Photo by Francesca Prado
By Maddie Van Horn, Staff Writer—
A University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student is currently writing an inspiring and intimate book encouraging women to live to their full potential and take control of their future.
Elena Reineri, a senior and communications major at UTC, uses storytelling to capture the journey of self-discovery for modern-day women in her upcoming non-fiction book, “Green Means Go.”
Reineri is from Knoxville, TN and was inspired to start writing “Green Means Go” about four months ago on her 22nd birthday, just after finishing Michelle Obama’s “Becoming.” In her book, Reineri explores the struggles that women of all ages face and how to grow from them.
“The book is my story and other women’s stories of what they have learned and what they wish they knew as a kid,” Reineri said. “I think it discusses the grit of young women and how the world really is their oyster if they take advantage of all the opportunities they are given. This life is so beautiful and we are each individually so beautiful, but to see that can be such a challenge—a barrier between who you are and who you want to be.”
Reineri said that she has always wanted to write a book and that she is already thinking about future books as she finishes writing “Green Means Go.” Initially, Reineri began writing her book in a writing program under Georgetown University professor, Eric Koester, but she has since stepped back from the program.
“I decided to step back from Georgetown, but I got a lot from the program,” Reineri said. “I think part of the reason I stepped back was because my vision didn’t align with theirs. This book holds my heart and soul and I’m restructuring the book to what I want it to be. I’m still writing and I’m about 60 pages in right now, but I have content that could write five books. I’m hoping to publish by the end of the year.”
Reineri said that she is debating between self-publishing or working with a publisher, but either way, her goal is to release “Green Means Go” by the end of 2021.
One way that Reineri gathers inspiration for her book is through Instagram polls and questions. She has asked her followers questions such as “What impact do you want to leave on the world?” and “What seems easy for everyone except for you?”
“I started asking questions on my Instagram that touched on my book topics in order to brainstorm,” Reineri said. “I didn’t think it would take off, but I’ve started getting so many responses.”
Reineri is still writing and gathering stories to share, but she wants her future readers to truly experience her book and to remember that they are in control of their lives.
“My goal is for readers to really feel the book,” Reineri said. “This life is our choice. Maybe we weren’t dealt the best hand. I wasn’t. But day in and day out, it’s up to us to construct the future for our lives. We shape it with every breath we take and every stride we step. Women don’t bring something to the table. They are the table and to become the creator of your own life will give you courage, worth, standards, strength, and your own identity.”
Reineri is currently looking to hire her own editor and designers. To keep up with her journey or to inquire about these positions, follow her on Instagram @elenareineri.