Sep 6, 2019
Interviews & inspiration | Daniela Pisciottano
Femie Magazine interviewed writer and founder of Written By a Woman, Felicia Marie, who told us about going through a tough time without a support system and how Written by A Woman came to life.
The tag line of Written By A Woman is “Anonymous no longer”. What meaning do you attribute to the word anonymity at this point in your career?
Anonymity meaning, I will not be a bystander, a victim, and fearful of being heard. That yes, I am a woman, but I want recognition for my ideas and stories. My manuscript is about World War II, and many would suggest how could a woman write a book on a War? I resent that thought. For many years’ women have been discredited, leading them to practice unisex names in publishing to get their stories read. That needs to change.
We know you went through a rough time in your life in the past. After a hard divorce you had the resilience to get back up and start your life from scratch again, using writing as a form of therapy. How fundamental do you think that was in order for you to get back on your feet?
Everything, however, I didn't know it at first. Sometimes we do things in our daily practice that we overlooked that are a vital tool to our well-being. I notice when I began to get very busy with my company and didn't have much time to write that I felt unfilled and not relaxed. The writing was an escape to travel to another reality, yet your creator, so the possibilities are endless. It's the happiness you create. It's a place you enjoy. It allowed me to continue to believe in love and built a foundation of hope.
On Written By A Woman you use your story to help other women who have been through a similar experience understand they are not alone. What was your support system while you were going through a difficult time?
I didn't have a conventional support system that involved friends and family. That's part of the reason why I founded Written by A Woman. I had to create a personalized support system, and as I said, although it's not conventional, it's what I had. My support system was my passion for work and my love for goals. It's what has gotten me through everything in my life. I threw myself into work and strived every day to keep myself busy. If I was alone, that's the time my mind would wander; therefore, I needed to keep myself on track by burying myself in goals. If I was achieving something, then I didn't allow my emotions to go on a roller coaster, and I wouldn't even have the opportunity to feel sorry for myself. Life is hard for everyone; we all face choices of how to handle it, and I choose not to soak in my misery. If someone is going through a hard time, remember it like this it's just a rough season in your life, but that's all it is, a season. It will pass. There will be sunny days again. It's impossible for things always to be tough, although at times it does seem that way. With that said, as time went by I realized one day I wasn't going through a difficult time anymore. It was strange; I was so busy I hadn't even noticed it.
Your first source of income was baking and selling Italian pastries, then came college and finally you founded Written by A Woman. What is the achievement you’re most proud of?
That's a hard question because I couldn't have one without the other. While I'm super proud of founding Written by a Woman, I wouldn't have it without my company Holi Cannoli. That business taught me the value of hard work, what it means to be a working mom or a working woman I should say. Being an entrepreneur isn't all glamorous; it's hard work. It's work at first without pay because you believe in something so much your willing to fight for it. Holi Cannoli is a physically demanding job. I knew that I couldn't at 50 years old be pushing a 1200-pound cart from stadium to stadium; therefore, I invested in myself by furthering my education. Once there, I had a significant amount of personal growth. When furthering your education, you begin to think outside of the box.
I started Holi Cannoli with $100 in my pocket and no college education; once I got that education, I experienced a tremendous amount of growth because I had workforce/business experience to go along with it.
Remember I was a housewife for many years then went through a divorce and was left with nothing, and became a success. Which lead me to realize there must be more women in the world like me. Why don't I build a site just for them? Written by a Woman sells nothing. I only share stories to give women a sense of community. Therefore, I'm proud of all my achievements. I can't choose one. They are all precious to me in their way; however, I have to admit I wouldn't have the others without Holi Cannoli.
You have recently launched your new YouTube channel and we love the variety of content you produce, from travel vlogs to interviews. Do you think vlogging will ever replace blogging for you or does writing hold a special place in your heart?
Of course not. Vlogging is something I do because not everyone are readers, and my goal is to target different audiences. I used to be an actress; so, I'm not shy in front of the camera, but my heart is storytelling, and writing is my therapy. YouTube is just another modernize tool to use to reach different audiences primary the youth. Also, videos bring different emotions. It's like reading a text message at times; you can read something and feel like it was rude or disconnected. You'll have to call the person on the other end to clarify any thoughts traveling through your head. Videos give people a personal experience. By taking them on a journey of empathy; not that words don't, but it's just different when sees emotions in people's eyes.
You shared with your followers on Instagram your plans for the Summer, which consisted of one thing mainly: books! So, what is one book you couldn’t live without?
Okay, I know this may sound like a plug or a cliché answer but my book. I'm currently editing my manuscript of the true story of my grandparent's love story from World War II, and I couldn't live without it. I live and breathe my story, "The Village." It's the story I've always wanted to read, but more importantly, not only is it a true story, it's my family story. I have hopes to turn it into a film one day and believe it will be one of the most cherished stories of all time. You can't beat a story on actual events. It's set to be released next summer.
Besides being a business owner you’re also a proud mother of two boys. What are the values you are most invested in teaching them and why?
Dream big. It doesn't matter if your dreams seem impossible or out of reach, dream them anyway. Even if statistically, the odds of reaching a goal are 1%, why can't you be that 1%? Who gets to decide that? You do! Therefore, if you put in the hard world, you can achieve anything. Believe in yourself even when the world feels like it's against you. That's the most important value I teach my children.
Published Exclusively by Femie Magazine
Images Courtesy of Felicia Mari