9. Taking Your Side Hustle Full Time with Javacia Harris Bowser

Javacia Harris Bowser of See Jane Write joins Belle Curve to discuss taking her side hustle full time!

Javacia’s full bio

Javacia Harris Bowser

[3:30] The Alabama School of Fine Arts

[12:00] The Day Designer

[12:30] The Pomodoro Technique

[16:30] “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning, and if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain

[31:15] The Write Life

[31:30] Jeff Goins

[31:45] Writing Down the Bones

[33:00] Eunice Elliott

Choose Yourself, Publish your work - Javacia Harris Bowser

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Connect with Rachel Blackmon Bryars on Instagram

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

Liz: [00:00:31] Hello friends and welcome to Belle Curve Liz BeShears here with one of my co-hosts Mary Scott Hunter. Unfortunately, Rachel Bryars isn’t with us today, but we do have someone I’m incredibly excited to talk to. She is a hustler an entrepreneur [00:00:46] a teacher and Empower and inspiration and she has turned her former side hustle into a full-time business. Her name is Javacia Harris Bowser. Thank you Javacia for talking to us today. 

Javacia: Thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m so excited. [00:01:01] 

Liz: We’re so excited to have you here, but first things first, I’m going to read your bio because it’s even more impressive than the short intro. I just gave okay are you can you can find more information on your website, which is go ahead and give us a plug for that. 

JavaciaYes. My [00:01:16] website is SeeJaneWriteBham.com

Liz: Fantastic. So Javacia Harris Bowser is a writer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the founder and president of See Jane Write a membership organization and website for [00:01:31] women who write and blog. Because of See Jane Write Bowser was once selected as one of the smartest women in Birmingham by the women fund of Greater Birmingham smart Party Committee selected as one of Birmingham’s Top 40 under 40 by the Birmingham Business Journal in 2015 [00:01:47] and honored as one of Birmingham’s women who inspired by Girls on the Run in 2016. She was included in Southern Living Magazine’s list of innovators changing the South alongside household names like, you know, Dolly Parton and Reese Witherspoon, and [00:02:02] was selected as one of the 30 Women who Shape the State by Alabama Media Group

A professionally-trained journalists Bowser has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama Roll Tide and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. She’s [00:02:17] written for Birmingham magazine USA Today, Birmingham’s NPR affiliate WBHM 90.3 FM and a number of other media Outlets. She writes a monthly column for BMetro magazine and is a regular contributor to Style Blueprint Birmingham. Wow [00:02:43] 

Javacia: I did want to mention that I no longer write a monthly column for BMetro, but I do now write a monthly column for Birmingham Magazine so you can see me there every month. 

Liz: Fantastic now, where are some of the best places if somebody just wanted to get an idea of your style [00:02:58] of writing and what the things you’re passionate about. What are some of the best places to find that?

Javacia: I guess the best place for that would be on See Jane Write website because I maintain a Blog there and update that about twice a week. So [00:03:13] again, that would be See Jane right bham.com. 

Liz: Now we’re having you on as part of our Summer Side Hustle Series because [00:03:28] it used to be true that you are a high school English teacher, but that’s not true anymore, is it? So tell us a little bit about that. 

Javacia: So about three weeks ago now, I guess May 24th. It was my last day as [00:03:43] a high school English teacher. I taught at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, which is a wonderful School in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s also school I graduated from so I’m a bit biased, but ASFA amazing place, but for [00:03:58] the past I taught there for 10 years and for the past 8 of those 10 years. I was juggling that with See Jane Write, and freelancing, and trying to be a good wife and all that stuff and so [00:04:13] recently, very recently, I decided to take the leap to do See Jane Write and freelance writing full-time. 

Liz: So tell us a little bit more about See Jane Write. Why did you start it? You said that you’ve been doing it for eight years now? Yes. So, eight years ago when you started at what [00:04:28] was the thing that really sparked you to get that group started? 

Javacia: So I am originally from Birmingham but I lived in lots of different places including Louisville, Kentucky, which is where I worked as a newspaper reporter. [00:04:43] In 2009 I moved back to Birmingham to teach at ASFA. But I knew I wanted to also continue to write I wanted to continue blogging which is something that I had started doing for my newspaper, and I also wanted to freelance. [00:04:58] Basically I wanted to make a name for myself as a writer on my own.

But I knew it was going to be really difficult doing that on the side without having a community of like-minded women to cheer me on. [00:05:13] So really I started See Jane Write for selfish reasons because I needed a group of women writers to be my support group and I looked for a group for two years and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking [00:05:28] for. And so finally on March 24 2011. I started See Jane Write right after several people told me. Hey, you should just start the group of yourself and I kept saying no, I don’t want to do that, but eventually I did on March 24 2011.

Liz: [00:05:44] You really like the number 24 apparently! You started See Jane Write on March 24th, and you quit your job on May 24!

Javacia: I know it just kind of happens like that and to add to that on March 24th, 2018, so exactly 7 years [00:05:59] after I started See Jane Write I gave a TedX Birmingham talk about the power of writing. Yeah, so it’s crazy that that happened on the 24th and it happened to be the seventh anniversary of See Jane Write. 

Mary Scott: So I’m so getting this right now because [00:06:14] I have been looking for a writing group in Huntsville and haven’t found one and it you do kind of get down to it that if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. You have to start it. So I’m not where you are yet [00:06:29] ready to start it. I’m still looking for anybody out there that might be listening. Shoot me an email if you know of one in Huntsville because I’m because Javacia’s awesome. And I I don’t think I could you know, but anyway it yeah, it’s hard to do. You got it, a support [00:06:44] System when you’re writing is super important. 

Javacia: Yes, very important, and See Jane Write actually started in Birmingham but we have members all over the country. Now. In fact, I’ll just even join me. Remember. Yes, you can just join my group because what we did now [00:06:59] I still have in-person events. Like I did in the beginning early days of See Jane Write. But I also have a lot of virtual things now because I have members all over so like we’ll have virtual write-ins where we all gather on a zoom call we chat for a little bit [00:07:14] but then we just sit down and write and that sounds weird. There were on a zoom called be silent but a lot of people love it because it forces them to write. And then we have virtual critique sessions where you can get feedback on your work. So so yeah. 

Mary Scott: Wow, [00:07:29] well that like doesn’t answer to prayer for me. So I just need to check it out. 

Javacia: So yes, join See Jane Write!

Liz: Do you still do some one-on-one coaching as a part of See Jane Write? 

Javacia: Yes, so the interesting thing about See [00:07:44] Jane Write is that it did not start out as a business. As I said, I just wanted a group of women to hang out with and talk to you about writing basically. But it became a business sort of, I always call myself an accidental entrepreneur because [00:07:59] I started the membership program because women would actually come up to me after events and say is there a way we can give you money? I was like what? Because I was hosting in the early days to [00:08:14] See Jane Write all of the events that I hosted were free and I paid for all of them out of pocket, which my very frugal husband was very excited about. But it’s and eventually at the end of events women would come up and say, [00:08:29] you know, do you have a membership program? Can I pay monthly or annually to be a member to help out with this which is just so great. And so I started a membership program and then on top of that people were emailing [00:08:44] me, messaging me on Facebook all the time asking if they could pick my brain about blogging about freelancing about building communities. And I would say sure, and so after a long day of teaching I was driving all [00:08:59] over town meeting people for coffee letting them pick my brain giving them advice and it was quite stressful, to be honest. One day a friend of mine who is a business coach said to me you do realize that what you’re doing is called [00:09:14] Consulting and coaching and that people actually get paid to do that? And I thought what?! I didn’t know this was a thing and so. So I started a coaching program after that. I formalized [00:09:29] it and gave it more structure and started a coaching program. So yes, I do one-on-one coaching in addition to the membership program. 

Liz: What were some of your Milestones along the way that kept you going even when it I mean it got really frustrating or [00:09:44] maybe it was getting to the point where it was so much work competing with what your full-time job was. What are some of the things that kept you going? 

Javacia: Well, I would say when as it started to grow it [00:09:59] was very frustrating trying to manage all of it. But the thing that always kept me going, you know, it actually wasn’t, you know you when you were reading my intro you read a lot of those awards that I got and those are great. I love them. They’re on my [00:10:14] wall right now, but those are actually not the things that have kept me going. The thing that kept me going for the women of See Jane Write and the accomplishments that they were making. You know women in the [00:10:29] group were starting blogs women who are afraid of Technology were launching blogs and women who didn’t have journalism degrees were seeing their byline in newspapers and magazines women were [00:10:44] self publishing books. They were getting book deals. They were getting jobs based on social media knowledge that they were starting to acquire. And so just seeing that it was making a difference, that it actually [00:10:59] mattered. You know, I said, I started See Jane Write for selfish reasons, which is very true, but I continued it because of the women of See Jane Write and because I saw that it was really benefiting them, and and not just in those practical ways, [00:11:14] but you know, there are women who would come up to me or send me e-mail saying Javacia of this group has changed my life and I was like what?! And I would start crying and so but you know, these are the reasons that I [00:11:29] kept going even though it required me getting up very early. Because that was sort of my secret people always ask me. How did you do it all? And my secret is meticulously planning my day, but also getting up very very early [00:11:44] to work on things before I went to my teaching job. 

Liz: So you said meticulously planning your day. Are there any tools or tricks? Yeah, you want to share with us right now or are you still a secret? 

Javacia: No, they are not a secret. I share them all the time everywhere [00:11:59] I go. So, my number one tip is the day designer. I am an affiliate for Day Designer, but it’s only an affiliate because I use it so much and the day designer is the planner that I use. And I love it because it has [00:12:14] a space I’d only for you to write your to-do list, but also for you to schedule when you’re going to do each thing, which I think is really really important. It’s not enough to just say like, oh this is when this is all the stuff I got to do but you need to plan when you’re going to actually do it.

Another [00:12:29] tool that I use is called the Pomodoro Technique and I don’t want to get into too because it’s kind of complicated, but it’s basically a timer that you can get and you can find the app on your phone. You can get the app on your phone. [00:12:44] It’s a timer and with it you do work in 20 minutes sessions. And so after each 20 minutes, you take a five-minute break and you do that for four sessions and then after that,[00:12:59] or no, it’s 25 minutes. You take a five-minute break you do that for four times if you need to and if you need to repeat it, you take a 20-minute break and then you repeat the process. So I use that not necessarily for writing because the writing process doesn’t usually [00:13:14] work that way, but I use that for other stuff that I have to do because it keeps you focused and it helps you do things quickly. And so if you are finishing everything else on your to-do list fast, then you will have more time.

[00:13:29] To write or blog or work on your business or whatever it is that you need to do. 

Mary Scott: I just oh, well, you know me. I’m so I believe in structure and I’m loving what you’re saying. And I do think I believe that creativity [00:13:45] occurs in the presence of parameters. Yes. I don’t think that it… people talk about spitballing or we’re gonna we’re just going to kind of talk, and we’re just going to kind of see where it all goes. And I just don’t [00:14:00] think that accomplishes the goal of creating. I think creating requires a timetable and a goal and you may you may not get where you want to be. But if you give yourself some parameters to me, [00:14:15] that’s that makes it so much more… so much easier to create.

Javacia: I definitely agree with that and I think the fact that I was a teacher for ten years makes [00:14:30] structure work for me very well. And especially that whole idea of planning when I’m going to do things because for 10 years, I lived my life bell to bell, you know, literally I lived my life on a bell system. So I I think [00:14:45] that that kind of structure it absolutely helps creativity, even though that’s counterintuitive to a lot of people because like you said a lot of people think that to be creative you just got to be loosey-goosey and let it all be free but I just I found that that is [00:15:00] not really the case. 

Mary Scott: We I spoke with my daughter a couple of days ago. She was her art space downstairs. She’s an artist and all my kids are artistic but they my daughter loves to draw and write and make paintings and [00:15:15] her space was really disorganized and I showed her some pictures of the Studios of great artists.

And you’ll see every brush has a place cleaners have a place, now pencils, crayons, whatever medium there were [00:15:30] but things are pretty organized and she was really struck by that. I will see if it sticks but there’s there’s something to all that. 

Javacia: Absolutely. 

Liz: I really resonate with both of what you all are saying about the need for structure because that’s a thing [00:15:45] that I don’t know if I took seriously enough until I became self-employed and went out on my own and I also have a consulting business, a very different type of Consulting than Javacia’s. But it’s if you don’t put those structures [00:16:00] around your day it is so easy to just either get lost in the project or to check all the simple easy things that you’re excited about getting done off your checklist and never actually get down to brass tacks and take care [00:16:15] of business. It’s you can you can procrastinate yourself to death unless you put those, you know make rules for yourself.

Because even if you are your own boss, you still have to be the boss you still have to do to do this make the steps [00:16:30] take the steps to make sure you’re getting work done. 

Javacia: I definitely live by the eat the Frog philosophy. So when I’m making that to-do list the thing that I don’t want to do the thing, I’m dreading the most I make sure I do [00:16:45] it first. 

Liz: Oh, that’s smart. You call that the eat the Frog philosophy? 

Javacia: Yeah. I mean I didn’t make that up. It’s a philosophy of you know, you got to eat the Frog which basically means, you know, do the thing that you don’t want to do that first because if you had a bunch of stuff [00:17:00] in front of you that you had to eat and one of them was a frog you need to eat the frog first. Right get that over with!

Liz: We talked about all the exciting things and the things that are gratifying about what you do, but was there ever a [00:17:15] point when you just wanted to give it up and go back to teaching full time.

Javacia: I mean, well, I’ve only been doing this whole time for three weeks now, so I haven’t had that yet but there were plenty of [00:17:30] moments when I was building See Jane Write that I wanted to quit. So, you know, even before it was business. Like I said, it was very time-consuming. And so a lot of times I would ask myself why am I even doing this? I need to just stop. [00:17:45] And then once it did become a business I really had moments when I wanted to quit because you know turning it into a business quite frankly took some of the fun out of it and I had to deal with taxes, [00:18:00] and bookkeeping, and all of the legal stuff and paperwork, and blah blah blah, and I hated all that stuff. I still hate all that stuff. And so whenever I was working on that stuff, I would always ask myself. Why am I even doing this? I need [00:18:15] to just stop and I need to just go back to it not being a business. So I just need to end it all together. 

But again the thing that would keep me going was just thinking about the women that the group was helping and that even helped [00:18:30] me make the decision to turn it into a business because I knew that I could help more women if it were a business. Because before when it was just basically relying on my [00:18:45] wallet, you know, when I’m doing everything out of pocket not charging for anything obviously that could only get so big. Because you know without me just draining my savings account. So knowing that [00:19:00] making it a business would mean that I could reach more women kept me motivated. 

Liz: Is that what finally tipped the scales toward leaving your long-term job at ASFA and taking See Jane Write full-time?

Javacia: [00:19:15] No, that was actually more of a selfish decision. So so I started it for selfish reasons continued it for more I guess humanitarian reasons, but I had to go back to the selfish reason when it came to making [00:19:30] that decision. So like I said, I’ve been juggling this for eight years and each year See Jane Write grows more, which means each year it gets harder to juggle. On top of all [00:19:45] of this I have a chronic illness that is made worse by stress and lack of rest. And obviously my life is full of stress and a lack of rest. And my doctor set me down and [00:20:00] stared me in the face and said to me today seeing you are literally working yourself to death. Mmm, and that was a wake-up call. 

Liz: No kidding. Wow.

Javacia: so I knew that I had to stop 00:20:15] something. But then how do you pick because like I said, I love my school and it’s still my school. It will always be my school. I love my colleagues. I love my students. But I also love See Jane, [00:20:30] Write. I love the women of See Jane Write. I love helping them. And so how on Earth can I choose between my students and the women of See Jane Write? And then I realized I couldn’t I couldn’t choose between them, but I [00:20:45] simply had to choose myself. I simply had to choose my health also aside from the health issues. I realized that See Jane Write would be a [00:21:00] way for me to do everything I’ve ever wanted to do. So I wanted to be a teacher for very long time. I was one of those kids that will line up their stuffed animals and dolls and like launch into a lecture and I’ve also [00:21:15] wanted to be a writer for ever. My mom says I’ve been writing since I could sit up straight. And and even though I didn’t know the word entrepreneur when I was a little girl, I also used to gather up random things that I would [00:21:30] find and create pop-up shops before that was even a term that was used and like try to sell them to people in the neighborhood. It was really ridiculous. So it’s like I wanted to be a writer, a teacher, an entrepreneur all my life [00:21:45] even before I really realized that.

And See Jane Write is the thing that allows me to do all three of those because I get to write through the blog and through freelancing I get to teach because I’m teaching the women of See Jane Write the things I’ve [00:22:00] learned about writing and blogging, and becauseSee Jane Write is a business I get to be an entrepreneur. And so realizing that really helped me make the decision, and shortly after I put in my letter of resignation. [00:22:16] I came across a quote on Instagram that really felt like confirmation for me in a way. And the quote says you owe it to yourself to become all the things you’ve [00:22:31] ever dreamed of being. And I saw that like three days after I put in my letter of resignation and I got chills and started crying all of this stuff. So, yeah, it’s…

[00:22:46] Yeah, I had to choose myself. That is how I made it. 

Mary Scott: I love that story. I and I love where we met. You and I met at a photo shoot and I thought oh [00:23:01] my goodness. I want to know this woman better. And I’m so glad we had you on our show and Javacia you’re so so impressive. And I think something that is going to really resonate with our community our Belle Curve Community is [00:23:16] that you started a side hobby that turned into a side hustle that turned into a full-time job and you just never know where your story is going to go. And I bet you didn’t know [00:23:31] when you started where it was all going to go. 

Javacia: No, and again like I started that just because I wanted some women writers to hang out with. That is literally the only reason I started I thought that had these women to hang out with it would help me [00:23:46] be a better writer and keep me encouraged as I was trying to continue to write and and it just kept growing. That very first meeting there are about 12 women there and I didn’t know these women I just sent when I got when I decided to start this [00:24:01] I just scoured the internet for contact information of women that I thought might be interested and I looked at mastheads of magazines and bylines of newspapers and did all this stuff and sent the invitation out to all these women and about 12 showed up. [00:24:16] And then from there I had any after that. I had an event on Twitter, using Twitter as a writer and that idea came from that first meeting because someone they’re kept talking about how much she loved Twitter and everyone there was like what Twitter [00:24:31] dumb and then one of the women turned to me and said Javacia can our next event be a workshop on using right using Twitter as a writer?

And I thought to myself. Oh crap. They want to next [00:24:46] event. I hadn’t thought that far ahead! But sure!` Yes, that will be our next event! And so it was and 40 people showed up and then the women knew that I was a blogger and so they wanted to learn more about that. So I did a panel discussion [00:25:01] on blogging and 75 women showed up and I was like, okay, maybe I’m onto something here. And so you know, and so it just kept going and kept going and then all those awards started happening and I was thinking what? But I’m just [00:25:16] hanging out. I really felt like I was just hanging out.

Liz: I’ll tell you that story is so comforting to me as somebody who has a lot of anxiety about the future and a lot of just like, [00:25:31] where is this all going in terms of my own career? Just knowing that you saw it evolve and develop in real time, you know, you are doing the things that brought you Joy and that served other people and [00:25:46] you served your audience served your your clients eventually served your friend served our community and that turned into something fulfilling that you could also turn into a career of its own. So that’s really really comforting to me as somebody who struggles [00:26:01] with the future a lot. 

Mary Scot: Oh my goodness Liz you’re not alone. I’m sure there are listeners out there who are listening right now are saying I feel the same way because I think everybody feels that way at some point in there. I’m sure Javacia did, and you are not alone in [00:26:16] that and what I think is so amazing about and it’s just so great to have you tell your story today Javacia because side hustles can be to make extra money, but they can also be because you need something you got [00:26:31] you need something in your life that’s important. And I think you got a just be real sensitive to that and then go get it. 

Javacia: MHmm. Absolutely absolutely 

Liz: Along those lines of [00:26:46] fears and anxieties and all those fun things. Are there any things that that scare you about being a about making the transition to a full-time entrepreneur? 

Javacia: Yes homelessness. [00:27:01] And I said that only half-jokingly. But being serious growing up my family, we did not have a lot of money and we got evicted quite often, just being honest. And [00:27:16] another thing that helped me make this decision with therapy my therapist I talked to quite a bit about this decision and she helped me realize that the only reason I hadn’t taken the leap to do See Jane [00:27:31] Write full-time was because of fear. The fear that I would not have enough money to have somewhere to live because of my background. Yeah, and she just kind of walked me through [00:27:46] because she asked me one day ina session. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you did See Jane Write full-time and immediately my answer was I will lose my house. My husband and I bought our first house in 2015 [00:28:02] which was a major deal for me. I never thought I would own a house because, again my background and I mean to this day it’s been four years now since we bought the house, I still get chills when I pull up in [00:28:17] my garage. That’s why every day every day for years later. I still do so having a house is a huge deal for me. And I immediately answer her and I said, my biggest fear is that I will lose my house and that I will not have anywhere to live. [00:28:32] And then she just walked me through how irrational at was being because she said, you know, if See Jane Write doesn’t work out you’ll just get another job, you know? It’s like you are you have two degrees, [00:28:47] you know, almost everybody in the city of Birmingham. Your husband has a very good job. Why do you think you would end up homeless? This makes no sense and she was right.

Obviously so [00:29:02] so that is my biggest fear. Well, it was my biggest fear. I don’t think I’m going to be homeless anymore. But but I do obviously I am concerned over making enough money to pay my bills. So but I think that when anyone goes out on [00:29:17] their own, I think that’s their primary concern.

Liz: Oh absolutely

Javacia: I mean whether they came from a background that struggle financially or not. I think everybody worries about that. 

Mary Scott: I think everyone feels fear. I mean, I’m sorry Liz. [00:29:32] I just have to say that I mean it more than laziness, more than I mean any other emotion I think fear stops us from doing things and whether it’s fear shame fear, or fear I’m going to lose my house fear or fear. Nobody’s going to love me [00:29:47] or nobody is going to like me or nobody is gonna want to buy my product or by my service. I think fear is… fear controls so much of our actions and I wish it didn’t

Liz: I’ll just give a plus one for therapy in there because it does yes [00:30:02] something that has helped me so much too and addressing and and making sure I was conquering some of those fears as well. But what are on the other side of that? What are the things that excite you the most?

Javacia: The thing I’m most excited about is just seeing where this goes, you know, seeing [00:30:17] what See Jane Write can become. I do have visions for that. And so I’m really excited about trying to make that come true make those visions a reality. Also seeing we are my own personal [00:30:32] writing career goes now that I have allegedly more time to work on my writing. I want to write for new publications that I haven’t written for in the past. I have [00:30:47] a book that I’ve been working on for two years. I want to actually either finish it or give up on it and write something else I want to do one of the one or two of those things.

Liz: What [00:31:02] are some of your favorite resources for inspiration for when you really need to get down to business to the writing piece in particular who are some people maybe or what are some resources that have really inspired you.

Javacia: [00:31:18] Let’s see for writing for just practical tips I really like The Write Life, which is a website that is good for all types of writers. And Jeff Goins is a writer that [00:31:33] I am a writer and blogger that I quote and talk about all the time. So those are  probably my favorite for practical things. For inspiration there is a book by Natalie Goldberg called Writing Down the Bones [00:31:48] that I love. It’s like a devotional for writers, in my opinion. Because when I feel stuck or discouraged I just pick it up and just read a section. Because it’s organized [00:32:03] invery short chapters on different topics and I’ll just read a chapter and just get the boost that I need. She even has a chapter on why writing is a communal act and how we need to not [00:32:18] just be… you know, we think about writers, we think of the person who’s just in their room alone head down not thinking about other people, and she has a chapter on how writers need other people. And [00:32:33] I really love that chapter because I obviously believe that too, that’s why I started See Jane Write. So so that is definitely a go-to just for inspiration whenever, like I said, whenever I feel stuck or discouraged just [00:32:48] reading a chapter from that book always helps.

Liz: What is the best piece of advice that another woman has ever given you do you have just one you can share with us?

Javacia: actually so Eunice Elliott, and if any listeners [00:33:03] are from Birmingham. They know who she is. She is an anchor on one of our television stations here, but she’s also a comedian and a motivational speaker and one day I was, I can’t even [00:33:18] remember what I posted I posted something on Facebook being honest about my insecurities and she posted something in reply to it that was so good that I wrote it down on an index card and I have [00:33:33] it hanging in my office right now. So I’m going to just take it down and read it.

So, let’s see. Alright. She says this is her message to me and this is my message to you all. Also, she [00:33:48] says “Trust your dopeness – we all see your dopeness even if you don’t write another word. Your dopeness is the results of all your perfect imperfections act accordingly and breathe.” Oh, [00:34:03] I just full-body chills, I guess. Yeah. Yeah, and I don’t think she even knows that I wrote all that down and that I keep it in my office, but it just really really helped me so I look at it pretty frequently. [00:34:18] 

Liz: So that is awesome. I feel like if you put that on a pretty little Pinterest graphic and put it on Pinterest it would go crazy. 

Javacia: I might do that!

Liz: Now on the flip side of that, what [00:34:33] is your favorite piece of advice to give to younger women?

Javacia: Actually is something I’ve talked about earlier and that’s Choose Yourself. I had to take my own advice when I was making the decision to do See Jane Write full-time. But [00:34:48] I think that just those two words they can apply to so much, you know as writers we often sit around waiting for The Gatekeepers to pick us and give us permission to share our work. But we live in [00:35:03] an age where it’s so easy for us to share our work on our own. So Choose Yourself decide that your work is worth being shared and find a way to share it whether it’s through a blog, or a podcast, or self-publishing [00:35:18] or writing an editorial to your newspaper. Whatever it may be. Don’t sit around waiting for someone to say, okay, we give you permission to share your work. No! Just you choose yourself and share your [00:35:33] work. But again, I think that applies to other things too, it doesn’t just have to be writing. Whatever your dreams are Choose Yourself and decide that you will go after them, wholeheartedly even if there are people telling you. Oh, you [00:35:48] can’t do that because of this that and the other or oh you shouldn’t do that because of this that and other. Forget them choose yourself go after what you want to go after. Also take care of yourself along the way that is choosing [00:36:03] yourself as well. And that’s something that I honestly I’m still working on. I’m really bad about not taking care of myself along the way. And I think a lot of women are and so that is a part of choosing also. 

Mary Scott: Well, I’m just thinking about all that but it’s like choose[00:36:18] such a powerful word. I mean and so often we don’t choose and that in itself I guess is a decision, but we just let things happen and we don’t choose and that’s that’s no way to be. 

Javacia: Right. Yeah. We just kind of go with the flow [00:36:33] and we don’t even really think about it and then we look up and it’s ten years later and you’re like wait, where am I and what have I been doing for the past decade.

Mary Scott: And I think women I think women have a hard time with self because we you know, and I obviously a lot [00:36:48] of its cultural but it’s but we have commitments and responsibilities and church and you know, neighbors and philanthropies and family and you you can just wind up spreading yourself out [00:37:03] so much that there’s nothing left of yourself. 

Thank you Javacia so much for coming on to talk to us today. We really really are thankful for your time and for your advice and for you sharing your story [00:37:18] where can people find you and what’s your favorite way to interact with people on the internet? 

Javacia: I think it would be well, I have two favorites so I can have two favorites. One would be Instagram. I love Instagram and so you can find me at SeeJavaciaWrite. [00:37:33] and also my See Jane Write Facebook group and if you go to Facebook and just search for See Jane Write Network, you will find the group [00:37:48] and you can request to join and I will add you so those are my two favorite ways to interact with people on the internet. 

Liz: Perfect. Thank you so much for Belle Curve podcast. You can find us on Instagram Facebook and Twitter [00:38:03] @BelleCurvePod. That’s be e LL e as in southern belle. nd then our website is bellecurvepodcast.com and you can please like us on those platforms, [00:38:18] but follow subscribe review rate, all that good stuff over on Apple podcast Spotify Stitcher or wherever you get your fine podcast fix. Thank you so much again to Javacia for coming on today, and fortalking [00:38:33] to us, and we’re just so thankful to have you as a new friend of the show and as a resource in Alabama. 

Javacia: Thank you so much for having me. I had a great time 

Mary Scott: great having you.

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