Writing

3 Things I Learned From Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson That Will Help Me As A Writer

Just Mercy book

Hello Writing Friends,

I finally got a moment to see ‘Just Mercy’ featuring Texas’ own Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan, and Brie Larson. Before you all start to cringe, I’m not going to spoil the movie for you because I hope you all will have a chance to see ‘Just Mercy’ and experience the movie the same way that I did. Hopefully, you will see the movie from a writer’s perspective.

First, I must be honest and tell you all that since I wrote my first book last year, Words of Inspiration: 100 Days of Words, I don’t’ even look at movies the same anymore. In the past, I would go on movie dates and rarely even paid attention to the movies because I was too focused on either what happened before the movie or what would happen after the movie. Since the book, however, my mindset and my goals have changed. I now see movies way different than I did before–FOR SURE! Before becoming a writer, I didn’t take my writing seriously. I really discounted everything that was related to my writing as “yea, I wrote {fill in the blank} _________________, but so has everyone else on the planet.”  It wasn’t until I wrote my first book that I realized that my words mattered. It wasn’t until I PUBLISHED my first book that I realized that writing and publishing my words is what gave my words power. So from a writer’s perspective, I wanted to share with you THREE  things that I learned from watching, ‘Just Mercy’ that I hope will help you as a writer as well.

As you know, Just Mercy is about Bryan Stevenson, (played by Michael B. Jordan)  Harvard law graduate, who practiced law in Alabama to fight for inmates on death row who he felt were innocent or didn’t receive a fair trial due to either the color of their skin or lack of money. One of his history breaking cases was the one shown in the film, where he fought to prove the innocence of Walter McMillian. Rotten Tomatoes described this case as one of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx, who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie.

Who is Bryan Stevenson? The Alabama Booksmith stated the following about Bryan Stevenson:

Just Mercy Bryan Stevenson

BRYAN STEVENSON  is a MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient and law professor at New York University who founded and is the Executive Director of The Equal Justice Initiative. In this capacity, he has freed many wrongly convicted innocent citizens from prisons around the country. One of his most famous victories released our friend Anthony Ray Hinton (The Sun Does Shine) after three decades on death row.  He has argued (and won) at the Supreme Court of the United States on many occasions. We are so proud that the Equal Justice Initiative is located just an hour and a half down the road from our store. Visit the museum and go see the movie.

Just Mercy The Movie

3 Things I Learned From Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson That Will Help Me As A Writer

As I sat there watching this movie, I learned that Michael B. Jordan is just as fine in this movie as he was in Black Panther. Then I reminded myself to focus on bigger things! So let’s get to the THREE things that I learned from watching this film that I feel will help me as a writer.

  1. KEEP WRITING

Most of us tend to give up on writing because we discredit our writing and we don’t know our worth as writers. I blame how we feel about ourselves as writers solely on how society accepts our writing. Society tends to put everyone’s writing style in a certain box and when it doesn’t fit in that box then you’re labeled as a “blogger”.  Don’t get me wrong some of the most amazing writers are bloggers, but I don’t agree with the labels or the boxes that people tend to put you in when they don’t understand your writing style. So this movie inspired me to keep writing because ‘Just Mercy’ along with many others started out as a BOOK and if that doesn’t inspire you to write, I don’t know what will. Just keep in mind that today you could be writing a book and tomorrow it could be a movie-that inspires me! Keep writing! Keep writing! Keep writing! Anything is possible with your writing so don’t give up.

2) DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE DIFFERENT

Okay, I know alot of you are like what is she talking about, but please stay with me on this.  In one part of the movie, Bryan had just graduated and moved from Deleware to Alabama. I promise you, this part of the movie hit home for me because it reminded me of my journey of moving from Texas to Colorado, but I will share that experience with you at another time. Stevenson was an African American, with a degree from a prestigious college fighting for the rights of people that people in Alabama didn’t care about. Bryan quickly learned how different things would be for him in the south but, throughout the threats and other things that the movie didn’t show—-he continued on with his journey. So here’s what this part of the movie taught me, don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t be afraid to write what you feel and write how you feel it.  As writers, if we admit it we are so different. Seriously if we admit it, we don’t think like other people. Most writers tend to think above the average person, but that’s the part that most of us are afraid to show. Alot of us have a hard time finding our writing voice because we are afraid of what people will think of us based on our writing. Most of us are afraid that we won’t be accepted.  Remember that your voice is powerful and your words are powerful. Going back to the movie, Bryan was a Harvard graduate that could have practiced law anywhere but he chose to go into uncharted territory to practice law-with NO competition.  Don’t be afraid to be the writer that writes about timely subjects that no one else has tapped into. Most of us fight against what makes us different as writers or just a person in general. Now is the time to EMBRACE what makes you different and allow that to take you to the success you’re looking for instead of chasing success.

3) NUMBERS MATTER

This movie focused on Walter McMillian who spent time on death row before he was actually given a fair trial and sentencing. None of us need a law degree to know that this is unjust, but the reason why these actions took place was because of the “numbers”. When I say numbers I’m speaking of all the people who make up a certain group or number. In the movie, Just Mercy, the numbers were made up of the prosecutor, the Sherriff, and other police officials that the Sherriff had under his thumb. I will go a step further to help you all understand why numbers matter. There was another point in the movie where an inmate was getting ready for execution and the other inmates began to bang their metal cups on the metal bars as a way to show solidarity -numbers. Most writers, I’m included in this example, forget that we have numbers and we need numbers for our writing to thrive. So where do these numbers come from? Numbers come from the people that read your writing and like it, numbers come from people of your past like family members, friends, teachers, co-workers, and this list could go on and on. Sadly we chase a crowd of 100 people that have never heard of us and could care less to instead of remembering the REAL people that make up our number system-the faithful people.

Speaking of NUMBERS, I need you guys to be apart of my numbers so please take a moment to join my PRIVATE email list where I give out random prizes, tips, and notices of my private events and I would also like for you all to subscribe my new YOUTUBE channel where I continue to share WHY you should be writing and if you’re already writing, I share WHY you should publish what’s in your brain.

My name is LaNette and I’m an author and writing coach. In 2019, I was able to publish 4 books and 1 journal, 1 book which was listed on Amazon’s #1 Top Seller’s List. I help you bottle up what in your mind and publish it to maximize your income as a business owner or as a first-time author.

Did you see Just Mercy? What were your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “3 Things I Learned From Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson That Will Help Me As A Writer”

Chime IN I want to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.