Encouragement Pages: 07/31/2020

Good writing is not just based in or on luck. It is a matter to tenacity and time. Octavia Butler said that one of the gifts of writing is tenacity! In order to get better at it, you must keep at it! Think of writing like any other physical muscle. It can–and will–only be developed by use! It can only be strengthened by continued use–here you get stamina, focus, and that all-coveted determination. Writing only gets better by writing. I believe in you.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages: 07/29/2020

Don’t give up so easy!

You are closer than what you think you are!

The one thing I want to you remind you of is to have faith in yourself. Have faith in your work. Have faith in what you want to create! Do not be so quick to compare yourself to other writers! You may never write if you do. Faith comes by believing in yourself. One word at a time.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Combating Self-Rejection: Accountability

There are few tools and resources in writing that are so under-utilized as accountability. When combating self-rejection, you need people around you that are able to tell you you are capable of doing. The role of accountability is two-fold.

Support. Writing is hard, and can sometimes feel like you are doing all of this by yourself. Writing, making worlds of nothing, is hard! It truly is. With that said, never take lightly how crucial this is to have people whom do the same things you, encourage you! Encouragement as a writer means there is someone (or a group of people) that know your struggles, familiar with your passion, and can remind you to keep going. This is essential.

Responsibility. If you say you are a writer, you need to write! Your responsibility is to write. Simply stated, if you are working on something –and people around you know about it–the expectation is that you finish it. Accountability assures the writer that someone is anticipating what they will create. Respect your imagination enough to see a thought or an idea through!

I want to see all of you win, and write down all the things your imagination tell you. I want you to know you will have moments of abject fear when you put pen to paper–but commit to what you want to do! Embrace what you want to create what you want…and make the rest up. After all, you’re a writer! You can do that.

Encouragement Pages: 07/27/2020

There is a power in starting a work. But it is a greater thing to pick one back up! This is week I want you to examine what you may have left behind in the first part of the year (remember The Writers’ Block Podcast is always a resource!), and determine what you can do or what you need to finish. Do not determine your success by a calendar!

The best is yet to be created.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-07/24/2020, Regaining Focus (Part 3)

Hold on.

Take a deep breath.

Having an unfinished work is not the end of the world! Being distracted or overtaken by life which stopped you from finishing a work is a not a cause for alarm! It happens!

The toughest part will ways this, “Can I pick up where I left off?”

Which really translates to “Do I/Can I have the focus to write this?”

With refocusing your energy, you can.

With idenifying what you need to support your writing, you can.

If you make time to write a little a time, you can.

It is not impossible.

It’s a journey.

The words will be you map and light.

Write yourself where you need to be.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-07/22/2020, Regaining Focus (Part 2)

The hardest thing you will encounter while writing is the dynamic duo of time and planning.

Some times the best writing has to be harnessed, caught and pushed (this is the surge of creativity artists rant about. It is a real thing!), other times you must put your own energy to storm as you want!

Remember focusing requires discoline. It requires seeing one thing in front of you, and just that one thing, so your task can be completed.

How will you harness your focus today?

Writing Sprints?

Turning off your phone?

Developing back story for your character?

The day is yours. The time is yours. Use both wisely.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Combating Self-Rejection: Networking

“Writers need community as well as solitude.” -JBHarris

Writing is one those hobbies and careers that are two-fold:  community and privacy. The latter is needed because if you write like someone is watching you, you won’t write (ala Nikki Giovanni). The former is needed for a crucial element for creativity. Community, a supportive writing community,  can provide and become three things:  sounding board;  place to recoup when the world is hard; wealth of resources. One of those resources is networking. What is this purpose of networking? Why is it important? Networking allows you to plug into a group of like-minded people whom you are able to ask questions of; seek new opportunities from other writers; share current work and getting feedback. Networking it the secret weapon to building out a writing career! The results are far outweigh any fears! In the age of everything tech-based, and running on apps and downloads, there are lots of writer forums and writing groups which foster the success of the writers which are invited into that space! Networking with a group of people–in this case writers–diminishes the tendency to be anxious about a certain thing! Having a place where you can emote, be reassured and find a safe place to say you are struggling is always reassuring. Join the groups. Lurk if you must, ask your questions in the DM’s of the admins! Through out your struggles to the oceans of forum boards and posts! If you have the desire, go to the meet up luncheons for these groups! Do the Zoom calls or conference call meetings! But do not isolate yourself from a community that exists to care and uplift! Who knows, the people that you hide from  may be the very  people you need! Show yourself, dear one. Give the world your words…so you heart no longer breaks because you can’t write them.

Book Announcement: THOUGHTS IN A PANDEMIC

To order, click here.

“…no woman has ever written enough.” -bell hooks

My day job is in healthcare.

My mother is a retired nurse.

I have been in this field, adjacent to this field, for my entire life. My mother was a nurse when AIDS hit, and it is her wisdom I have leaned on when time have gotten crazy in this particular pandemic. It is from that space experience and art that I wrote this book. This is the blurb from Amazon:

The COVID-19 Pandemic has laid siege to the world’s population beginning in late 2019. No professional community has been witness to this onslaught like the medical community! This community has been a guardian of sorts during this pandemic, trying to provide help, hope and normalcy in the midst of the administration of the 45th US President. This book of poetry, written by and essential worker in a hospital, shows the siege first hand–and the hope she still has, despite what she sees around her...”

I didn’t write this book to get famous. I didn’t write this book to see the record the downfall of the American heathcare system. I wrote this book, because writing has been my solace while this pandemic has raged. I hope that this book, and its 21 pieces, grant your some measure of hope and peace. Also, as a testament to the hope I have that we as nation–and a world–will get through this…and be better for it.