Month: August 2018

The Best of August

I’m not gonna lie — August has kicked my butt.

Just yesterday I showed a colleague of mine the August calendar in my Day Designer* and her jaw dropped. There was not a single empty space!

I spent the first weekend of August attending WordCamp Birmingham where I learned a very important lesson about content creation that you read about here.

The 2018-2019 school year started so I had to get back to juggling my freelance writing with my full-time teaching job.

I’ve been working on making the See Jane Write blog better, too, and even launched a new feature — Media Maven.

On just the second day of school, I was out way past my bedtime. But I have no regrets. I was up late attending a live recording of the NPR podcast Code Switch, featuring Birmingham poet Ashley M. Jones. I had a chance to chat with her about the experience.

The month wasn’t all work and no play. I watched TV and movies, listened to music, and read books. (Find out what I’m currently into here.) I had dinner with friends, date nights with hubs and got a massage, because, as I explained in a blog post this month, I am making teacher self-care a priority this year.

As I look to September I can tell it’s going to be just as busy and to be honest, I’m excited. I’m not sure how this is possible, but the hectic month of August left me exhausted yet exhilarated so I’m staring at September saying “Let’s do this!”

What were your August highlights?  


*Affiliate link

Must-See Movies at the 20th Annual Sidewalk Film Festival

A Sidewalk selfie from last year’s Festival

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

Early American author Jack London said that and it’s one of my favorite quotes about finding the inspiration to write. We writers can sit around waiting to get hit over the head with inspiration, we have to seek it everywhere.

I often find inspiration in movies — from feature films, to shorts, to documentaries — and that’s why every August you’ll find me at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham.

If you have your tickets for this weekend’s festival you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by all the choices you see on the schedule. Don’t fret. I’ve got you covered.

Corey Craft, one of my colleagues at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, is a features programmer for the festival. Corey has written about film since 2009, teaches a history of film class at ASFA, and has a degree in telecommunications and film with an emphasis in critical studies from the University of Alabama. So before I made my list of must-see movies, I always talk to him first.

Here’s what he had to say…


How to Balance Freelance Writing with Your Full-Time Job

One of my goals for the summer was to land at least one new paid freelance writing gig and to start blogging for small businesses. I accomplished both of these goals and by mid-July and was running through my house singing DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.”

Then the school year started.

Cue the record scratch.

I now had to return to my full-time teaching job and balance all the lesson planning, lecture giving, and paper grading that it brings with these new writing responsibilities.

At first, I panicked. What have I done?! I yelled to the heavens.

After a day or so of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth I decided to put my big girl panties on and make a plan.

I put on Dua Lipa’s song “New Rules” and drafted a list of guidelines for my freelance writer life. I’m sharing them with you in case you need some new rules, too.



Tank and the Bangas

If you want to be a successful writer you must learn to find inspiration anywhere. I often get inspired by shows and movies I watch, music I listen to, as well as the things I read. That’s why I occasionally share on the blog what I’m into in hopes that you can find inspiration in these things, too.

Here’s what I’m currently listening to, watching, reading, and obsessing over.


Poet Ashley M. Jones discusses her experience as a guest on Code Switch LIVE from Birmingham

On Tuesday, August 14 Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji of the popular NPR race and identity podcast Code Switch hosted a live recording of the show in Birmingham at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. This event, presented by Birmingham’s NPR station WBHM 90.3, drew a packed house and featured interviews with Mayor Randall Woodfin, WBHM news director GiGi Douban and local award-winning poet  Ashley M. Jones. The discussions during the show tackled important issues about the city’s race relations, economic landscape and more.