Vanessa Davis Griggs is an author and motivational speaker who adores the power of words both written and spoken. At the end of 1996, this former BellSouth employee left 18 years of service stepping out on faith and decided to pursue her purpose and passion--writing. Proving out Proverbs 18:16, A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men, she began her own company (Free To Soar) emphasizing the taking off of limits as she travels around the country inspiring others--young and old--to take flight and do the same.
Richardson: Do you remember the first thing you've ever written?
Griggs: I won't say I remember the first thing I've ever written, but I do recall decades ago writing a short story that I think about. It had to do with a character that was prejudice, died and went to heaven only to learn there really is no segration in heaven. He's sent to a holding place thinking they were working on separate but equal places in heaven and ends up in a place very much like hell. He learns he has to go back to earth if he's changed his mind about waiting on that segregation in heaven. Back on earth, he soon learns he's no longer in a white body, but a black one. He learns a valuable lesson about walking in someone else's shoes and why we should treat others the way we'd like to be treated.
Richardson: How do/did you deal with rejection?Griggs: No one likes rejection. That's why you have to play mind games with the word and look at it as getting closer to your desire. Example: "Each rejection is putting me one closer to a yes." I think it's good to realize that people who reject your work aren't always right. They miss it. But one must not be fooled into thinking your work is perfect. Should you receive a rejection and it comes with some sort of feedback, examine the feedback to see if there's merit and something that can be used to make you better. But you have to believe in what you're doing.
Richardson: Why do you write Christian Fiction?
Griggs: Christian is who I am. I just write and people label it Christian fiction. Sure, I could write other things, but this is what comes out of me naturally. I love feeling like I'm being authentic and being a blessing to others with what I do at the same time. Fiction is good because you have a little more liberty with characters and you can tell things about their lives that you might not want to tell when it's real people.
Richardson: What does success mean to you?
Griggs: Good question. Success is when I know I've been true to what I'm here to do. It's not the money although that's great when it comes. It's not the awards because you may never get one. It's feeling that if this were the end of the road for you, you can close your eyes with no regrets.
Richardson: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Griggs: Don't try to be or write like someone else. Trust that what you have is what you are here to give. Yes, you need to strive for excellence. Yes, you should learn your craft. Yes, you should continue to get better with each round. But don't imitate, initiate. Be you, write with your voice. If no one is doing it that way doesn’t let that deter you. Maybe you're the one who is supposed to start it so others can follow. And above all, know this is what you truly want to do and don't just do it because you hear others are making tons of money. Do what you love and the money will follow.
Vanessa Davis Griggshttp://www.vanessadavisgriggs.com