A candid chat with author, actress and playwright Rashida Costa
Rashida Costa is a United States based author, actress and playwright. She is best known for her self-help book 365 Days Smarter, which includes 365 quotes written by Costa herself. Costa’s most popular quote of wisdom “Words are from the lips, actions are from the heart.” – has been quoted numerous times and cited in many works of publication. Her most recent publication, a mystery seeking children’s book: Who Lives in The Little Wooden House, was released on January 8th, 2021. Other authored books includes: The A to Z Animals and the Mystery of the Missing Fish and Tommy and the Bumper Boats. The busy author has also written a few literary pieces, one of which centers on ‘The Importance of Your Children Reading Every Day’, a featured post in the educational column of the Westside Cardinals. Costa attended South University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree; she lives in Florida with her husband and two sons.
- Have you ever become drained during the writing process or do you stay elated?
Both. The elatedness comes from the wealth of literary ideas that comes to mind when I am focused and actively engaged in the craft of writing. Feeling as though your literary resources have been exhausted comes from the timely limitations of not being able to execute all the concepts and ideas into one meaningful literary experience.
It is a blessing in disguise though, because as authors we are on a continuous journey, travelling with our words, ideas and thoughts. There are plenty of moments and opportunities along the way to make a literary stop, and pull from those ideas. It is those formulated thoughts that eventually transcends into the next project.
- Do aspiring writers feel pressure to write across one genre vs. the next?
Artists of any kind are well intended individuals. There is the desire to bring forth an honest portrayal of our creativity to the world, but there is that potential fear of failure. Standing on the sidelines of the creative lines, you are graced with writers from all spheres of life, on a path of literary truth and fullness. The difference is that even though we are all on the same path, the pace and sense of direction in each of our footsteps is very different, because we are evolving at different levels.
As writers we want to connect with our readers, and we want them to connect with us. Consequently, there is a pressure that aspiring writers face to meet the expectations of everyone. I really do mean everyone; this is a daunting task that will not end without event.
Knowing your target audience is instrumental, and standing in your truth of value and authenticity for the content of literature that you put out there, is an advice I would give to any aspiring writer.
Your fans and readers will appreciate you more, staying true to your journey and aligned with your fans will make for an immeasurable experience, rather than the contrary.
- Is it a recipe for disaster for a writer to be overly confident or does it work to their advantage?
It can actually do both. Putting this into perspective, a writer that has an esteemed level of confidence in their work can choose to use that level of confidence in alignment with their consciousness that proves to be beneficial or detrimental. It is essential in any field of the arts that you are confident and understand your worth and your value. With that being said, this should never be from a place of arrogance. As a writer you can sew your seeds of creativity and watch them grow and come into a sense of belonging with your readers, or you can scatter them everywhere and think because you are you, they will just grow and everyone will run to your beckon, because you sewed those seeds.
Finding a gracious balance of humility within your ego and what you put out into the world, is really a great basis of grounded ideology to be reckoned with.
- Have you ever gone through a period of not reading because you felt like you have read all the great books out there?
Fortunately no, there are so many literary greats out there that I find to be sympathetic to my own experiences and outlook on life, that I don’t think that would be within the power of my conscious capacity as a lover of books.
- Did you ever consider ghost writing?
No, that is a very personal and subjective choice. I cannot consciously formulate a logical reason that would persuade me in that direction.
- Do you write with a certain age group in mind focusing on what you think they would appreciate or do you let the process happen naturally?
I do both. My work has to come from a place of authenticity, along that authentic journey I connect with my readers.
- Do you feel a children’s author can write to children if they are unable to find them relatable?
I believe that this is a very personal journey.
As an author I sometimes pull from very innate experiences from my childhood, I would imagine that other authors have done this at some point or another in their careers as well.
I have been around children my entire life and find them to be fascinating beings, therefore I continuously travel on a very direct, although sometimes indirect path with them, one where I have very purposeful instinctive experiences, but perhaps another writer may be able to convey their literary experience in a manner that is distinct in nature.
- What inspired your latest children’s book “Who Lives in The Little Wooden House?”
A painting that has been in the family for generations has three gold birds on it; I was mesmerized by this image. A very mystifying moment led me on a journey with them. I wanted to know what they were thinking, I had a little wooden house on my bookshelf, since the painting overlooked the bookshelf, and I pondered as to the intentions of the birds. As they looked fixedly, were they eager to uncover something about this Wooden House?
As artists that is truly how we construct creative thoughts and ideas and mirror them together and a literary piece is composed.
- Is there anything in your writing career that you wish you had done differently?
Not at all, as a student of life, every experience I had along the way, good or bad, taught me something about myself that I didn’t know before.
- What’s next for you?
I don’t typically engage in temporal intentions as it pertains to the future, as I have learned that life has a way of taking us on a different path.
With that in mind, I remain focused and committed to my craft and for every life that I can have a positive impact on, that is the sole worth and purpose of my existence as an artist.