We had the good fortune of connecting with Toni Williams Holloway and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Toni, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Before I’m a writer or writing coach, I’m an encourager. That habit of encouraging others focuses on possibilities for creative and authentic excellence in sharing their stories. When my writing clients tell me why they can’t do something in their genre, as a self-publisher, or in book marketing, my mission is to show them how they can do it and market it well. My attention to detail also helps me in this business. From design techniques to the readability of font sizes and technical considerations that enhance the reader’s involvement with literary works, I help authors succeed by paying attention to the little things that matter.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I write articles and devotions for a variety of online publications, including my own blog, Hey Twilli. If I’m not working on a current writing project of my own, I can also be found editing manuscripts for other writers, especially those who need assistance with developmental and sensitivity editing for their projects. While writing is definitely my first love, coaching writers through the writing and publishing processes is near and dear to my heart. I get the biggest joy out of helping others achieve their own writing goals!
My first job as a professional writer was at a local newspaper when I was in college – as an obituary writer. While that job may seem a little odd, it taught me some of the most important lessons I learned in writing. The best-written obituaries give you a glimpse into the heart of a person. It’s more than a list of dates and survivors, it is a written demonstration of a person’s life. Writing obituaries is how I learned that details matter, and accurately capturing a person’s legacy is the greatest gift you can give a family of loved ones. Nearly 30 years later, I still want my writing to leave a legacy for my audience.
As a professional writer and coach, I’ve learned several things that have shaped me over the years: 1. I’m first and foremost a Christian, and I’m proud to say that everything I do in business is filtered through that lens. Many of the authors I work with write from the Christian perspective, and it is a joy to help them on projects that showcase God’s glory. 2. I’ve accepted that my creative side can co-exist with my logical side, and they actually can complement each other. 3. Smiles and kindness go a long way. 4. Money should never be the driving force for anything. 5. People are the most valuable resources in any enterprise. And finally, 6. Everyone is a lifelong learner.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m glad we have a full week because the DFW metroplex is amazing! We’d definitely start out with the most typical tourist attractions for non-Texans to see: Southfork Ranch, the Ft. Worth Longhorn Cattle Drive, and the infamous Grassy Knoll (from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy) in downtown Dallas. Once we finished seeing those places, we’d go off the beaten path to see graffiti art and eat locally in Deep Ellum, the Bishop Arts District, and Trinity Groves. Food is my favorite pastime, so we’d include a visit to Norma’s Cafe for breakfast, Fuel City for lunch tacos (and gas if we need some for the car), and a quick visit to the Reunion Tower Observation Deck.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my career as a writer and writing coach to my children: CJ, Tyra & Jada. They give me a reason to live with intention despite life’s obstacles and a nagging desire to live by the cultural definitions of success and authenticity.
Other: Personal Blog: heytwilli.blog