Contributor Spotlight: Christina Haywood

The Abernathy contributor spotlight series shines the spotlight on our brilliant authors. If you’d like to write for Abernathy, please submit your best work here.

Why is writing important to you?
Writing has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I’ve always had a journal and even as a young girl understood the importance of expressing myself through writing. I’m also an introvert and I think that’s a huge reason why writing is so valuable to me. I don’t necessarily love being the center of attention & public speaking so writing is the best way for me to communicate my thoughts out loud.

What keeps you busy when you’re not writing?
I’m an English language teaching assistant in an elementary school during the week. But, when I’m not teaching or writing, I’m…

TRAVELING! The ability to travel around Europe is one of the reasons why I moved to Spain. Traveling is just as therapeutic to me as writing so it’s definitely a necessity in my life. Even if I’m just visiting a small pueblo outside of Madrid for a day, I love new scenery and experiencing different cultures.

Also, I have a growing interest in being a BOSS in the kitchen and it’s become another creative outlet for me. Learning how to make delicious meals is something that I never really cared about prior to moving to Spain. However, I love food so why not be as passionate about making food as much as I am about eating!

What piece are you most proud of and why?
I wrote a piece on my blog titled, I Want to be Married but Until Then...

The piece is about my decision to live my life the way I want to before I become married (although marriage is definitely something I want one day). I wrote it on a whim. I wasn’t planning on publishing it on my blog because I felt it was a little more personal than I was willing to share. However, the next day I spontaneously decided to publish it and I received such a positive response! In addition to that, I received the most views for one post alone in one day (almost 1,000).

What I’m most proud of isn’t the amount of hits it received, but that by being vulnerable & authentic, I was able to connect with so many people. We are all more alike than we think and that’s the important lesson I learned.

What book or books have most influenced your thinking or writing?
Easy! The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

I first read The Alchemist when I was around 25 years old and have re-read it many times since. I have also given it as a gift to people.

The Alchemist is the most inspiring book I’ve ever read. The story is about a shepherd boy who is on a journey to discover his “personal legend”. Some of my favorite quotes ever come from this book and I’m constantly revisiting it for encouragement. It’s a reminder that the lessons learned and the people we meet in life are all part of our individual stories. It teaches the importance of curiosity and being relentless in the pursuit of one’s purpose.

Who is your favorite writer or author? Where should people start if they want to read this person’s best work?
This is a hard question but I really like the writing voice of Elizabeth Gilbert. She is the author of one of my other favorite books, Eat Pray Love, a memoir about Gilbert’s spiritual journey across Italy, India, and Indonesia. Besides, The Alchemist, Eat Pray Love inspired me to live the life that I am living now and I will forever be thankful for that. So, if you’re curious about Elizabeth Gilbert, I would definitely start with this book.

I also just read her most recent book, Big Magic. I think that it’s a helpful, inspiring read, particularly for the creative folks out there.

Where can our audience find out more about you?
You can find out more about me on my blog, and on Instagram, @iamchrissyleigh and @wonderwander_online.

More from Christina on Abernathy:

The Abernathy contributor spotlight series shines the spotlight on our brilliant authors. If you’d like to write for Abernathy, please submit your best work here.

By Christina Haywood

Christina is an expat currently living in Madrid, Spain. In 2015, she left her fashion E-commerce job in NYC to become fluent in Spanish, travel the world, explore her passions, and ultimately discover her purpose. When she's not teaching English to elementary school kids, she enjoys traveling, writing, and partaking in some of Spain's most beloved cultural traditions: siestas, tapas, & sangría. She can also do a little something on the 1's and 2's. You can follow her on her blog