Grind On The Posts

To be a writer in a digital age can be overwhelming.

Being an independent author can be difficult. However, with the creative age you now inhabit, you have the added blessing of being about to put out posts as quickly as your mind can dream them up! With that said, in a visual data-rich society, you have to become comfortable with being visible.

There is no way around this.

Just like becoming a better writer only happens by writing, you get exposure for your work through social media!

Think of social media as an agent you can hire at-will.

But you have to work your platform. You have to work your work. In working your work, that includes social media. As I said before, it is the best use of your time to pick 1-2 platforms that you will or can consistently post on. And post to them.

Scheduling your posts can allow you to keep or modify your writing schedule. The goal is to write, and get your work seen by other people outside you personal fan sphere. The goal is to have work seen, commented on or shared. Becoming a writer on social media allows the unique opportunity to be seen an a professional capacity, while also being accessible to your particular audience or fan base.

Anne Rice has a Facebook page and she calls those at follow her page, ‘the People of The Page.’ On this page, she makes announcements, tells of special projects and book releases. Her assistant, Beckett, also sometimes posts for her as well! This allows those whom are fans of her work to have access to her, ask questions, while still being able to enjoy her work.

Facebook is used by more than half the world. So is Twitter and Instagram. Use all the tools at your disposal. Don’t let the world miss your genius because you forgot to post that you’re creating genius stuff!

Go forth and post!

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Encouragement Pages: 4/15/19-Pen & Paper

It’s a new week!

This is a chance to put all the ideas you have mulled over during the course of the weekend down on paper. It doesn’t have to be a novel or the stuff of Hemingway—but it does need to be yours. The ideas, the passion, the emotion needs to come from you.

The blank page is your true love: receptive, encouraging and waiting your every command. And always wanting more of you.

So, be brave.

Write.

JBHarris Writing Services Tool: Encouragement Pages

This is a new thing on JBHarris Writing Services. It is going to be used as a tool of encouragement and focus. Three times a week there will be posting to encourage you to keep writing.

They will range from the serious to the affirming, and sometimes funny. But the goal is always to keep you writing, fellow scribes and oracles!

Look for encouragement pages to start every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting April 10!

Research & Genre

When branching out into new genres, this is always going to require some work. However, but researching for a specific genre is another sort of work. This research allows you to see where it is your imagination may be naturally bent towards.

Anne Rice says it this way:

“Go to wear the joy is.”

In researching where your joy lies, it may take trial and error. It make take several changes for you to find your beat and bearings in it.

How you write for fiction isn’t the same as non-fiction.

How you write romances isn’t the same as how you write horror, fantasy or speculative fiction.

In finding your beat, you must know what the basic rules are in order to bend (or break) them to your liking.

In research, this includes writers groups and workshops. Research isn’t limited to Google, old wives tales and Reddit.

You’re a writer. By nature of profession, you get the freedom to change something and no one notice straight away. Use that to your advantage.

Research.

Rewrite.

Find what works.

Keep bending pages.

[Image from slideplayer.com]

For The Love Of Words

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I keep going back to the prophetic tone of Dylan Thomas. You have to rage against the dying of the light. You must in order to get back to your first love.

The drive to get back to it must have a force behind it which is formidable and incessant. For me, one of the things that rescued me was the love of words. The seducing rhythm of the peck of keys. The scratch of pen to paper. What are you willing to do to rediscover the love of words?

For me, I had to become honest with what I was. What I had lost. The scarier thing was confronting why I had lost it. If you cannot pinpoint the why, you can get to the for.  

Writers, by virtue of their careers, are obsessed with words and languages. We record what is said, and maybe unsaid. We decode and recode in order to transmit truths or dreams. It is for the love of words that allows Tolkien to be timeless. Hemingway and Fitzgerald to be classic. And Angelou, Hughes, Morrison and Walker to be part of societal shaping: classic works in their own right. It is because of the existence of these works, am I able to create. To record. And to tell stories with the most passionate of fervor.

It is the love of words that compels. That calls. That draws. It is for that love, that I keep at it. I want to know more about it. I study and stretch my own imagination. It strengthens my craft. The love of words deepens. Have I mastered everything? No, that’s why I, like Stephen King, call writing a craft.

You work what you have with what you have to do greater with what you will have. Rekindle your love affair, beloveds. I promise your love will be there, arms wide, to make you strong again.

[image from remixdata.com]

For The Love Of Writing

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light…”

Dylan Thomas reminds us in his poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, to be mindful of how life, love and energy is spent. I apply that same reasoning writing. That same desire to create, fulfill should be present in the life of every writer.

I cannot tell you how much you should work your craft, or how often you should write. There are no shortcuts to being a writer. You have to write! I must be part of what you do, in order for it to be a part of whom you desire to become. There are no shortcuts in this. There is no faster way to become brilliant.

Or more poetic.

Or more learned.

It comes one thought, letter, word, word-space-word pattern at a time.

The thing you love, you work at. You learn more about it. You learn the nuances, fortify the foundation things. You make it your own! The thing that you love, calls to you, and demands all that you have. It will always demand that!

Focus. Time. Integrity. Stewardship.

For the love of your writing, for the love your craft, you have to consider what that means. And will mean to you. Find your love, your voice in your writing and find your heartbeat in the twenty-six letters–one more and again.

[image from kallieross.com]

Protecting The Work: Integrity In Chosing Beta Readers

The most important thing for Beta Readers is not the reading.

No, it’s not a joke.

Yes, I’m serious.

The most important thing for a Beta Reader is not to steal your work. Even if it’s a rough draft.

In choosing your Beta Readers, the best advice is to keep your number small and composed of people you trust. It also doesn’t hurt to have your Beta Readers sign a contract that dictates not to share/plagiarize the work you show them.

Intellectual property is still property! It needs to be protected to the fullest extent of the law.

Take pride in your work! Protect it.

There is nothing worse than having your work stolen by the very people you believed you would trust with it.

[image from ad-Martin.com]