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Yasmin Shiraz – Writer, Filmmaker, Social Media Star

Posted by on Aug 18, 2011
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Yasmin Shiraz does everything I mentioned above and more. Yes, she’s made movies, and she’s written books. She does speaking engagements. And she’s helped to spread both her message and her reputation through social media. I met her on Twitter and to me she’s proof of the good people on Twitter who need to be better known by the masses. She’s also one of the people I highlighted in my post on 21 of the Top Black Social Media Influencers. One of these days I’m going to be in one of her films (okay, she didn’t say that, but who knows right :-) ).

1. Can you tell people all that you’ve done and do?

I’ve written 7 books that have been published — a couple of best sellers, an award winner, and even a critically acclaimed book that was taken from my teenage diaries.

The Blueprint for My Girls: How to Build A Life Full of Courage, Determination & Self Love; Retaliation: A Novel, The Blueprint for My Girls in Love: 99 Rules for Dating, Relationships & Intimacyicon; Exclusive: A Novel; Privacy: A Novel; Teens, Handle Your Business: 24 Tools for Motivation & Success; and The Blueprint Guide to Success & Motivation: Identify, Focus On, & Achieve Your Goals.

I’ve written, directed and produced 2 films – one a 4x award winner – Can She Be Saved? is my documentary film about teen girl fights. It won several awards including Best Documentary at the NC Black Film Festival. They Call Me Dae is a short film that explores the life of a teen bully.

I’ve keynoted and conducted speeches for the Essence Music Festival, the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, Congressional Black Caucus, and at least 60 colleges throughout the US.

I’ve owned several businesses including a hip hop magazine, Mad Rhythms. I’ve interviewed more celebrities than I care to recall – though Johnnie Cochran and Martin Lawrence are among my favorites. I’ve been to Diddy’s house in the Hamptons and Jay-Z once threatened to throw me out of his dressing room. (He has a wicked sense of humor.)

2. Where did you get the passion to do all these things?

I love LIFE. I love doing things that I enjoy. I love music. I love being creative. Every day I push myself to enjoy myself through work. I feel that if I’m alive, I should use my life to enjoy myself and be happy.

3. What’s it like putting a movie together?

Wow! Putting together a movie is fun, creative, grueling, exhilarating. It pushes you to your limit. Just when you think you have nothing left, a film lifts you up and you feel satisfied that you didn’t give up on yourself. Its one of the best experiences of my life.

4. Your stuff is so edgy and real; do you ever worry that people will stereotype minorities because of it?

No. I don’t worry about stereotypes. My goal is to educate and give a voice to the voiceless. I want young people’s pain to be heard, seen and felt. If you look at one of my films and are not more in tuned with a young person’s experiences then you have missed the message.

5. You’ve written seven books, even winning awards. What awards have you won, and how did you get your first book published?

My first young adult fiction book, Retaliation won the Top Ten Reluctant Readers Award from the American Library Association in 2009. It was a major moment for me. My Blueprint books have been on various bestseller lists. After numerous agents rejected my manuscript, I wrote The Blueprint for My Girls and published it myself. 6 months after I published it, Simon & Schuster offered me a book deal.

6. You’ve written both fiction and nonfiction. I find fiction difficult; how have you broken through in your mind to be able to write both?

I love writing. I don’t overanalyze it. But, I love writing. I love expression. If I have an idea that I need to express in a non-fiction format then I work it in that medium. If I decide that the message will be better expressed in a fiction medium, then I go with it. I never limit myself or my writing. I’ve written poetry, raps, biographies, screenplays, interviews etc. You name it, I’ve written it. Most writers who truly love writing, love it in all forms. I am a writer’s writer.

7. Which social media outlets do you use and how have you seen it help you?

I use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn… I love the concept of social media and so I’m always game to try it on.

Twitter has helped me reach new people and meet new people. I love it. Facebook has helped me to show people in a sorta intimate way what I really do. It has made me more familiar to people. LinkedIn has brought me new business customers.

8. You also do speaking engagements; do you enjoy that as much as I do?

I don’t know how much you enjoy it, but I am thrilled with it. I love writing speeches and delivering them knowing that I can capture a phrase, or a word in such a way that it punctuates the moment. I love how speeches allow me to be part comedian, part actress, part activist, part showman. I get to do it all when I’m speaking.

9. You do a lot; how do you script your time?

I keep to-do lists and every day I make sure I “to-do” what’s important. (LOL)

10. You’ve already done it all; what’s left?

Getting really paid for it. LOL. But also, I love to continue to stretch myself. Who knows what tomorrow brings? So, I push myself to see if I can make tomorrow a little bit different from today.

To follow Yasmin on Twitter: @yasminshiraz
To Visit her site: www.yasminshiraz.net
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yasmin-Shirazs-Still-Eye-Rise-Friends-Fans/139699712763511

 

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12 Comments »

I would not have known about Ms. Shiraz if you hadn’t brought her to our attention. Thanks for sharing (but, then again, that’s what you do…)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Yes Sonny, that’s what you do. Very accomplished person; she deserves to be better known.

August 18th, 2011 | 2:15 PM

I’ve read the interview on your other blog and I just did it again on this one. I admire hard working young people that have achieve success and more importantly try to stay at the top.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Carl; I admire the same types of things, which is why I’m happy to promote Yasmin.

Carl Reply:

Definitely agree and actually very helpful for me, to learn how to make online interviews, something that I really need to do much better and more often.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I think the one we did was fine. :-)

August 21st, 2011 | 11:28 PM

Congratulation Yasmin, your story was so touching and believe me its a good example to many.

August 22nd, 2011 | 4:02 AM
reeha@cheap desinger handbags:

i also don,t know about her before this post but you met her with high explanation. thanks for sharing her personality with us and how she works. if i can,t read this post than i miss the chance to meet with the charming star.

August 22nd, 2011 | 11:45 AM

Yasmin has an incredible list of accomplishments. You didn’t ask her how she came to so much success but I think I have an idea.

Just look at what she said on social media, for example. She didn’t say it gives her more exposure or talk about something going viral, she talked about people. Yasmin likes people and you can’t fake that kind of thing, not long term anyway. She also loves what she does. Both traits of great people. Thanks for sharing the interview Mitch.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Brian. Hey, I only had 10 questions so I needed to maximize my time. :-) But she’s truly incredible.

August 22nd, 2011 | 10:16 PM

Now she is the kind of person who is truly inspiring. She shows you it CAN be done.

I already know some women in my life to forward this to because they would love to see a sista like Yasmin really doing things like this.

I just followed her on Twitter and I’m looking forward to keeping up with her next moves!

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

You’ll be impressed John; I can’t keep up!

September 4th, 2011 | 10:40 AM