Who are you?
I am Gloria Squitiro, a mother, a wife, a doula, an entrepreneur, and an American First Lady who overcame incredible adversity and negativity from my husband’s time in office. In 2006 I became his accidental campaign manager, leading a grassroots campaign that earned him the title of Mayor in Kansas City. In the end, I achieved the rare distinction of being the only First Lady in U.S. history to be banned from City Hall — by legal decree — while my husband was in office… just for speaking my mind. I was born to an Italian family in New York, and my husband and I now split our time between New York and Washington, D.C.
What do you write?
I write the way I speak, with a lot of color and humor. For me, writing feels the same as having a conversation with someone. And like in my face-to-face contact, there is no conversation that I am unwilling to have. I never meant to be a writer, but I find it grounds me and hopefully, by being honest and open, my writing helps to ground others as well.
Where do you write?
I write everywhere. On the train. On the plane. In cafes. But most often, I write in my house and I typically play musical rooms. Meaning, I take my laptop and go from space to space: I’ll sit on the bed and write until my back hurts; then it’s off to to my desk to sit on my ball and write; next, it’s out to my porch. In summertime, I’ll go down to the shore at the end of the day and write until I can’t see anymore. Once I start typing, I get into what feels like a trance-like state of being; sort of like walking between two worlds. The same thing happens to me when I attend births as a doula, or when I am in the presence of someone who can call it down.
When do you write?
I write all the time; it the thing that I spend most of my day on, and only because I want to. I usually begin writing about an hour after I wake up, and continue until I can tell that I’m not making good progress. At which time, I stop and tend to things around the house. I usually pick back up in late afternoon and write until I’m not making sense anymore.
Why do you write?
I never set out to be a writer. My family went on a big adventure to Europe one summer and I was keeping notes of our trip so that my kids could remember me after I kicked the bucket. Those notes eventually became quotation marks. After my husband decided to ruin our lives by running for mayor of Kansas City, those quotation marks became a 3-book series! I have always been a reluctant leader. I write to help inspire others to do away with the logistics that keep them from reaching for their dreams. And I do it not with a lecture, but through storytelling. In my case, those logistics have always been anxiety and money.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I have never had writer’s block. I know that may sound crazy, but it’s entirely true. I never know what I am going to write until I see the words appear on my computer screen.
I don’t feel qualified to advise other writers. But if I were to offer my paltry opinion, I’d say that a novice writer should never take the first class, or ask anyone else to critique your work. Just sit at your computer and start typing. What comes will be far more interesting than anything you’re trying to fill in from an outline.
Bonus: What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
I cook. I walk 4-miles a day, while talking on the phone to friends and family. I take care of our household responsibilities too, things like paying the bills and doing the laundry. If I’m in NY, I hang with friends at every opportunity, and when I’m in D.C., I annoy my children with my practical jokes.