Interview with Author Michell Barker

Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with author Michell Barker. Barker has been empowering women for the last 18 years. She started with an online women’s empowerment magazine to help women from the church to women’s shelters, women’s groups, and organizations. Michell Barker is very passionate about encouraging people to live their best lives and to become who they were meant to be. In our interview, topics include motivational speaking, her online women’s empowerment magazine, writing tips, her new book, and more. “You Are Not the Only One” is now available on Amazon. The book addresses issues such as finding your self-worth, taking care of yourself, how to handle abusive relationships, spirituality, and motherhood.

You are not the only one by Author Michell Barker
You Are Not The Only One by Author Michell Barker

1. How did you get into motivational speaking?

I got into motivational speaking because I saw and experienced the gap of expecting women to know things without communicating or teaching what that should be. I wasn’t taught about men or how to navigate through mistakes you make, so I wanted to be that person for people and teach them how to be their best selves.

2. Who are some of your influences?

My mother and my girlfriends are some of my best influences. Those women have helped me navigate through various turbulent waters. Oprah Winfrey is also a big influence in my life. I just love her transparency to tell her story. It really inspired me to be transparent. And I am definitely a part of the beehive.

3. Can you tell us about your online women’s empowerment magazine called

Well, I’m fully aware that I don’t know everything, so I created an online platform and asked women that I respect to contribute their professional and personal wisdom for our readers. We posted articles on all the areas that affected women like health, motherhood, and business. We also did a lot of lifestyle events to connect with our readers, like wine tours and spa days. It was another form of motivational speaking but collectively with different women on an online platform.

4. When did you decide you wanted to make a book? Tell us about the process of creating the book. Any tips for new writers?

I’ve had people in my life casually mention that I should write a book. But one day a friend took me out for lunch specifically to sit me down and convince me to write a book. It was easy for me to write the book but it was hard for me to navigate through the fear. I quit several times but then I would continue writing because of the commitment I’d made to finish the book. Wrote down the major points that I wanted to communicate. Made those points the titles of the chapters and then went into detail. I wrote whatever came to mind. Writing a book forces you to grow as a person. This book improved the quality of my life because it helped me to change the way that I viewed my experiences.

Tips for new writers:

  • I would tell new writers not to tell anyone about the book until you’re ready to hand it over to your editor.
  • Every author thinks their book doesn’t measure up, so push through that feeling and finish your book.
  • If you help, inspire or entertain one person with your book then the effort you put into your book will be worth it.
  • Be specific with your editor. I was very specific with mine. I let them know that I didn’t want the language to be formal. I wanted it to come across as if I were speaking to the reader. I had to be patient with the process because there was a lot of back and forth. I had to be firm in some areas and listen and change other areas of the book.
  • Be open to what your book is supposed to be, so if something doesn’t work then it’s okay to let it go.

5. What can we learn from your new book?

That mistakes are a necessary part of our lives for growth and success. How to move in areas that you might feel stuck in and that the mistakes we make are not unique in any way. Also, each one of us has been put on this planet to do something amazing, and make it a better place.

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.