Dr. Linda Seger has a extreme passion for reading, writing and film production, you’ll see later in the interview. She is an entrepreneur who has travel the world and is a living example of a person enjoy life. Many individuals dream like hers, but are afraid to make risk to get it started and they forget how powerful our God is. He says it himself He’ll give the desires of our hearts. We just have to make the first step and trust him, Linda did…why not you?
1. How did you get started in as a script consultant and writing books? Why did you want to make a career out of a script consultant verses just being a writer?
Well, I do, of course write non-fiction books. have always been interested in reading, (fascinated with reading when I started reading around age 6, I expect… and started reading loads of books by the time I was 7). Then, I got interested in writing, and started writing poetry, short stories when I was 10, and even wrote a novel when I was 13 (My only novel…about 25 pages long.) I got interested in script writing as a result of working in theater… and from directing theater where I began to analyze scripts. Then, I taught theater in college, and as part of my Th.D. in Drama and Theology, I developed a method for analyzing scripts which then became my business as a script consultant. Script Consulting developed out of my love for drama and my love for great literature.
2. Almost 30 years in this industry from writing books, conducting seminars, speaking, consulting, running a business and traveling, is writing scripts still your number one passion? Or, has one the others taken precedent over script writing?
The script consulting is a great joy to me, because I work with creative people, and I exercise my own creativity by working with their scripts, thinking about ways to improve them and solve script problems. But it’s really the combination that I love-consulting, writing books, and doing seminars. I love writing the books, and sharing ideas. and the Seminars are a way for me to express myself publicly, to meet others, and to figure out how best to communicate these ideas. So, it’s the combination.
3. In 1981, what made you to decide to start you own business verses working for another company?
Well, no one wanted me!!! (smile!) the college where I was teaching had over-extended the Drama Department and suddenly about 6 of us were out of a job. I lived near Los Angeles so I decided, with my background in Drama, perhaps I could get into the film business. But I was over-educated, older than many starting out (I had already been a college professor) and my skill was in scripts, not necessarily in administration, or working in a corporation, or…and I didn’t know anyone, so I didn’t have any advantage of knowing someone in the business. I started doing story analysis, and found, fairly quickly, that all my previous work served me well. Then, one day, a writer who I met was having trouble with his script and I suggested I apply my Doctoral Dissertation which focused on a specific way to analyze scripts, to his script. He said to me, ” I’ve struggled with this for 5 years…and in one hour you told me what to do.” At that point, I realized I had something here, and also realized that the industry had many scripts out there that didn’t work. I was not a corporate type, but realized eventually that I was an entrepreneurial type. So, I was partly forced into it by circumstances, but when I started my business, I realized this was my great joy and that I was good at this.
4. How was your faith tested when you took the risk of starting your own business?
It was a huge leap of faith. I didn’t know if I was being stupid, or being called. I finally just took the leap, and as time went on, felt I was doing exactly what I was meant to do. I did have various tests…at certain points, my ego would get in charge, telling me that I was really ‘something’, or that I should try to work for a studio and maybe some big wig would thank me at the academy awards, but I felt God was telling me that much of my work would always be with new writers. Although I do work with very successful writers at times, and that’s a joy too, but many of my clients are new, and I feel that I’m nurturing their creativity and their self–expression.
5. What are you thoughts about Christians becoming Entrepreneurs? Do you feel it’s okay for Christians to aspire to be wealthy?
Being an Entrepreneur and a Christian is a fitting combination, because God is very creative about calling us to unusual jobs. It takes a leap of faith to become an Entrepreneur… I don’t know how people do it without faith, unless they have rich relatives!
I believe prosperity is, or can be, a by-product of our work, but that we do have to keep in mind our spiritual principles and not be tempted to have pride, or to get greedy, or to buy into the world’s ideas of what we-re supposed to have (I.E., Money, Big Cars, Fame, Fortune, ETC.) I did struggle with what would happen if I began to do well… What would I do with all that money if I got it? Well, I’m not making millions, but I have certainly done better than I expected, and I began to think about how to be wise with money (saving for retirement, ETC.) but also there are so many people and places that need our help. I’m involved with a charity in the Philippines… (Wodeef- Women’s Economic Development and Earth Foundation) that helps women start businesses, helps educate the children, and has a farm which I bought for them which teaches sustainable agriculture and helps fund the city branch of the charity. I also think it’s important to develop a sense of sharing and to realize that we are blessed if we can help others. We are blessed because we have the money to help others, and we are blessed in the process of helping others.
I have tried to develop a stronger social consciousness about how people struggle in our world. I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to be more aware of those who are poor and oppressed. This has included studying what is called ‘Liberation Theology’, meaning Theology that deals specifically with Jesus’ words about ‘I’ve come.. to bring release to the captives, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.’ So I’ve tried to be more aware of the variety of struggles that people have.
After some years of thinking about the homeless, I made the decision to almost always give when I see a homeless person…and I also try to always look them in the eye and give them a blessing. I realize I’ve been blessed, and they are struggling. (And I don’t make judgments about their situation, or if their dishonest.) So, it’s important if we have much, to share.
6. One of my most favorite quotes is by Bessie Stanley who says it best about “Success”:
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children, who has filled his niche and accomplished his task, who has left the world better than he found it.
What is your definition of success? Do you feel you have reached it and if so, how do you know?
Success is being blessed, able to do the work we love, to make a living at it, to contribute goodness to the world, and to delight in life.
I have reached success in my professional life and my personal life. Perhaps I know I’m successful partly because I have surpassed my dreams, but also because people give me feed-back to let me know that I am doing work that is helpful to them, or they let me know that my books have helped them and touched them.
But success is not about coasting. One has to maintain it, and keep expanding. Blessing, as I mention in my spiritual steps book, is about expanding, flourishing, abundance, and goes out to others and comes back to ourselves. It’s circular.. and that means that one does keep expanding.
7. Speaking of Success, can you tell us about your most recent book “Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success”? What was it that inspired you to write this book?
Spiritual steps was inspired by an award given to me by Regents University in 2000- The Candlelight Award. It is given every year to a Christian who is a ‘Light to the Entertainment Industry.’ I asked what kind of a thank you speech they wanted at the ceremony, and they said up to 30 minutes. That made me think about how my career had been nudged, pushed, pulled, and guided by God. As I thought about various steps along my career, this book began to evolve.
I also began to think about how we often think of spiritual tests and spiritual challenges as being part of the failures and problems in our lives – unemployment, illness, bad marriages, kids on drugs, ETC. Yet, I found that there was a whole different set of spiritual tests about success, and had realized that there were few books about these challenges. And, as I looked at my career, I began to try to define what those challenges were.
And, 9 years later, that became this book.
8. What is the most important take away, you want the readers to receive after reading “Spiritual Steps on the Road Success”?
I’d love readers to reflect on their own route to success, and perhaps to find some gems that will help them remove any barriers to their success. Hopefully, the book will also help readers discern some of the subtle and unexpected challenges on the road to success- and how to handle those challenges being aware and guided by the presence of God.
9. What else is on the horizon for you? Any new business endeavors?
The Third Edition of my first book, Making a Good Script Great, will be published in February. I am writing a book on subtext, called Writing Subtext for the Screen: What Lies Beneath, which is due at the end of March. I have 2-3 books on spirituality that I’m trying to sell. As far as new business endeavors, I do want to do more speaking on spirituality. I’ve given several speeches recently on this subject, and would like to expand that part of my life. That also includes writing more books on the topic.
10. What is your favorite scripture? Why did you choose that one?
Of Course, there are many favorite scriptures that pull at me at different phases of my life, but probably my favorite is Proverbs 8:22-31. In this scripture, the writer is describing how wisdom was with God at the creation. Wisdom, over the years, has become an increasingly important concept for me. I think it takes wisdom to be in business and try to have Christian standards in the way one does business. But, this scripture is also about creativity. Wisdom, who is a creator, delights God. She plays in his presence. She is a master craftsman. And she loves being with us human beings. The scripture reminds me to always take joy in my work. To be delighted with creativity and to love playing with other creative people and playing, and being, with God!