Soul Food for Your Mind: Ashley Coleman & WriteLaughDream
Do you ever feel sluggish during the day? In need of a spiritual and mental pick-me-up and don’t know where to look? Well search no further, for Ashley Coleman has just the right stuff to get you in check! Her wonderful and invigorating blog WriteLaughDream has themes of girl power, black pride, and spiritual intellectuality that all millennials should experience, or at least follow. Its content just makes you want to exercise your creativity and increase your positivity, all with the down-home sweetness that Ashley emits. In other words, her blog is hard to resist!
What prompted you to embark on your spiritual journey?
I grew up going to different churches, though I was never super active. I went through a period in time though when I was completely inactive with my faith and believed that there was a God but was not actively seeking him. But God works through people and little by little, I kept meeting Christians, as I was beginning a journey in the music industry. Which if you know the music industry this is a crazy path that wouldn’t normally be the case. It started with a music producer I was working on song demos with. Then I met another producer studying to be a minister, and lastly a producer that was new in his faith and started sharing with me about God and his experiences. I saw a light on his life and I was searching for something. I was sad and probably a little depressed even though I had a good life. But I guess you could say I really felt like something was missing and now I know that it was God.
I hear you’re a bookworm. What are some of your favorite books?
Well I read everything from self-help to novels. I recently finished The Glitter Plan which I thought was awesome. It was all about the two women who started Juicy Couture with $200 and dream. I love stories like that. I also read a lot of Joyce Meyer and I’m currently reading The True Measure of a Woman by Lisa Bevere. As for novels, I loved The Coldest Winter Ever, A Day Late and a Dollar Short, Tumbling, Child of God, and honestly the list goes on and on. And yes I still buy books because well, I just haven’t resolved the whole kindle thing in my head yet.
What is the message you want to spread through your awesome blog?
WriteLaughDream is an opinion and lifestyle blog with a dose of inspiration. The conversational and relatable tone gives millennial women the opportunity to connect in a real life way through the computer screen. Through series like Growing into Grace, Dear Love, and the BBB Series, the site builds women up while encouraging them to pursue their dreams and to be confident while doing it. There is a commitment to my readers to create a community to uplift and support one another, through sharing real life experiences. WriteLaughDream brings the conversation off the pages and into real life through events like the Dear Love Brunches, BBB Series panels, and workshops, giving it a multi-faceted dynamic unlike many other blogs.
So if I needed to sum it up, the message would be to encourage women to keep going, keep loving, and keep trying to achieve their dreams.
Did you always have a passion for writing? If not, what is an alternative creative outlet you enjoy?
I have always had a passion for writing. I remember typing stories on a word processor with a friend in elementary school. I think it comes from reading a bunch. My mother is an avid reader and always passed great books down to me. I’ve always journaled and I was a kick butt essay writer in school. I love all things creative. I paint things, decoupage, sew, I love to dance, write music from time to time. I am happiest when doing all those things.
Your interest in black girl power is inspiring. What helped you find that voice?
I guess being a black girl who was always fighting to feel like enough. It’s funny when I see all this dark, light crap floating around. I think to myself, don’t we all have issues? Shouldn’t we all ban together as one? That’s pretty much what spawned the idea for my Bold, Brown & Beautiful series. I was sick of being around black women and being a black woman who was constantly struggling to have a worthy opinion of myself. Especially when I went natural. Lord this kinky hair took some adjusting to. But I just wanted to help other women feel great about themselves too and not rely on media, men, or anyone else to define our beauty for us. We have to learn to define it for ourselves, to take a note from Audre Lorde.
What are the perks to being a blogger? What is it that you enjoy about the lifestyle?
It’s funny, I guess I never think of it as a lifestyle per say. But a really cool part about it is just being able to connect with people from all over. The joy of the internet is that your words can impact people that you’ve never met. And that aspect, the power of words and thoughts has always been most enticing to me. But I also enjoy the opportunity to just to be creative and find new ways to promote what I’m doing or make new graphics, etc.
Other than your blog, how do you connect with your audience?
Well, I put together a good number of events throughout the year. I do a Dear Love Brunch that spawned from my book. I just finished the 3rd one which brings women together for good food and conversation. I also have spoken at schools like Temple University. And I have hosted two BBB Series events in both DC and Philadelphia! So I am connecting all around and of course through social media which is fun.
What projects are you working on this year?
This year I am hosting my first writing workshop on 5.16.15 in Philadelphia. I am really excited to connect with other writers and push the boundaries on inspiration and creativity. I am also bringing the BBB Series back to DC on 7.11.15, which I cannot wait for. It’s such an empowering opportunity to be surrounded by awesome brown women and share in struggles, confidence, and more. And also the next Dear Love brunch will be in the summer. Thinking about beginning to invite some special guests out, so stay tuned!
What advice do you have to all aspiring bloggers/writers out there?
Just keep GOING! So many writers and bloggers want to write 5 blog posts and think that someone should care. It just doesn’t go that way. You have to just write. Write because you have something to say, not because you are looking to get “on” or acknowledged. Those things will come. I guarantee. But they won’t come without putting the work in. I would also encourage bloggers and writers to write EVERY DAY! That’s why journaling is so important for me. It means that even if I am not writing a blog post or working on a book, I am writing about something every day. It’s important and will help your creativity in all areas of writing!
Who are other creators should the Blavity family should be looking out for?
Some of my faves, Krystal from The Feisty House, Tyece from Twenties Unscripted, GG Renee from All the Many Layers, MYCC (My Creative Connection), Curran J of Kings Rule Together. There are so many of us out there! I don’t want to overload.
Oh, how lovely this woman is! If you don’t feel a sense of encouragement already, then I don't know what to tellyou! Amongst Ashley’s many messages, one is abundantly clear: love yourself without fail. First comes love, then comes all things happiness. Through WriteLaughDream, life’s bright side will be uncovered, and almost force you out of old, negative habits. One would be essentially taking a chance on finding internal peace upon reading Ashley’s beautiful passages; so make that first step and check out writelaughdream and definitely keep up with her on Twitter!