When Does A Writer Decide They Want To Write Professionally? by
Barrington Smith Seetachitt and Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn
Film Courage: ….You say younger? So let’s say when you were five years old or older, did you both know you wanted to write professionally? Maybe this is too young to know?
Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn: No, absolutely not. I didn’t know I wanted to become a writer until I went to college. I was studying fashion merchandising at LA Trade Tech and hated my marketing classes, hated the accounting classes and I took whatever I thought was going to be an easy ‘A’ in fashion writing. I studied with Gwen Jones, who was the fashion editor of the then Herald Examiner. She was the first black woman besides Bebe Moore Campbell that I knew wrote, that I knew made a living as a writer. Bebe Moore Campbell was an author and she went to my church. And I didn’t understand writing as a career. I didn’t know that people got paid [laughs] to do that…some people don’t get paid at all anymore. But Gwenn saw something in the work that I didn’t, she suggested I get an internship and helped me get an internship at Women’s Wear Daily. I hadn’t thought about doing anything else as a career since. There was something very…you know they talk about the ‘Power of the Pen’ and I got a chance to experience that and what that meant to me. How affecting my work was and the results of it. My parents came from a very blue-collar background. My mother has a bachelor’s degree and my father has an associate’s degree, but they were both blue-collar workers and so when I came home one day and told my…(Watch the video on Youtube here).
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