Encouragement Pages-08/30/2019: What’s On Your Shelves?

One of bonuses about reading is you can scope out the competition! Reading the books in your chosen genre allow you to see what trends are present, what tropes are most common, and how the pros do it!

The right book at the right time may encourage you to switch genres, try your hand at a fresh retelling of an old story or a new point of view.

Writing should never be static!

Keep writing! Keep reading!

In Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-08/28/2019: More About Reading

Aside from your physical writing tools, books are going to be the next biggest investment.

A writer’s library is an arsenal! From pop culture, to reference books, to your own favorites, your library may take a while to get it how you want, but build it anyway!

Your future self will thank you.

In Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Why Credit Is Essential

Writers and artists are part of guild that thrives on merit. It is a profession which honors creativity and credit as no other. This may be because we know intimately what it means to create; we know how hard, pain-staking the creative process is!

Being able to pull something from your head, move it to any medium, is a process that is not often appreciated. When someone tells you that created something, wrote something, when they didn’t? This is unacceptable! If you classify yourself as a writer, call yourself a writer, you cannot surrender to the temptation to take credit for something you did not create. It flies in the face of the community which as embraced you!

ARTISTS CANNOT, DO NOT STEAL FROM ONE ANOTHER!

In one of those cheery wall plaques, I saw a quote that I have mulled over for the last two days in my local Books-A-Million. This quote read:

Through history, most often, Anonymous was a woman.

Credit in creative communities is essential. It allows for the artist to be both seen and heard. They are added to the greater tapestry of the world which influenced them! Taking work that is not yours, or denying credit to the ascribed artist is the worst, lowest form of theft. The most insidious form–stealing out of the minds of another. The most famous, most controversial cases of theft is between Sophia Stewart and the Matrix franchise.

I add this link and story because theft of intellectual property, especially for minority women, for Black women, is on going. Theft, stolen credit, erasure as it relates to the work and contributions to literature and art are real! Society at large would like us to forget this, but that is impossible.

Credit gives visibility; further chance to create and be heard. Don’t take that from someone else–no matter how dope the work. Make your own.

Encouragement Pages-08/26/2019

Get to work!

Writing is more than words on a page! It is more than buying pens and notebooks! Writing involves work, dear ones! Part of that is research. Which means what? Say it all together: READ!

Most writers start of as readers, or in some way fascinated by language. Reading, feeding your curiosity to the point of frenzy, is the best way to keep your mind sharp. To expand your imagination’s boundaries.

The work of writing will always involve reading.

In Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-08/23/2019-Begin The Beginning

The beginning.

The beginning is always the hardest part of any new thing.

The beginning signifies decisions, choices, and the yielding of yourself to something else. It is the start of a new thing.

Your new work? Your new idea? You new thought?

That is your new thing…that is your beginning. That is the place where all things are new, stay new, and subject to your control. Decide to not just start–there is not power behind a start, only a direction or location.

A beginning equips you with a plan and a trajectory! It allows you to have the confidence and power to keep going. So, begin.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-08/22/2019

Look it up!

Writers are these weird people with thee strangest walking around information!

Example: The pH of blood is 7.35.

Yes, that’s a real fact. But, I digress.

Writers need to remain curious! Things that intrigue you, scare you, turn you on, look them up! Your research base as a writer needs to be ever expanding!

This includes words you don’t know—vocabulary is still your meat and potatoes. Remember that.

Good luck!

I believe in you!

In Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-08/21/2019-Begin The Beginning

The beginning of any work is either going to stress you or satisfy you. There is no in-between. There are times where the writing is forced, uncomfortable and may be hard as German algebra! However, wear some get lost is when you don’t fight through a rough beginning.

Don’t be afraid to challenge, to rework, to reevaluate or even change a point of view for one of your characters! You are the creator and the destroyer of worlds.

Go and do what writing demands.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris