This week, I went up to San Francisco to visit the set of my first movie. And by my first movie I mean, the first that I've written. I've made a number of movies and been on a number of sets, but this time being on set was different. It was different, because I was getting a glimpse of my words coming to life for a special story. Even my friend and co-writer who rarely cares to go to set, wanted to fly up for this movie. There are no teasers or spoilers in this post, but I wanted to share this special experience with you.
A couple of friends recently reminded me that it's important to celebrate the small wins. If you're subscribed to my newsletter, you may have read the vague hints I've given about recent successes. However, I hesitated to say anything more than "fires are burning and good things are coming," for a couple reasons...mostly because I'm superstitious and don't want to jinx anything. So this post is a little update on this #WritersLife and a reminder to anyone who needs the reminder...celebrate all the wins!
I haven't written as much about my #WritersLife here on this blog as I thought I would when I first rebranded from Love, Justine to The Jawesome Life. I guess maybe I feel a little weird writing about writing. Plus, this blog isn't meant to be a "how to write" type of blog. However, when I was at my optometrist's office recently, he mentioned he had just hired a copywriter. First I thought, "damn it, I'm too late!" Then he expressed concern that his copywriter doesn't know optometry, so he was worried how the copy would turn out. Thus, I thought I'd share why he shouldn't worry about whether his copywriter is an expert on optometry, because this is a common issue in job hiring I find really annoying, overall.
For the past month or two I felt like I was going through a bit of a screenwriting dry spell. I’ve been working on a new feature film script, but hadn’t written a new pilot in some time. Partly, I’ve been focused on pushing my copywriting business, but also, I just didn’t have any ideas that excited me. Then I watched “Emily in Paris,” which inspired me to write a parody. It started out as a joke, but as soon as I started writing it, the whole thing just flowed out of me in a few days. I even made it in time for a fellowship deadline that I was planning on sitting out this year, because I thought I didn’t have anything new. When I was telling a friend about this, she said to me she’s quit writing 17,000 times (which I can attest to), and she even did it last week (which I can also attest to). "Writing is a roller coaster," she said. Yes, indeed it is a rollercoaster! Every day in my life is different, and except for other writers and creatives I work with, I don't think anyone understands what I do or how I do what I do. My mom thinks I don't do anything or that I work for free. In everyone's defense, I'm lucky to have multiple writing outlets and platforms, so maybe people are just confused. That’s why I broke down my life in memes for you. Anyone else relate to these? This is the life of a writer...and life of a creative mind.
My company, Red Balloon Station, is now open for copywriting and brand strategy services and I'm really excited about this. For the past couple of years I've been quietly doing some freelance copywriting, and it was originally meant to be a side hustle to make extra cash while I worked on scripts and producing film and television projects. I genuinely fell in love with it because for me it's like another platform for storytelling; but I still didn't want to be loud about it, because I had this fear that if people knew I had this side hustle, I might look like I was failing at my other endeavors. Then I started thinking about all the doctors I've met who found themselves producing films (while still being doctors!). One woman I know is a full-time anesthesiologist and also produces a couple films a year. While yes, these people have had successful careers before pursuing other avenues, I've said this before and I still strongly believe that we live in a time where you aren't bound to ONE career. Moreover, I realized that everything I do comes down to one common thread--writing. And a writer writes. Writing has always been one of my greatest strengths and passions, and to have the opportunities to write in various mediums is more than I could ever have dreamed of. I feel like God knows me and has been slowly revealing my destiny to me and guiding the way through my colorful and unorthodox career path. That being said, I feel like I get a lot of confused looks from friends when I mention copywriting. What is copywriting? Well, let me break down the basics for you.
I am so grateful that I have been blessed with incredible mentors and bosses throughout my career. Great mentors don't just teach you valuable lessons, but they also help set you up for success. Recently, I was working on a small TV segment for a friend and mentor. It was probably one of the most fun and laid back gigs I've ever done. The showrunner is a friend and mentor of mine, and though I wasn't hired to write per se, he hired me for my sense of comedy writing and sure enough threw some writing opportunities at me. At the end of my stint on this gig, I learned an incredibly valuable lesson that no one has ever said to me before.