We had the good fortune of connecting with Liltera R. Williams (Lewis) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liltera, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Well, the simple answer is I was BORN TO WRITE, and the urge has always been too strong to ignore. I quickly recognized the freedom in expression and writing became my superpower. There’s something magical about the instant process of words flowing from my brain onto a page—birthing thoughts for others to see, feel, comprehend, and respect. It’s also a gift that allows me to simultaneously speak for others who may not be able to articulate certain emotions. So, naturally, my passion became my purpose.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
At the core, I am a writer and it’s such a limitless title. I’ve dabbled in almost every capacity…
Experiencing grief for the first time at age 12, I trapped painful feelings onto pages and began to rely on the habit of picking up my pen as a coping method via journaling, which easily morphed into poetry.
While studying English at Florida State University, I learned that writing is more of an art than a job. After graduating, I reported on events as a freelancer and blogger for a few local newspapers and magazines in my hometown: Jacksonville, Florida. This aided me in building my portfolio, and permitted more time to really decide how I wanted to develop my literary legacy.
In 2011, I began working for an agency as a Copywriter; an experience that introduced me to the process of establishing and growing an online business. With a loving, motivational nudge from my aunt, I established iWrite4orU. Originally, the plan was to make extra money completing small projects on behalf of those who didn’t consider themselves to be good at writing. However, after self-publishing my first book, I was soon swarmed with questions about the process and iWrite4orU was upgraded to an editing/publishing company. Ten years later, I’m helping aspiring authors “PEN, PUBLISH, PROMOTE The Write Way”…
To date, iWrite4orU has released almost 25 books (incorporating 7 of my own), not including every author’s manuscript I have separately edited.
I’m grateful for longevity, although I’ve overcome many challenges managing a woman-owned minority business and stretched myself too thin trying to also juggle a 9-to-5. Half of my decade-long period as a business owner was spent serving as an English teacher, while simultaneously studying to earn a Creative Writing MFA degree in order to obtain knowledge for pursuing my Screenwriter goals.
The biggest lesson I have learned is in regard to balance: I can do it all, but not all at the same time. LAWD. These days, I am more proactive about prioritizing my mental health with intentional self-care practices.
Currently, I am keeping writing as my full-time focus and everything else as a side hustle. I’m excited about the possibilities of growing as a well-rounded storyteller, on the page and onscreen, while continuing to assist others with sharing their stories, too.
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?
Being from Florida, specifically Jacksonville, of course spending time at the beach should be first on the list. We have so many beaches surrounding the Duval County area, so take your pick!
I enjoy our neighborhood parks with waterfront views, watching the sun rise/set, or engaging in a peaceful yoga session. My two favorite parks are: Memorial Park and Riverfront Park. Walking the Downtown bridges also offers a close-up aerial view of the entire city.
Jacksonville is such a large town and it’s split up into multiple sides. Each side has a varied selection for shopping and/or eating. I suggest browsing the outdoor Town Center followed by lunch or dinner at one of the nearby restaurants. There’s Topgolf and indoor skydiving (iFly) in that area, as well.
Art Walk on the first Wednesday of every month is a MUST, and is finally returning in October. It’s a diverse mix of Jacksonville’s eclectic vibes and culture with food trucks, performers, creative art displays, and handcrafting vendors.
If here during football season, don’t miss the experience of attending a live game at TIAA Bank Field. Win or lose, Go Jags!
Enjoy a live show/concert at Times-Union Center, VyStar Arena, or Daily’s Place.
Also, be sure to patronize one of our local bookstores!
Most people don’t consider Jacksonville as a premier vacation spot, but there’s so much here to explore and grow to appreciate. For me, it will always be home… even if I end up in LA. 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, thank God for blessing me with this gift!
My parents, who named me Liltera (like literature), as if they knew I was destined to become a writer. They always encouraged my brother and I to dream big, while providing a secure foundation of family that shaped our success.
My husband’s support, since the day we met, has provided the love, safety, and reassurance that every ambitious, working woman deserves.
So many more people have impacted my journey, but I must give a special shout out to my Aunt Yvonne for emphasizing that I should not “give my talents away for free”, which ultimately inspired my decision to become a professional business owner.
Corey Jones of CubbyLee Photography