Plenty of working mothers deal with the same societal expectations and battle the whisperings that working moms can’t have it all. Motivational speaker Celina Mattocks aims to help women with that negative self-talk in her debut novel, 54 Flights. Talking to Celina, we enjoyed learning where 54 Flights derived from and how it helps working women who are looking to start a family.
What inspired you to write a book?
My best friend from 7th grade and I would write stories after school together. I told her that one day I would write a real book. Years later, I was transposing more than a decade’s worth of journals from print to google docs when I realized there was a good story baseline here – one that could be shared with a broader audience.
Was there a book or author that you admired that played a role when developing your book?
I’m really into personal development and personality theory, so. I used the psychology theorists Karen Horney (social unconscious) and William Bridges (transitions) to structure my book!
It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
I was working full time, so writing was set aside for 8-10pm ET.
Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
I am an action-oriented writer that prefers to write in a cause-and-effect manner. This comes from my study in Journalism and my professional writing in the business context. I flesh out my stories, adjectives, and descriptors after the fact.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing? What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
The hardest part of writing is not being critical of my work. I see new areas for improvement each time I read! The easiest part is telling a story.
Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
Yes, my writer’s block lasted approximately 6 months, in between my first and second drafts. I couldn’t even look at the manuscript. One day I forced myself to pick it up and realized it wasn’t so scary. My advice would be similar to Anne Lamott’s ‘Bird by Bird’ – the key message is to take it one day at a time.
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
There is no time like now.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
Yes! I’m publishing my book as a non-fungible token (NFT) and also using my book to speak to groups about banishing your negative self-talk and living your best life.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Yes! My book is not only for women. One book review said it well; “54 Flights is a very engaging, even entertaining book that – quite literally – could change your life. Though seemingly written primarily for women, its main underlying message—transitioning from a focus on what we do to a focus on who we are—is universal, and most men would greatly benefit from reading it, and putting it to practice.”
About Celina Mattocks
Celina Mattocks is an adventurous Management Consultant for a Global Fortune 500 company focused on enterprise-wide change enablement (people adopting large change). “54 Flights” is her first literary work, a ‘Coming Of Self’ story where Alexandra struggles to banish Despy (her Despised Self) and live her full potential as a career woman turning mother. Celina was educated at American University in Washington, DC where she earned her Master of Science degree in Organization Development, and Salisbury University in Maryland where she received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Communications and Spanish. Celina has consulted with many companies in the United States and overseas. She is a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. You can follow Celina on her website www.leadlivelearn.com and on social media.
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