 1 — A Story From Hell to Hope,” was pub­lished in 2013 and told the story of her child­hood mem­oirs.

She is cur­rently work­ing on putting to­gether speak­ing pro­pos­als hop­ing to tar­get state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fices across the coun­try, to “en­lighten the very peo­ple that ef­fec­tu­ate jus­tice (or lack thereof)” on the topic. She said the book “should be pro­vided to any­one that ad­vo­cates for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sur­vivors, with an em­pow­er­ment-based ad­vo­cacy model.”

I’ve been writ­ing all my life, as far back as I can re­mem­ber. I wrote let­ters to God when I was a child. I wrote short sto­ries in high school — some of which my teach­ers wanted to pub­lish — and con­tin­ued writ­ing in col­lege. I was born spir­i­tual, I al­ways knew I was sup­posed to do some­thing that changed the world, even just a lit­tle bit. My pas­sion was to help adult vic­tims of child abuse, the lost ado­les­cent pos­si­bly on the wrong road, and help peo­ple heal from trau­mas. I knew I was sup­posed to write as a ca­reer au­thor and be a pub­lic speaker since I was a teenager; how­ever, suc­cess block­ages as­so­ci­ated with self-sab­o­tag­ing, lim­ited be­liefs de­railed my path, my life pur­pose. When I landed in Flor­ida, I re­al­ized my first task was to fo­cus on writ­ing the sec­ond book. A book by which a per­son of any back­ground, any city, any ed­u­ca­tion, and any level of poverty or suc­cess, could take the steps to heal from their fam­ily tem­plate ... by sim­ply chang­ing the per­cep­tion of their ex­pe­ri­ences and be­com­ing em­pow­ered by them. The book strongly fo­cuses on en­cour­ag­ing read­ers to bring back buried trau­matic mem­o­ries in order to re­lease them and heal.

I’ve al­ways wanted to help peo­ple. Be­cause writ­ing is my way of creative ex­pres­sion, I use it as a tool to reach peo­ple that want/need to gain an al­ter­na­tive per­spec­tive on their ex­pe­ri­ences to em­power them to change their par­a­digm. I write and speak pub­licly to de­liver a par­a­digm shift for in­di­vid­u­als look­ing for the path to re­move suc­cess block­ers and heal, and for or­ga­ni­za­tions look­ing to ed­u­cate their lead­er­ship team to ef­fec­tu­ate a higher level of jus­tice and aware­ness on the dev­as­tat­ing and costly, long-term ef­fects ... of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Ab­so­lutely. It is my dream to be­come a best-sell­ing au­thor and speaker as a full-time ca­reer. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so I keep press­ing for­ward.

I get di­vinely in­spired on spe­cific mes­sages and spend the time needed to or­ga­nize my thoughts through jour­nal­ing. I spend time in na­ture, on a Gulf beach, and think for hours at a time — or­ga­niz­ing, sort­ing, nar­row­ing my fo­cus to the mes­sage that is most im­por­tant to share. Then I ap­ply the ABC rule — “ap­ply butt to chair” — and pour my heart out with words, un­able to fo­cus on any­thing else, re­ally. I usu­ally edit as I go, chap­ter by chap­ter. Then I re­cruit a sec­ond pair of eyes for struc­ture or gram­mar, and then I fin­ish the prod­uct.

I have self-pub­lished my first two books; how­ever, I hope my next book will have pro­fes­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tion. I feel a self-pub­lished book doesn’t gain the ex­po­sure it needs. Un­for­tu­nately, there are so many great books with the po­ten­tial to heal and in­spire oth­ers that go un­no­ticed. Works that have the po­ten­tial to heal the masses need a strong back­ing.

When I’m feel­ing an in­sa­tiable need for in­spi­ra­tion, I en­joy read­ing works by Don Miguel Ruiz, Rhonda Byrne and Doreen Virtue. When I’m feel­ing nerdy and in­tel­lec­tu­ally en­tre­pre­neur­ial-minded, I seek out the works of Seth Godin. Of­ten, I’ll just pull out an old col­lege text­book to brush up on a con­cept or three. I en­joy learn­ing and gain­ing var­i­ous per­spec­tives on top­ics like spir­i­tu­al­ity, psy­chol­ogy and the uni­ver­sal laws. This is likely why my lat­est book is a fu­sion of psy­chol­ogy and spir­i­tu­al­ity.

Rhonda Byrne’s best-sell­ing book “The Se­cret” strongly in­flu­enced my work. I felt the need to con­sis­tently prac­tice the con­cepts she taught on the law of at­trac­tion. Yet, noth­ing worked. I stayed faith­ful in that jour­ney of pos­i­tive think­ing for man­i­fest­ing and no mat­ter the mag­ni­tude of dev­as­ta­tion for my sit­u­a­tions and ex­pe­ri­ences, I was al­ways able to keep a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude.

I’m work­ing on procur­ing speak­ing en­gage­ments by sub­mit­ting gov­ern­ment pro­pos­als to state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fices to bring aware­ness to ju­di­cial lead­er­ship about the cracks in com­mu­ni­ca­tion across com­mu­nity pro­grams and sys­tems that are cul­ti­vat­ing in­jus­tice for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sur­vivors and their chil­dren. This is a na­tional pub­lic health is­sue with a $55 bil­lion price tag for U.S. tax­pay­ers, and there is no bet­ter time than now for my work — Oc­to­ber is of­fi­cially de­clared Na­tional Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Aware­ness Month. My own com­pelling story is enough to cre­ate rip­ples of change, and I in­tend to use it to ef­fec­tu­ate a pos­i­tive im­pact on the sub­ject across the U.S.

I cre­ated a GoFundMe cam­paign (Heal-the-Masses: Ad­vo­cate Against Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence) for any­one that feels the urge to as­sist me in the pro­mo­tion of the book. I’ve com­mit­ted to giv­ing back 50 per­cent of prof­its from on­line book sales to The Na­tional Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Hot­line (www. the­hot­line.org), where sur­vivors and their chil­dren can seek shel­ter and safety. I am also a li­censed Real­tor mort­gage loan orig­i­na­tor. I just hap­pen to be a real es­tate/mort­gage nerd with a pas­sion­ate mis­sion to ad­vo­cate and ef­fec­tu­ate jus­tice.

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