What cocktail waitressing taught me about writing by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2018 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , , with 6 and 0
Home > Columns > Jina’s Book Chat > What cocktail waitressing taught me about writing by Jina Bacarr

I once worked as a cocktail waitress…great research for stories

Back in my sassy cocktail waitress days, I dreamed about being a writer. I worked until 3 a.m. cleaning up, checking stock, etc., then I’d go home and write. On a charming PC with a black screen and alien green text.

Ah, yes, those were the days.

Dreaming, planning. Wishing and hoping. Always believing if I worked hard enough, I’d get published.

No one told me the road to Oz was a long and winding one. A road filled with curves and pit stops and wrong turns.

Which brings me back to my days as a cocktail waitress. I got the job because I fit into the skimpy costume. A black fringe short, short dress. High, skinny black heels and fishnet stockings. I looked the part, but I had no idea what I was doing. The cute bartender helped me make up a list of the drinks on a placemat (I kept it as a souvenir) and I had adorable pink tip trays.

I spilled drinks. More than once. Okay, I spilled a lot of drinks.

The competition among the waitresses was fierce. Like a beauty pageant. I got punked by another waitress when she set me up with a grabby, belligerent customer who almost got me fired.

I got asked out on dates by customers, but I kept my nose clean. The only date I had after work was with a bear claw at the 24-hour doughnut store.

I became a darned good waitress. I learned the drinks by heart, got my tray balancing on like a pro, knew when to steer the bouncer to a table of tipsy, unruly drinkers, navigated the jealousy of the other girls, made good friends, and enjoyed the job.

So, what does all this have to do with writing?

Cocktail waitressing taught me that like writing, it’s not one thing that makes you good at what you do. Sometimes it’s going outside your comfort zone to get the job done. Whether that’s learning new technology, expanding your social media network when you have no idea what works, taking criticism (I learned how to serve a drink by dipping and bending my knees) and writing is rewriting. It’s about learning your craft, persistence, and getting through the tough moments when you want to quit. Have your cry and get over it.

I have several book projects on submission….keep you posted!

Author Details
Author Details
I discovered early on that I inherited the gift of the gab from my large Irish family when I penned a story about a princess who ran away to Paris with her pet turtle Lulu. I was twelve. I grew up listening to their wild, outlandish tales and it was those early years of storytelling that led to my love of history and traveling. I enjoy writing to classical music with a hot cup of java by my side. I adore dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking and rainy days in museums. I’ve always loved walking through history—from Pompeii to Verdun to Old Paris. The voices of the past speak to me through carriages with cracked leather seats, stiff ivory-colored crinolines, and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new.

A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

Buy now!
A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

Buy now!
CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

LOVE ME FOREVER

Buy now!
LOVE ME FOREVER

RESISTANCE GIRL

Buy now!
RESISTANCE GIRL

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

Buy now!
THE RUNAWAY GIRL
If you would like to sign up for Jina’s Newsletter http://bit.ly/JinaBacarrNewsletter
×
I discovered early on that I inherited the gift of the gab from my large Irish family when I penned a story about a princess who ran away to Paris with her pet turtle Lulu. I was twelve. I grew up listening to their wild, outlandish tales and it was those early years of storytelling that led to my love of history and traveling. I enjoy writing to classical music with a hot cup of java by my side. I adore dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking and rainy days in museums. I’ve always loved walking through history—from Pompeii to Verdun to Old Paris. The voices of the past speak to me through carriages with cracked leather seats, stiff ivory-colored crinolines, and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new.
  • Veronica Jorge says:

    Hi Jina, Thanks for that jolt of persistence. I’ll keep following that yellow brick road.

  • Marianne says:

    Jina, you buried the lede! Congratulations on selling your WWII time travel! I an so excited for you.

  • Jina Bacarr says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Victoria. It’s so easy to veer off the path and sleep in the poppy field like Dorothy did. I have to kick myself in the butt sometimes, but the funny thing is, once I sit down and let my imagination take over and just write, I’m back on the path! Of course, coffee helps, too!

  • Jina Bacarr says:

    Marianne — a quick help question first: when I click on “Reply” I don’t go anywhere — I’m using Chrome. Am I doing something wrong?

    Now to your comment — I’d hope to have more details by now on the book offer, but not yet! I will update my post when I do. Thank you so much for your kind words!!

  • Jina Bacarr says:

    thank you, Marianne! Always good to check to see if it’s on my end.

  • Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

    >