Welcome to another edition of SIX OF THE BEST, the semi regular part of BRWC where we fire six questions at lovely people. This time, we talk to Jeanne Bowerman.
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman is the Online Community Manager for ScriptMag.com with a regular column entitled Balls of Steel. She is also a Co-Founder and Moderator of the weekly Twitter screenwriters’ chat, Scriptchat. When not writing, she teaches screenwriting webinars for the Writers Store. A graduate of Cornell University, she’s written several spec scripts, including the adaption of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, with its author, Douglas A. Blackmon, former senior national correspondent of The Wall Street Journal.
What are you up to today?
Ah, just the average day in the life of a Twitter Pimp Angel/screenwriter/producer/mother/black belt. Today I worked on funding for our short film, Impasse, as well as secured guest blog spots on some hot sites, painted my toe nails, wrote a Balls of Steel post, took my teen driving, bought milk and turkey, kicked ass in karate, then answered questions for two more interviews. I’ll round out the night with a big margarita.
What films/people have influenced your work?
Every film I’ve watched has influenced me in some way, even the bad ones. Well, except When Peggy Sue Got Married. That’s the only film I ever walked out on. Sweet Jesus, what were they thinking?
As for people, that’s an easier question: Unkscreenwriter, Clive Davies-Frayne, Doug Richardson, and Douglas A. Blackmon. These talented writers have had the greatest impact on my life. But beyond helping me hone my craft, they have been my champions. To have four writers I deeply respect take the time to help me grow has been one of the most humbling experiences. Every writer needs someone to believe in them, and I have four rock stars who have my back. I am one damn, lucky girl. Whether they realize it or not, making them proud motivates me every day. I won’t let their belief in me be in vain.
What are you working on now?
Not much: My short film, Impasse, another rewrite of Slavery by Another Name, an outline of a new script, tweaking my next Writers Store screenwriting webinar, and working as Online Community Manager for ScriptMag.com.
How easy/hard is it to write for you?
Easy. I know I’ll regret saying this someday, but I don’t seem to suffer from writer’s block (knocks furiously on wood). I know myself well enough to know how to dodge it and face my writing fears head on. But what I do find hard is starting a script. Knowing the monumental task ahead of me always stalls me for a few weeks. But once I get someone to give me a Moonstruck slap, I’m good to go.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
If you really want this, it will take you 10 years. If you quit before then, you gave up too soon. In my opinion, it takes 7 or 8 years to really hone your craft and to find your unique writer’s voice, especially in screenwriting. The writer’s voice may come earlier to novelists and bloggers, but it hides pretty deep in scripts. You won’t find it until you have the craft down solid. After that, your work will still take a couple of years to find a champion. Then again, maybe it’s better to not know the odds when you’re starting out. I often wonder if I knew then what I know now if I would have pursued this career. All I know is, if I didn’t write, I’d die. The only way to get through those early years is to need writing like you need air. If you aren’t passionate about it, don’t do it. That’s your #PIMPtipoftheday.
Anything you want to get off your chest right now?
Life is too short to shit on people.
Karma will come back and get you every time.
Pay it forward.
Treat people with respect.
Help others when you can.
Don’t be selfish.
Believe in yourself.
Be good to yourself.
Don’t expect anyone to fight your battles for you.
Stop repeating unhealthy patterns.
Get rid of people who are pissing on your flame.
Save a life. Adopt a kitten.
Wait. Did I say all that out loud? Oops. But I feel so much better getting that off my chest.
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