Are We Destined for Concurrent Careers?

Today on Facebook, my friend Jeanne posed this question to her friends:

If you could do anything you wanted, and money was no object, what would you do?

After posting my response, I started to read those posted by others and recognized a common thread: people wanted to hold multiple dream jobs – myself included. I then started thinking about those who influence my life. Many of them fall under the same umbrella. Continue reading

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Seven Questions with your Favorite Blogger/Writer: Jamie Lee Scott

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: Jamie Lee Scott

Profession: Author, Screenwriter, Artist

Blog:  http://www.jamieleescott.com/

Twitter: @Jamie_LD

Her impact on me: I was introduced to Jamie through Jeanne on Twitter. While we have yet to meet, she is one of my favorite people and one of my favorite authors. Buy her book Let Us Prey immediately.  It was through Jamie that I was asked to contributed to BookEndBabes. I look forward to meeting her in 2012!

Person of Letters: Why did you start writing/blogging? Was it for personal or for professional reasons?

Jamie Lee Scott:  I started writing/blogging for an outlet for the stress of running a restaurant. The blog was started as a way to disseminate information I’d learned about screenwriting and TV writing.

POL: How long do you think about what you are going to write before you write?

JLS: I’m usually working on several projects at a time, so while I’m writing one project I’m outlining another. The outline/ruminating stage takes the longest. I have a pretty good idea of the fleshed out story before I type FADE IN.

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?

JLS: A pen, a recorder, and now my iPad. Ideas pop up at the strangest times. And sometimes it’s that twist in a story that will make it stronger, so I want to get in on paper before my overstuffed brain and send it to the archives.

POL: How do you battle writers block?

JLS: I don’t really understand the whole writer’s block thing. Maybe it’s because if I’m blocked on something, I get it at the outline stage. When I sit down to write, I know exactly what I’m going to write. Now if you’re talking about writer’s block, as in I have blocked my butt from sitting in the chair so I can type, I know that one. My house is never so clean as when I really need to sit down and write. I look for every excuse, even though I love writing.

POL: What is your favorite book/blog? Do you draw inspiration from it?

JLS: My favorite book is Horse Heaven (well other than my own of course,hehe) by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jane Smiley. I hope to write characters that stay with the readers long after they finish the book like Jane does. Jane’s characters still pop into my head years later. I want to be able to write that well someday.

POL: Along the same lines of the previous question, which writers from the past have inspired you? (more points for naming obscure writers)

JLS: In screenwriting, Bob DeRosa (Killers) and Mike Alber (Death Valley) have been my mentors. They’ve done so much to help my writing, and I’ve never met them. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say John Steinbeck was an influence. I grew up in Salinas, which has a Steinbeck museum, and I loved Red Pony, Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. As for contemporary authors, I love Gemma Halliday, Brenda Novak, Jennie Bentley and Tawny Stokes.

POL: Tell us something about you and your writing that we might not know.

JLS: I spent a year hiking trails in Iowa, 75 trails total, for a Falcon Publishing book called Hiking Iowa, and Falcon was bought out right after I turned in the manuscript, so the book was scrapped. I still got my advance, and the writing credit for the book, so I was good with it.

Seven Questions with your Favorite Blogger/Writer: Jeanne Bowerman

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

Blog:  http://jeannevb.com/

Twitter: @jeannevb

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.

 

It’s All About a Schedule

Since I’ve taken on this new project, I’ve realized that now more than ever I need to make myself a schedule. I talked a bit about the balance  in my Balancing Multiple Hats post. This contact position is more content and social media heavy than I have taken on prior, but I’m ready for the challenge and I think that the key to success is how I schedule my time.

While the time I have to write varies daily, I’ve sat down and made myself tangible goals to ensure I complete my tasks and that I’ve made the progress I need to stay on track.

  • Writing Sprints: The best thing about Twitter is having a strong community of writers on my side. I completed my first of what will probably many more with the help of Jeanne (@jeannevb). Tuning out of social networks for a while and keeping the TV turned off resulted in a quite productive hour.
  • Google Calendar: I am a huge fan of my tiny little pocket purse planner. I’ve decided to move into the technical age and input all of my meetings into the Google calendar that syncs with my Android. The automatic reminders of meetings are helpful.
  • A Blank Journal: I love having one of these with me to write down my notes about a project, keep track of information and have with me at all times to write outlines and ideas on for pieces. It’s a great compact item to have with me during my commute because it fits in my bag. It enables me to utilize available time during a commute.

What are your favorite tools and tips that you use when you are working on a project? Give me some ideas in the comments!

Why It’s Important to Stay in Touch with Your Network

In an earlier post, I talked about the importance of having a strong network and how my network has helped me gain new experiences. Yesterday, my network helped be secure a new contract position that has the potential to move my career in a new direction.
 
While my skill set, experience and desire to learn and write secured the offer (in my opinion), I would have never have found out about the opportunity without the help of Samantha, my former editor at Center Square Journal. She recommended me for this position and connected me with the right parties.  As a result, I interviewed and secured a new contract opportunity that has the potential to fulfill the desires I shared with you in my last post
 
I spent a lot of time this wk pimping friends & recommending them for paid gigs. We shld all do this more. @jeannevb
 
Keep in contact with your network and pay it forward. You never know if you can help enhance someones career by recommending them for opportunities. It can make a world of difference to them.
 

Must-Have Tool: A Solid Support Network

I’ve grown as a writer and I will continue to grow as a writer. I owe much of my growth to my support network. The most valuable thing I have learned, and this is something I wish I had known coming out of college, is to surround myself with a strong group of fellow writers. This epiphany came to me in the form of Jeanne (@jeannevb) who I introduced you to in the first post.

Jeanne and I met in an advanced freelance writing class. We hit it off instantly and spent most of our virtual class sending each other direct messages on Twitter. We’ve remained in contact and due to her pimpstress ways, I have been introduced to a group of stellar writers who have inspired me to write. My network of Twitter writers are always there to provide guidance, support and tricks of the trade.  We grow as writers from reading and this group has provided me with plenty of excellent content.

My circle of birds have not only provided me with support, but with new writing opportunities.  The lovely Jamie (@Jamie_LD) introduced me to Malena (@malenalott) who extended me an invitation to become a contributor to BookEndBabes. I have also had the pleasure of pitching stories for and reading an advanced copy of Ronald (@rprestonclark) and the Left Side Poets’ Strange Fruit. (Strange Fruit drops in nine days. If you love poetry buy it immediately)

There is nothing more gratifying as a writer than to give back to the people who give to you. Thank those who support you unconditionally and do for them what they have done for you. Foster strong relationships that will last a lifetime.  It’s worth it.

As my thank you to Jeanne, I encourage you all to support gone Elvis where she will serve as producer if the project secures enough funding.  For more on gone Elvis and to contribute to the project visit the website.