We present to you author, blogger and transformational speaker Vince Shifflett. Shifflett writes on matters of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. He is the one of eight writers set to appear at the forthcoming ILTA Literary Café Event on Saturday September 4. In his book RelationSHIP or RelationSHIT Which One Are You In? Shifflett offers a straightforward message to the reader and set the foundation for the most important relationship you have – your relationship with yourself first.
“In the process of writing the book, emotions kept coming up inside me related to my story. I realized that I needed to do more work to move past those emotions,” he said. He wrote this book first and foremost for himself. His hope is for the reader to become inspired and motivated to do what it takes to have healthier relationships.
Below, Shifflett discusses his background, why he became a writer, and offers three simple things the average person can do to promote better communications and honesty in their relationships.
PrideIndex (PI): Talk about your background and how you get people to reveal themselves?
Vince Shifflett (VS): Well, as far as my background, I am a Critical Care Registered Nurse and obviously an Author. I grew up in a small rural town in Virginia and by way of Asheville, North Carolina, I ended up in Atlanta which is now my home.
I also grew up as the piano player in a COGIC church, which was an enlightening experience for me. It gave me a deep appreciation for the talent, creativity, intelligence, beauty, and love of the African American community. For those who may not know, the COGIC church stands for Church of God in Christ. The gift of music from that church was one of my biggest inspirations and still today, gospel music inspires and moves me to a higher state of being when I am down.
In terms of getting people to reveal themselves, I’m not sure that is my intention. My intention is getting people to be more aware of themselves. More aware of their thought. More aware of their actions and reactions. I believe it is only when we are aware that we can change those things. I know for me, it is easy to get in the autopilot mode and allow my thought and actions to be automatic.
PI: Why did you become a writer?
VS: I have always been very passionate about writing and used it as a way to express myself. It is therapy for me. I believe we all have a story and I just chose to tell mine through writing. The core purpose for my writing is to create change and stimulate self-healing. I quickly realized that my writing was also creating change and stimulating self-healing in others as well. As I began to get so much feedback, it inspired me to keep writing. My story is not necessarily unique in that we all experience pain, sadness, suffering, loss, happiness and the other myriad of emotions. By sharing my story through writing, it reinforces to others that you are not alone and that you can get through the rough patches in your life. Knowing this gives my writing even more purpose.
PI: Describe the challenges you faced while writing this book? What did you do to overcome the challenges?
VS: First off, it took me about 3 years to complete this book. In the process of writing the book, emotions kept coming up inside me related to my story. I realized that I needed to do more work to move past those emotions. The emotions were the challenging part for me. Writing the book allowed me to deal with those emotions, let them go, and move past them so I could have a better relationship with myself. In other words, the process of writing brought my thoughts and emotions more into my awareness so I could face them head on.
PI Talk about you writing/creative process. What do you do to nurture ideas and get them down on paper?
VS: I make it a point to write daily. I think it is important to make time for writing. Even if it’s just a thought you write down. As far as nurturing ideas, many things inspire me to write. A walk through nature, silent time alone, meditation, and good conversation with a friend are all things that lead to the inspiration and nurture ideas for me.
I keep a pen and paper on my nightstand, in my car, all over my desk, in my backpack and in my car. I want to make sure that I always have a way to jot down a thought that enters my mind. If I don’t jot it down, it’s gone. For me, it is important to write it down immediately. I can go back and expound on it later.
PI What are three things the average person can do to have better communications and promote honesty in their relationships?
VS: Be a good listener.
Let go of the need to be right.
Express your feelings without the fear of judgement and allow your partner to do the same. No judgement ever.
PI Who did you write this book for? What do you want your readers to retain from this book?
VS: First and foremost, I wrote the book for me. It was a very healing process for me. I needed to get it all out. I would like for my readers to take what applies and leave the rest. I would like for them to feel inspired by the book and motivated to make the necessary changes to move into healthier relationships in every area of their life. In other words, I would love for it to empower the reader to get out of the shit and into the ship. RelationSHIP or RelationSHIT?
PI What did you do while stuck in the house during the COVID lockdown?
VS: Well, I actually didn’t feel stuck because as a nurse, I still had to go to work. It did however give me more time at home because I wasn’t traveling and hanging out with friends due to COVID. The extra time at home was easy for me. I enjoy time at home. It gave me the opportunity to catch up on reading and do some self-growth work.
PI Where do you plan on promoting this book next?
VS: It is my hope that I will be able to travel to several cities in the US to set up book signing/discussion events. I am working on that now and it will all depend on what happens with COVID.
I will also continue to promote the book on my social media platforms and website.
PI If you’re stranded on a tropical desert island and you have the opportunity to have only three books with you, what would they be?
VS: James Baldwin: The Fire Next Time or honestly any of his books.
Eckhart Tolle: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Jay Shetty: Think Like A Monk
PI What do you plan on working on next?
VS: Glad you asked. (Smiles.) I am working on a second and third book and also continuing to blog on my website at vinceshifflett.com. I also plan on continuing the daily work of being my best self.
Meet Author Vince Shifflett in person at the ILTA Literary Café Event on Saturday, September 4th at the Atlanta Marriott Suites Midtown, 35 14th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm.