Dasharra Bridges is a screenwriter, an author, and owner of her own publishing company. She is best known for her award winning book, Journey of a Single Mother. Dasharra was voted best author in her hometown of Rochester, New York. After the success of writing her own story in her book she started the organization, JOASM, a company built to help empower women to share their truth, without any shame.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate the opportunity. I knew that writing was something I was called to when I felt the urge from God. I couldn’t sleep sometimes because writing would just be on my mind. The thing that I love the most about being a writer is that there is endless creativity you can use. No matter if you have a good or bad life you can write a story you have always wanted to live. The thing that frustrates me the most about being a writer is the daunting editing process. Having to read the same thing repeatedly becomes excessively draining.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
My book is an autobiography, in which I tell my story of over coming being stalked and mistreated as a young adult. I express the journey of being a single mother and how I dealt with this unexpected lifestyle change. Readers will be able to learn more about my book and me on my official website www.joasm.com. You can also read my book on Kindle.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I am opening a Publishing Company that will turn books into films. I’m looking for great Authors with real deep stories to tell. I am also in the works of turning my book into a play.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
The most important achievement to me was winning Best Author in my hometown, Rochester, New York. In the next five years I see myself having a thriving publishing and production company.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I haven’t really dealt with much rejection in my writing career. However, criticism is something that I had a hard time excepting especially with my story. I have learned that everyone has an opinion and just because it isn’t that same as yours doesn’t mean it isn’t equally valuable.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I don’t have a schedule when I write. As a single mom and having a business I must find time when I can. When writing my book, I had no outline. I prayed and asked God to lead me when writing so that my story can help heal many women. I just knew what I wanted to say and how I should say it. I would say it doesn’t take long to write a novel if you are consistent. I may have written for one week then stopped writing for about 6 months then, picked up where I left off and wrote another week then I was finished.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
It’s never too late to begin writing. One thing about this industry is that there is no age requirement to being an author, there is always time to get to writing.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
I have not been an avid reader; however, I have always been a writer since I was a child. I journaled daily and still have my journals today. I began reading when I was going through a heartbreak and I walked down the book isle at Walmart. I picked up a book called “Put a Ring on it,” and began to read the first few pages. It was like the story this Author was telling, was exactly what I was going through at the time. I purchased the book and read it every day, it helped me over that hard time in my life. I then knew that books can be a powerful tool for the soul.
I don’t have a favorite Author, majority of books I read are self-help books. I am currently reading is “Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, it’s a true story and a major motion picture.
9) How has the current state of the world affected your writing? Because writing is an isolated practice, do you find it easier to deal with quarantine? Has it stifled your creativity, or has it made you even more driven to get things done?
I believe the current pandemic has ultimately slowed me down and helped me begin writing again. I finished writing my screenplay and I’m working on another currently. I believe the quarantine has helped me become more driven and helped me take matters into my own hand when it comes to my livelihood and business. I want my future to be secure no matter what the world is going through. I started a publishing company in the pandemic these are things I wanted to do but didn’t have the time to focus on.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
I believe that the publishing industry can be anything that you want it to be today. I personally lean towards self-publishing because I want to have all creativity over my work, but I think everyone situations are different, it’s all a preference. Being a hybrid Author can be of sort of interest depending on which publishing company is interested in contracting with me.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I believe that my transparency is key when it comes to my success with my reader’s. My readers want to hear from someone who is real that will tell the truth even when that truth is ugly. Writing helped me discover my purpose, I am walking in my purpose because I answered the call to become an Author.