A University of Alabama (UA) graduate of the Journalism program came to the 2013 Kick Off meeting for the Capstone Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) to speak to UA students. Javacia Harris Bowser is located in Birmingham as an English teacher but that’s not all she does.
Javacia hasn’t strayed too far from her passion of writing she is a personal and professional blogger, free lance writer for a variety of local and nation publications, and in the past year has started an organization call “See Jane Write” that is now an online women’s magazine. The magazine consists of a wide range of topics all written by local female writers.
“See Jane Write”
Obviously she does not have an abundance of extra time so she expressed her initial reaction of being asked to speak as nothing short of freaking out. Not knowing what to say to college students she went with the advise from Meredith Cummings (the CABJ faculty advisor) and told us three things she wished she had known when she was going through college.
- Don’t be afraid to leave home and don’t be afraid to go back
- Things may not turn out the way you planned and that’s okay
- It is all about who you know
The advice she passed to us I was very impressed with! Many would say something about enjoy time now, or not to worry about the little things. What she believed is important brought a sense of excitement for what it to come even after what everyone refers to as “the time of your life”.
When Javacia talked about not being afraid to leave or to come home she also said one of her favorite quotes was said by Eleanor Roosevelt “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” This quote is also one of my favorite quotes that I use to guide my decisions everyday.
“Do one thing everyday that scares you”
The quote was a major contributor to making my decision to come to the University of Alabama. I knew that coming to UA would mean that I would know only a handful of people and it was a challenge I was and still am excited about facing. I have only been here a month and I have met many amazing people and cannot wait to see what is to come.
For her second piece of advise she explained that she found out that her dream of moving to New York to write for Essence magazine wasn’t what she wanted at all. The quality of life she wanted was not reasonable in a city as expensive as New York. She now lives in the city of Birmingham, smaller but still a city and she has her own magazine to express her views.
I have already seen that number two is completely true. When getting ready to come to Alabama I had the big fantasy of joining a sorority to become the perfect southern Barbie, eventually find my supportive fraternity Ken and we would live happily ever after in our dream home. But after going through rush and receiving a bid from my top house I found that my idea of what I wanted might not actually be what I thought. So I have now de-pledged and I’m ready to find my new path.
“I’m ready to find my new path”
Networking is a large part of any career, because you need to know someone who knows someone to get a job now days. So her third piece of advice is important for everyone to consider. The best way to meet people is to be nice. All Karma comes around and I know everyone wants good karma on his or her side. Just do good to get good! A comment she said was to never burn bridges; you never know when you will need a favor and the more options you have the better.
Her personal blog: http://www.writeousbabe.com
Her online Magazine: http://seejanewritemagazine.com
Q&A at the end
What you need to include on your blog?
– A strong about yourself (but only as personal as you feel comfortable with) and think of it as a welcome
– Explanation of what is on your blog on an about page and also somewhere on your home page including a picture of yourself
What to do when you have writers block?
– Just write anyway
– Look around at other blogs
– Think about how your feeling right now and why
– READING it helps more than you think
– Keep a notepad (or iPhone) with you at all time to write down ideas
– Look at Goinswriter or Writeability
How wide do your skills need to be in the Journalism world now?
– You need it all
– Writing (Obviously)
– Social media
Any tips for blogs? (Design, Promoting, Humor)
– People don’t know it but they like simple
– Sliders are not always the best idea
– Try to guest blog, or to comment of blogs that have audiences that apply to your blog to become part of the community. But never step on someone else’s toes! Remember be nice.
– When it comes to Humor just be honest. When you try too hard it feels forced. Be willing to embarrass yourself a little.
What is the scariest part of an internship?
– Writing about murders…
– Don’t be afraid of the people you look up to. Try your best to not be start struck and to learn from them
– The most important thing to remember is to work hard to impress the big guys but keep in mind to be nice.
Really blurry picture because its Iphone4 but me and the guest of honor!