Erika Liodice

Hi, I’m Erika Liodice. By day I’m an Account Executive at an advertising agency, by night I’m a writer. I’m the founder of the inspirational blog, Beyond the Gray, and I write travel and lifestyle pieces for various online publications. My goal, however, is to be a fiction writer. I recently completed my second novel and I’m revising it now. My first novel never saw the light of day, but my goal is to make sure this one does.

What is something that motivates you & why?
I am motivated by the feeling that I was put on this earth for a reason. I believe we all were. That sense of purpose motivates me to make the most of my time here and pursue the things I’m passionate about.

What is something that inspires you & why?
I’m inspired by other people. On my blog, I feature a series called, “Interviews with Dream Chasers” because I’m amazed at how many people are actively following a dream…whether it be at night, on the weekends or before their children wake up in the morning. And the variety of dreams they’re chasing is incredible! They range from singing and making sushi to owning a professional race team and making movies. Their passion is infectious and their success gives me hope.

If you could recommend a movie, website, song, or book for others & their inspiration, what would it be & why?
The most inspirational book I’ve ever read is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I don’t typically read books over and over again; once I’m done, I usually move on. But every year I come back to this book. It’s a fable about following your dreams and fulfilling your destiny, and it puts into perspective the adversity we face along the way. My favorite line from the book is: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

What’s one thing you’ve done to Pay-It-Forward?
I feel that writing my blog, Beyond the Gray, is one way that I pay it forward. I believe that many people feel lost or unfulfilled or wonder if there’s more to life. The goal of my blog is show them they’re not alone and help them discover and nurture their dreams. I know how hard it can be to admit your dream out loud (it took me years!), so I strive to make Beyond the Gray a safe place for people to find the motivation and inspiration to follow their dreams, whether they’re vocal about it or not.

Do you have a goal list? If so, what are a few goals you would like to accomplish, small or large?
I have a list of goals and resolutions, the difference being that goals are finite – once you accomplish one you can cross it off your list – while resolutions are on-going. My dad taught me the importance of writing down my goals so I don’t forget them. My goals for 2011 are to: travel to new places, experience new things, make new friends, volunteer, finish revising my second novel, then seek publication, begin a new fiction project, finish writing and release my first e-book, publish my non-fiction work in new places, reach 50,000 hits on Beyond the Gray and help someone else follow a dream.

Who is your hero & why?
Novelist Jodi Picoult jumps to mind. Not only does she manage to tackle difficult moral and ethical issues in her writing, but she also seems to have mastered the art of work/life balance that many of us struggle with.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself actually living the dream I’m working to put into motion right now. That means having several published books under my belt and making a living as a writer.

If you could make one wish right now, what would it be?
That one day my words reach the people who need to hear them; that my writing helps them in some way.

If you could motivate or inspire someone with one paragraph, what would it say?
I’m going to borrow mine from Howard Thurman, who said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”   

To follow me on my journey or to share yours, visit me at www.beyondthegray.wordpress.com.

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