Trelani Michelle is not new to the writing world…in fact writing is her world. Already a published author, she has a new work coming called Women Who Ain’t Afraid to Curse While Communicating with God: A 31 Day Self Study Guide to Spiritual Liberation. Let me share an excerpt from the powerful synopsis:
“A place where judgment, denial and self-deception are replaced with truth, compassion, and a reconnection to who you truly are, and how to express that truth. This book will guide you in a journey to bringing God back to your table with open conversations about how you really feel and what you really want.”
Now if that didn’t reel you in then let me introduce you to Trelani herself so you get your “Ain’t Afraid” life..
Way back When and Other Stuff
Trelani, tell us about your path to being a writing coach and how you help other’s kick-start their own writing journeys as well.
After publishing my debut novel, I was hired at my alma mater to teach essay and creative writing workshops. After about two years, I took that big jump into full-time entrepreneurship as a freelance writer and editor. I found editing to be very exhausting, however. The spelling, grammar and other tedious things, I didn’t enjoy. At all. The conceptual stuff, on the other hand, I loved. And I realized that my style of developmental editing was basically coaching, so I popped it off that’a way. For those who consider themselves writers, I offer two services: 21 Days of Accountability and 12 weeks of book coaching. For my non-writers, usually coaches and speakers, I have Call to Copy, where I record our conversations about the book, transcribe it, rearrange the words for clarity and structure, and deliver a finished manuscript.
What do you gain most from your writing? Is writing an outpouring of a voice you may not have had as a young woman or just another avenue for the big voice you indeed had but felt hindered in?
As a woman, highly sensitive person, Pisces, and INFP personality type, I feel very deeply. If I’m not careful, I can allow my thoughts to overcome me. I also say that it’s where I talk to and hear from God. I don’t know how my unfiltered thoughts will affect those around me, but it doesn’t matter on paper. I can be my loudest, boldest, most authentic self. I’ve since learned, too, that after gathering and clarifying my thoughts through writing, I can so much more easily (and shamelessly) talk about it.
What type of book does a writer and lover of words such as yourself read during her down time?
I make an effort to read something out of the norm on a regular basis, so like right now, for example, I’m reading a novel about a Chinese empress. I also like to read two books at a time—one fiction, one nonfiction. For my nonfiction, I’m reading Wild Feminine right now. It just depends what I’m curious about or interested in at the time.
Tell us about your other books before “Women Who Aint..”?
This is actually my first work of nonfiction. Prior to this, I only wrote fiction. My first novel, What the Devil Meant for Bad, is about a woman named Shantelle being knocked down and dragged so deep into the gutters of life that it makes her question everything, including who she is and what’s her purpose. Generational curses are amongst the things she digs up, allowing readers to follow her journey of discovery and release. Getting Across is about Shantelle’s grandmother, who abandoned her five daughters in order to fulfill her role as New Orleans’ first black millionaire madam. Getting Over, which releases January 2016, is about the lives of those abandoned five daughters. Within the series, you see generational curses begin, multiply, and end.
What is family life like?
Family life is good. This is my first year homeschooling, which is a journey that we’re all growing and learning from. I’m a huge advocate for learning how to do things in a way that complements your personality versus doing it simply because it’s the way you “should” or “supposed” to do it. In doing so, I’ve realized that the greatest lesson sometimes is for mama to listen, to be the student, to be present, and to be interested in their interests.
What is the hardest part about writing? The easiest?
That depends on the writer. For me, the hardest part is actually coming up with a good title. For others, I’ve found it to be trying to what to share and what to keep private, as well as knowing how to organize their thoughts to even begin writing. The easiest part for me getting the words out. Writing is very therapeutic for me, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. It’s how I figure myself and the world around me out. Plus, I understand that it’s a process. Most times we focus on the end product, the book (or blog), but bearing in mind that the steps include getting it all out, going back to clean it up, then having someone go behind you and clean it up, relieves some of the pressure for perfection.
Who was Trelani 15 years ago and who is she now?
I consider that the toughest part of my life. I’d not too long ago had my son, my first child. I was in college full-time, as well working two jobs as a CNA and warehouse worker. I was on a mission to prove to the world that they were wrong about me, but it only ended up in exhaustion and depression. Even that was necessary though because it gave me the necessary solitude and silence to explore what was in my head and on my heart.
Lessons 1-31 Girl you Better Get Un-lost, Unstuck, Unloved and Un-Validated and go get your crown!
In the introduction to WHA you speak about a day when you were engulfed in sadness which catapulted you to write an honest letter to God which was part of the catalyst for this book. Now that this project is complete, tell us how just in the process of creating this book, your own power manifested and grew to where you are right now. Did you ever feel like stopping?
Writing this book called for me to summon the bulk of what I’ve spiritually learned over the past 10 years or so through living and learning, reading, staying up into the infant hours of the morning researching, and gaining from sister circles that I’m a part of. Drawing all of that wisdom, along with what were once my secrets, was heavy. Writing it made me remember. Having written it reminded me just how unstoppable I am and how I’ve gotten every single thing that I set my intentions on.
What Lesson out of your book (if you could only chose one) do you feel that no woman on earth cannot find a piece of herself in? What lesson would 14 year old Trelani have benefitted from way back when?
It begins with a Spirit quote, as I call them, which reads: “You may not always know what’s wrong, but I’ll make damn sure you’ll know when it ain’t right.” The lesson gives prompts to help the woman identify how her intuition operates and how to honor it. Every woman can relate to that, including the 14-year-old me and the me now.
How important on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, is meditation in our daily/weekly lives?
We’ve been taught that meditation is sitting with your legs folded, palms up, and eyes closed. That’s only one form of it, however. Meditation is anything that allows you to abandon who you think you are and what you think you should be doing, in order to connect with your essence. It can be cleaning, coloring, showering, stretching, etc. You just have to be intentional about it. That said, meditation is rated 10 and you need it on a daily basis. When you eat, you feed your body. When you sleep, you give your body rest. The mind and spirit need the same care.
I feel every Lesson, even without participating in the meditations yet, had a statement of sorts within it that propels you forward. Almost like something you needed to read on a greeting card. The kind of greeting card you don’t toss in the trash after the occasion has passed or after you have shaken it to make sure no money was in it. The card you think is way too expensive but you like the sentiment so much you bought it for someone anyway. A greeting card that you keep in a box in the back of the closet–that you have to go back to over and over again and reread to remind yourself. What life experiences produced those words?
So many. Being sexually assaulted, becoming a teenage mother, going to jail, having a negative balance in my bank account, getting evicted, and losing all friends and some family. Plenty of good too though like rediscovering myself, becoming a full-time entrepreneur, participating in a spiritual business retreat in Jamaica, deciding to homeschool, getting married, learning how to trust women as friends again, rebuilding a relationship with my mother, and so much more.
Did you ever feel apologetic in your communication where you may have felt like ok Cursing..God..someone who hasn’t been through won’t get this?
The idea of the book actually started with an Instagram post. It read, “I be wanting to speak on stuff sometimes, but Spirit like “Leave that shit alone, hear?” And I be like, “Yes, ma’am.” I went back and forth a few times before actually posting that because I worried that it wouldn’t be accepted well. I did it anyway though and so many people could relate to it. Though I was never apologetic about it, my tribe embracing it certainly eased my apprehension.
Who is the ideal woman for this book? Where is she in her life? Where is she trying to get?
This book was written for women who are no longer religious but spiritual instead. She meditates and does other “spiritual” things, but may not necessarily feel a progression in her spiritual life. Being the best version of herself is always her goal, and this book is a resource to support her in that journey.
What is your favorite genre of music?
It really depends on my mood because I listen to and love some of everything. Right now, it’s rap to give me the energy to push through these end of year goals.
Who is your favorite writer? Poet?
I don’t have a favorite anything, really (lol). Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Terry McMillan, Nayyirah Waheed, and Bernice McFadden come to mind first, however.
When your crown starts to tarnish, how does Trelani get her “shine on” and get back to AWESOME?
Silent sessions with Spirit—be it in a spa, the shower, my closet, my car, yoga mat, or running trail.
What makes you a connected woman?
I push forward with what I want to do (and need to do) in spite of my fears, prioritize caring for myself, and use my story as a catalyst to spiritually liberate as many women as possible.
For more information on Trelani, visit sofundamental.com
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