Today concludes the 50 Blogs To Take Into 2015 feature series with Javacia Harris Bowser of See Jane Write and Writeous Babe. I have followed Javacia for quite some time and had the pleasure of meeting her last summer at BlogHer! During the conference, we had a chance to get away from the crowd and sit outside exchanging stories and asking questions. Her approachability and authenticity made me feel at ease, something that was hard to come by during the two jam-packed and overwhelming days of BlogHer.
A self-proclaimed “southern fried feminist,” Javacia is a woman who chases her goals, creates spaces of meaning and substance and never considers anything too far from her reach. Her ambition motivates and inspires me in ways I never considered. Meet Javacia.
Name: Javacia Harris Bowser
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started with writing? How has your writing evolved since you started?
When I was in second grade I wrote a poem for my best friend who was about to move away. I’m sure this poem was horrible and contained the line “Roses are red, violets are blue” but once I started writing I never stopped.
In middle school I started writing short stories and even won a few local contests for young authors.
In high school I became interested in journalism and went on to study journalism in undergrad at the University of Alabama and in graduate school at UC Berkeley.
I worked as a features reporter for a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky for several years before moving back to my hometown to teach at a fine arts school that’s also my alma mater. (My school is like Fame or like Glee but more angst-filled.)
Over the years the focus of my writing has changed. When I was younger I wrote poetry and short stories but due to my love for journalism and blogging I turned to creative non-fiction. Today I’m fortunate enough to freelance for a number of local and media outlets. I even have my own column in a local magazine and I contribute to my city’s NPR station, too.
You have your personal blog Writeous Babe and you are the founder of See Jane Write. What is the vision for each space? How are the two different and do they ever intersect?That’s a great question! In fact, it’s one I’ve even paid a business coach to help me answer.
I started See Jane Write in March of 2011 to be a writing group for women in Birmingham but it has grown into so much more. Through See Jane Write I host workshops, panel discussions, networking events and conferences to help women who write and blog.
Later that year I started WriteousBabe.com. I had already been blogging for years but my husband and I were writing on the same blog and I decided I needed a virtual room of my own.
The mission of both Writeous Babe and See Jane Write is the same – to empower women writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs; to inspire women to write and live a life worth writing about. Because my blog and See Jane Write have the same mission, I am currently exploring ways to merge the two, so stay tuned!
You recently launched your new e-course “How To Write And Have A Life.” How do you personally maintain that balance?
Well, I won’t say I’ve achieved balance. As one of my favorite bloggers once said at Blogalicious, “Balance is a unicorn.” But I think it’s possible to pursue your writing dreams, work your 9 to 5 and still have time to take care of your relationships and yourself. The keys to doing so are planning and purpose. You must be very intentional about how you spend your time. I plan out every single hour of my day. Also, eliminate activities that aren’t in line with your purpose, that aren’t moving you toward your vision for your life. My e-course shows women how to do this and more.
Last year you organized and hosted the Bloganista mini-con, so cool! What did you learn from planning a conference and what can we expect from Bloganista this year?
Of all the See Jane Write events I have ever organized and hosted the Bloganista Mini-Con is my favorite! Planning my first conference and having the tickets to that conference sell out gave me the confidence I needed to take See Jane Write to the next level and start treating it like a real business. Along those lines, the theme for this year’s conference is “Blog Like a Boss” and will be all about how to transition from blogger (or bloganista) to businesswoman.
What is the best advice you have received as:
A writer: Stop being a writer who doesn’t write.
A blogger: Stop waiting to be picked. Choose yourself.
A woman: Embrace your femininity and never apologize for it.
What 3-5 posts on Writeous Babe best represent the blog?
What’s next for See Jane Write?
See Jane Write is going national!
In 2013 I launched SeeJaneWriteMagazine.com to be an online resource for women writers and bloggers nationwide and while I’m going to continue to build that website this year, I’ve realized that women outside of Birmingham who are interested in See Jane Write want more than online content. They want live events and trainings. So this year I’ll be working on expanding through webinars and teleseminars and hitting the road to do some workshops in other cities.
Javacia Harris Bowser is a teacher, freelance writer, and the founder of See Jane Write, a network created to empower women writers, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Her personal blog can be found at WriteousBabe.com. Enrollment for her e-course How to Write and Have a Life is currently open.
Please also include a 3-4 sentence bio with any links you would like included. Please also attach any photos or visuals you would like included in the piece. Thank you!