Support Your Network and a Stellar Indie Film

I’ve talked a lot in this blog about how important it is to have the support of your writing community and how important it is to support them. My personal writing network has cheered me on and supported me in all of the endeavors I have started in the past year and my ideas for the future.

Now it’s my turn to give back.

You all met her as Jamie Lee Scott back in December of last year when she was featured in my Seven Questions segment. Since then Jamie Livingston-Dierks has published another book in the Gotcha Detective Series, Textual Relations, and has written a short film.

No One Knows was written in a single sitting as the result of a single thought: “What could be the worst thing that could happen to you if you looked in the wrong window?” This led to another thought: “What would you do to keep your deep, dark secret?”

This led to the development of a screenplay:

A story about family, public perceptions, and secrets. What would you do to keep your secret? 

The Smiths could be any family. They could be your neighbors. When twelve-year old Jason looks in his neighbor’s window at , he learns he’s not the only kid living in an abusive environment. What he learns will change his life.

Now with a producer, director and cast in hand, No One Knows in the funding stages. If you love to support your fellow writers donate. If you love indie films donate. If you have a deep, dark secret donate. Every dollar will help make this awesome film possible. And if you can’t donate, spread the word about the film via Twitter and/or Facebook. To donate, head over to the Indiegogo page.

Thanks in advance to all of you who support this film and one of my biggest supporters.

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!

I Fell Through the Social Media Rabbit Hole

I graduated from DePaul University in 2006.  The most advanced class we had was writing for the web with then Professor Thiel. It was the most beneficial class I took. It prepared me for the changing face of journalism. Then came social media.

It wasn’t until January of last year that I decided to join Twitter. I was hesitant at first, but realized that if I didn’t adapt I would be stuck in the past. I needed to remain marketable and I don’t regret this decision.

I went hog wild and followed all of the national and local news outlets. I connected with my friends and some people with some of the same interests at me. But really, I looked at social media as someplace for me to publish clips and connect with my readers.

Boy was I wrong. Social media has afforded me opportunities I had never imagined.

Most important to me has been the network I have created. I introduced you to some of the wonderful people I have connected with in an earlier post. These people have supported my work and made me laugh when I needed it. Only on Twitter can someone tell you they are like blog herpes. I can’t imagine my life without these people, many of whom I have never met.

Twitter has also afforded me the opportunity to connect with people I had lost touch with, specifically Professor Thiel-Stern.  She’s continued to teach me through her journalism course hashtags.  She has connected me with people on Twitter who have been of tremendous support to me.  She was also one of the first people to congratulate me on the launch of this blog.

I’ve also been able to give back. I’ve introduced people via Twitter who are now collaborating on their own and bouncing ideas off of one another. I’ve helped spread the word of projects and retweeted blog entries and contests. Just as everyone has done for me.

This blog wouldn’t have come about without the support of the people I met on my journey down the rabbit hole. They have supported me, retweeted me and provided me with material to write forever.  I thank them all for that, even if there ears won’t stop burning.

How as social media affected your writing career? Have you met someone who is now your mentor? How did social media surprise you? If you read my blog, follow me on Twitter @sjezioro and say hello. I’d love to “meet” you!

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.