Let me tell you a simple truth. Retreats and workshops are tools. They are things which are able to sharpen the talent and gifts that you have. Being a writer does not make you a wizard, dear one. This is gift is one that you must work at, and work to be successful. Good writing doesn’t just occur. It doesn’t just happen–it is worked at. One of the reasons such resources exist are to encourage those whom write the confidence to write better! There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve you talent. There is nothing wrong with believing you do something well, only to desire to that thing better! Writing, truly pursuing this–will require an investment; the primary investment is time. Always time. Let me give this formula: Facts + Truths = Focus. The fact is simple: you are a writer. The truth is, you could write better–there is a way to do what you do better. With those things compiled will only yield focus! It is this simple formula which will prepare you for the challenges posed by and through any workshop or retreat. Don’t push away from this process, dear Oracle. If you want to write, be a better writer even, you must write.
The good news: there is always a blank page.
The bad news: there is always a blank page.
What I want you to remember is that you have all within you, to do all that you decide! There are no limits to your imagination–but you have to but something forth from your own talent–meaning, you have to believe in yourself first before you ever put it on paper.
There is always a blank page.
With Love & Ink,
Writing is one of the few professions were merit is your credit. Where your ability to honor the others that come before you, allows you to increase your influence and networking.
One of the worst things you can have as a writer is ‘bad credit.’ The worst thing you can be labeled as is a writer that takes work without credit, or publishes other people’s work as your own, or whom is known to not ‘own your own pen.’
I know the process of writing can be hard, it can be thankless, and an easy out can [seem to be] plagiarism.
Don’t fall for that trap. You can do better.
Don’t ruin your writer credit.
With Love & Ink,
Note: The topic of ‘bad credit’ as a writer will be discussed is Season 2 of The Writers’ Block Podcast–which resumes on December 5, 2019.
The English language has 26 letters.
At present, there are over 170,000 words.
Over. 170,000 words.
This means that you have the chance to say everything that you needed to say. Everything that you want to say, need to have other folk hear, and for the world to be aware of.
Never, ever say that you have nothing to say.
I’m sure there’s a word for it. If it ain’t, make it up!
With Love & Ink,
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.
I believe in you!
In Love & Ink,
The lovely Savan Robbins is an enigma wrapped with immaculate eyebrows. From the humorous to the erotic, she has a little bit of something for everyone. In her hectic schedule, she took time out to speak to our admin about what makes her tick. As well as what keeps her pen, and cursor moving.
When asked about the beginning of her writing resume, she admits she’s been writing since she was about 12. “I started with short stories, mostly dramas or horror type works, then later evolved into romance and more erotic type work (in conjunction with other genres) as an adult.”
Like all writers, Savan has her own writing schedule–crafted to her needs. She says her greatest challenge is overcoming life obstacles and just finding time to write. “It’s a never-ending challenge at this point. But in time, it gets easier.”
Take this critical piece of writing from Savan, given as only a writer can deliver it:
“My writing schedule is essentially write when you can. For some, having a specific schedule works. For others, life can get in the way and other things will be more important at times. So my advice with this is: if you’re the type of person who can make a schedule and stick to it, do that. If you can’t, just write whenever the mood strikes you. There is no right or wrong way to write. Just do whatever works best for you.”
From this rich advice, we delved deeper. It’s always easy to think the people whom call themselves writers never have an issue or problem, well, writing! When asked about this, Savan admits writing isn’t easy. As a matter of fact, she says it this way: “If you’re doing it right it’s hard.” When given the space to expound upon that, she says writing a book no one will read is easy; writing a book for others is hard.
Savan gives this additional gem:
“It’s more than just good grammar or stringing phrases together that make sense; it’s thinking about ideas, research and editing, finding covers, marketing, reading (and not absorbing) negative reviews…there are so many parts that go into selling a book to the masses that people don’t even think about. But if you are willing to do what it takes to make your dream happen, it will be the most fulfilling thing you’ll ever do.”
With the majority of her work published exclusively to Amazon, Savan says her greatest joy with writing is when readers let her know that they enjoyed the story or really connected with something she wrote and it resonated with them.
When asked about current and future projects, Savan is focusing more on editing at the moment. However, fear not Savan fans! She says there are some paranormal romance projects and some contemporary works she has in the works. Savan also said that she has some novellas brewing which should be published later on in this summer.
With all the gems given during the course of time together, Savan was asked if she had any other advice for new writers or those whom want to start writing again. As she has for the entire interview, she gives this last jewel.
“Just keep writing. If you get negative feedback about your writing, step outside your feelings – because writers are sensitive about criticism even if we say we’re not – and see if it truly applies to your work. Then figure out how to make it better. There are thousands of craft books and free and paid tools to perfect your writing. The only thing that will hold anyone back from being a great writer is their own ego. The sky is the limit…”
Indeed it is, Savan. See you on the Best-Sellers list!
(c) October 2015 JPHarris
The voices are aging. The forebarers that lit the path through the igniting of thought are leaving towards the same light that sent them.
In contemplation, I find myself going to these people: my mother Bessie Bush, Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou. It was my mother whom introduced me to the worlds books hold, and the solace they provide. In my darkest moments, she would ask me, “Are you still writing?” I would answer her as my situation dictated. I recognize there will be a day where I will no longer have benefit of her voice on the other end of a phone. Despite past contention, she has been graced to be my mother. I will need her until the Lord will need her Home. I thank her for being my mother when it would be easier not to be.
Anyone that knows me understands my love for the other 2 aforementioned women. With the nation losing our grandmother Oracle in Maya, I grappled with that sense of loss-I have enjoyed her work since age 9 when my mother gave me her copy of I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS. All we, yes we, have left of her, is what she left: her letter and voice.
Toni Morrison is 84. The same age as my grandmother whom would be 86 this year. I found Toni Morrison in high school and was rapt with her tone and description of anything. I knew then, this gift of words and being a writer, was indeed a craft. Indeed a craft. There will too be a day where the world will only have her letter…and voice.
The Word of God says “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” In this space, I commit these intangibles back to Him seeing as He is the giver of all good gifts. In that process, in the beginning of the becoming and faith in its end, I believe a portion of my legacy will be left to treasure in letter and voice.
See mom, I am still writing.
In all the encouragement you have found this month, the one thing you need to remember is this. There is no magic ingredient for success, no key, no secrets to tell. The only secret I can give you is to look in a mirror. You are the secret ingredient.
You are the key.
You are the magic.
You are it.
The rescue you want is in your reflection and fingertips. You are the intangible. You are the hero of this story. Always remember this.
As a writer, you will have bouts of self-doubt to the point of it crippling you. The doubt reaches into the innermost parts of you and sets every thing you know your talent can bring you on fire–and makes you watch.
Only you know why you write, and you have all the power you need inside of yourself. Unless you believe you can write, you never will. Unless you believe you can write, and determine that you will write, there is no inspirational book or blog which can help you. There must be the inner belief that resonates, catches fire in order for you to continue on this grind. You can do it if you believe you can.
If you believe you can, you’re right.
If you believe you can’t, you’re right.
It’s a process. Everything you do towards your writing, if this is what you want, determines the width and breadth of what you demand of yourself. If you want to write, you’ll write. If you don’t, you won’t.
The crux is what do you want to do more: quit or keep going?
[image from Google]
New projects are scary. They really are. They provide the creator with the ability to add something to the world which was not there before and it is indeed amazing. However, in that space of creation and creativity, there is or can be a paralysis. This paralysis, this page stage fright, stops us as writers from writing as we wish or as we would want.
It makes us tone down the idea, or be unmotivated to even record it, develop it or reveal it. As a writer, you must be able to fight through this fear, this paralysis in order to create as you desire!
Toni Morrison said one of the reasons why she wrote The Bluest Eye is because she wanted to read it. If you want ways to be your own motivation, here are three:
- Be excited about your own idea. If you aren’t excited about what you’re working on, no one else will be. That excitement will fuel the rest of your process. From research, to free writing, development of a draft or manuscript, that excitement allows you to keep the goal in mind–that goal being the story.
- Don’t be scared about the idea. Your idea is the creation, the baby, of your imagination. If it be humor, horror or romance, it’s yours. Develop it. Write it down. Even if you just write the idea to roll it over later. Don’t fear your imagination or stretch it.
- Don’t be afraid of a trope or archetype character. There are some things in literature, in writing, that are unavoidable. Hero/villain. Resolution. Plot structure. Character development. Use these rules and stretch them. Don’t be afraid to stretch the rules, or even engineer a way around them. This is your story, your idea but fear is has no space.
Creativity and apprehension cannot coexist. Apprehension chokes the life out of any thing which has life or vitality. Don’t surrender to the voices which tell you not to, or the people who don’t believe in you. You grab your idea, you work it and protect it.
“You cannot come soft to a blank page.”- Stephen King
Jennifer P. Harris
Founder, Shekinah Glory Writing Services
[Image from Google]