I’ve always been curious about what inspires my favorite writers. Whether they are bloggers, freelancers, scriptwriters, TV writers or novelists, they have to draw inspiration from something. I want to thank all of you who contributed your questions and I hope you enjoy the first of my new monthly Q&A series. Look for this new feature on the first Thursday of every month. If you want to see your favorite blogger/writer interviewed, contact me.
Name: Jeanne V. Bowerman
Profession: Writer of Things
Her impact on me: I “met” Jeanne in an online class. We connected on Twitter. She’s been great in connecting me with awesome people. She’s a truly inspirational person.
Person of Letters: Why did you start writing/blogging? Was it for personal or for professional reasons?
Jeanne V Bowerman: My blog was conceived after I started using Twitter. I noticed so many other writers sharing their work via their own websites that I had to jump in. After I started the blog was when I realized all the potential it had to showcase my work and help me gain exposure.
POL: How long do you think about what you are going to write before you write?
JB: I mull it over for a few hours and either jump in or change subjects entirely. With my crazy schedule, as well as a weekly column, I only have time to post once a month. (Note: You should check out her Balls of Steel Column and her Ask Jeanne column, especially if you’re into scriptwriting)
POL: Is there something you carry with you at all times to write ideas that may pop in your head? If so, what is its? A notebook, your smartphone, a scrap of paper?
JB: All of the above. I also use a digital recorder when I run – thought it’s tough sometimes to understand the playback of my thoughts while breathing heavily!
POL: How do you battle writers block?
JB: Running or just getting out of the house. Nothing helps me more than simply either moving my body or living my life.
POL: What is your favorite book/blog? Do you draw inspiration from it?
JB: Jane Friedman’s blog is by far one of the best sources of information and inspiration. But my greatest inspiration truly comes from observing people, not from reading.
POL: Along the same lines of the previous question, which writers from the past have inspired you? (more points for naming obscure writers)
JB: One of my favorite books is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry – 624 pages of pure edge-of-my-seat reading. The story follows four people who live in Inda, examining the caste system and political upheavals of the time. Fascinating, gripping, and heart-wrenching read. It was reading that book that made me realize I didn’t just want to write stories; I wanted to move people with my words.
POL: Tell us something about you and your writing that we might not know.
JB: When I was a freshman at Cornell, studying at the Hotel School, I was required to take a writing course. After the class was over, my professor begged me to change majors to Creative Writing. I gasped and stared at him as if he had twelve heads, saying, “Who would ever want to read what I have to say?” I wasn’t ready. Not by a long-shot. It took me until my 40s to finally let go of that fear and share my words. Honestly, I have no regrets. I needed to live my life before I had enough experiences to share and the confidence to share them.