Today we’d like to introduce you to Beandrea July.
Beandrea, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I started keeping a daily journal when I was 10 years old and writing practice has been a big influence in my life. I take a lot of pride in having my own personal archive of writing (even if most of it is not pulled together enough to be published). I grew up in Dayton, Ohio but I have lived a bunch of other places including Philadelphia, Oakland, Washington DC, and now Los Angeles where I’ve been since 2017. I love Paris, New Orleans, and Toronto as far as favorite cities go. Other fun facts: I used to be a yoga teacher and I’ve been on a bunch of silent meditation retreats. I am also a licensed massage therapist with the state of California although I have been on sabbatical the last couple of years to focus on writing. My story is a lot longer than this but now feels like as good a place to stop as any.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a writer. I work in nonfiction and fiction as a cultural critic and screenwriter. I love film and television. My main goal is to be of service by pointing out things that people might not have realized before. I also want to write in such a way that people feel more permission to be their authentic selves and have juicy conversations. I’m a big believer in doing what you can with what you have and making up your own personally-tailored norms.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
I sometimes wish I had spent my twenties pursuing a vocation that pays predictably so that I could afford basic living and write. Worrying about money is not a great boon for creativity. If I could go back to my 20s self, I would say save your money and find work that people will pay you for that doesn’t kill your soul so you can write enough over the long term that it can become your career.
Be kind to yourself. There’s never a good reason to beat yourself up. Cultivate a compassion practice. Meditation has helped me with this personally, but there are many roads to self-acceptance.
Don’t use professional writing as a substitute for therapy. Writing is definitely therapeutic, but only share publicly that which you’ve given yourself the time and space to digest and fully integrate. “Don’t use writing to get love.” -Natalie Goldberg
Support other artists and build community. It doesn’t make your light shine brighter when you try to blow out other people’s candles.
Be familiar with what you need to refill your creative well and tend to it like you do your physical hygiene. I find that when I feel creatively and energetically nourished I create better work.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Words and Audio on Culture are here: julywrites.contently.com
Scripted fiction podcast here: centeredpodcast.com
Twitter ramblings: @beandreadotcom
- Website: beandrea.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Twitter: @beandreadotcom
headshot is: courtesy of WUTI Goes Idyllwyld