Jim has been a story lover as long as he can remember. After studying the works of writers like William Shakespeare, James Joyce, and Alice Walker, he spent two decades teaching at high schools and colleges in the U.S. and abroad. But what he really wanted to do was TELL stories. He frequently promised himself he’d use school recesses to “write every day” – but almost never did. His 2008 marriage – and a subsequent relocation – made it necessary to abandon the teaching post. He took an office job and suddenly had very little time to write. It was just the break he needed. A 40-minute train commute twice a day, and a 1-hour lunch break, were his only “guaranteed” writing times. This made it necessary to use every minute available. Within a year he’d written what he considers his best work to date – an original screenplay, “Turning Two,” that is currently in development for production in late 2015. More importantly, he’d developed a discipline and a dedication to his craft he’d never known before. Earlier this year he decided to abandon the office job completely, and since September 1 has been pursuing storytelling full time.
Some Points We Discussed
- Jim always loved the power of stories to touch lives.
- As a teenager, Jim wanted to create stories which would have an effect on others.
- Jim chose the safer path of becoming a teacher.
- His profession of teaching literature kept him close to what he loved.
- A book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron introduced him to the journey into your impulses, desires and creativity.
- He realised he wanted to make his own stories rather than teach other people’s stories.
- A scary incident when he was 19 years old had a longlasting effect on him.
- Thirty years later, this incident still haunted him and caused him to start thinking of what if the outcome had been different.
- This became the basis of his original screenplay, Turning Two, which won him a screenwriting contest in Philadelphia and is now in development of production.
- Jim speaks of the two conflicting voices within us when making a decision.
- Both these voices, the one of intellect, rationality and caution, and the spirit, should be listened to in order to create a balanced life.
- When conflicted with a situation, ask yourself the question: “Who should I be?”
- The world will be a poorer place if we don’t come forward with our own uniqueness.
- Try to get quiet every day to allow the smaller voice to be heard.
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The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron