Encouragement Pages-04/05/2021

One of the best things about research is what you might find, find out and the development of the rest of your walking around knowledge.

Research allows you to expand your knowledge base, which enables you to write the work you desire.

Enjoy the research. Enjoy the questions that come up! Understand that as a writer, reading and research will always be a part of what is required of you.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

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Book In A Year Series: Month 3-Maintaining Focus

Top two rules to writing:

1.) Believe in yourself.

2.) Repeat Step 1.

One of the most important things to have while writing a book is the belief that you can. If you don’t have the belief that you can, nothing else can be done!

The belief in yourself is essential and can only come from within yourself. It comes from the most basic thing, owning your idea—and doing it completely.

That belief that what you have started is yours to finish—and you can finish it! All writers, no matter how accomplished, start with this simple belief that you can write down what you dream up.

You are no different. You are no less talented.

Honor your creativity…and write.

Encouragement Pages-02/19/2021

Writers are a fan of tomorrow. So much so that they sometimes start everything then.

To that thought, let me counter with this piece of wisdom: tomorrow never comes.

Which leaves you a decision, dear writer. When will you start writing—now or tomorrow?

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Writing In Community–Why Retreats Are Needed (The Pros)

Writing in community is important. Writing can be isolating and not having a source of support can be quite sad! Writing retreats are like mini-vacations for writers! They provide a place free of daily distractions in order to allow writers to focus. These places are special because they allow writers to focus on the work they want to write, rather than the things people believe you should be writing about!

Normally these retreats are over a weekend, with the expectation that if you were in an environment that was stripped of all distractions, then you would not have any excuses as to why you ‘don’t have time to write.’

Sometimes these retreats have workshops, breakout sessions, and have spaces to read aloud what you have been working on prior to the availability of this space, or what you have started since you have been there. The goal is to foster a space by which you can write, and write as much as you can in the time given!

Look into doing a retreat at least once! There are those whom are willing to open their home and spaces to foster writers for the work they must do. Will all these retreats be for every writer? Will they all be free? No, and neither should they be! Going on a retreat means you are investing in yourself as a writer, your writing time, as well as the project you are working on!

There is nothing particularly magical about writing retreats. They are a tool like any other in your writing repertoire! Like any tool in the hand of one eager to use it, all matter of good things can be created from it! So, go forth and create! Go forth and build out your writing/writer’s network! But above all, go forth and write!

The Base, The Roux, The Legend

WIP: Work In Progress

When you think about this concept of building a myth for a world, or specifically for a WIP, you have to be able to manipulate the information you have to get you to where you need to go. I know this seems a little a little heady or ‘out there’. But what I need you to know is you control the world you create.

The tension, the people, the towns, the time–you control all of it! With me being an amateur chef, and I like to think of cooking and writing as a type of alchemy. So, let me give you some practical encouragement which will help you in all that you will do.

The Base. A base is something that you cannot make anything with out. Think of this as the dry ingredients for a cake, or a gravy. These are things that are immutable about your story. Think of these things are your character’s identities, eye color, height and weight, even their birthdays! The base of your myth are the things which will not change.

The Roux. A roux is more specific. You cannot add, neither should you add, a roux to everything! This of a roux as a specific genre or specific to a genre. How you would write a horror story isn’t the same way you would write a mystery or a romance. A roux gives flavor to a dish! So in using this idea in your writing, a roux for a horror writer could include more specificity. More detail. This is where you can begin to examine how you want your characters to interact with the world, and how they interact with it.

Example:

Anne Rice and Stephanie Meyer have both written about vampires (base–the immutable thing.)

Anne Rice’s vampires in The Vampire Chronicles cannot go in the sun, have had a King and Queen, and a spirit (Amel) that had given all these blood drinkers their power. (roux–specificity.)

Stephanie Meyer’s vampires can go in the sun if it is cloudy enough. The Cullens (her main protag’s) feed on animal blood not human and their eyes are gold. The vampires that feed on human blood have red eyes, especially as newborns (roux–specificity.)

The Legend. What I call legendary is a myth or the making of a myth which will allow for a world to be built or multiple books written using the same myth (again, imagining Rice and Meyer). When you grant yourself the freedom to create in such a way, you allow your imagination the room to revisit a character or story.

Let me blow you mind a second: Anne Rice’s vampires didn’t just become all she imagined overnight.

She had a base (the basic idea) and then made it specific to her idea (the roux), and from there she gave herself the space to create a universe. When she took a break from her vampires, choosing to write other things (as writers sometimes do), she had enough written to substantiate going back to it–without having to recreate anything!

Even with Stephanie Meyer! She liked the idea of Jacob Black in Twilight, and wrote a book specific to him–this was New Moon. She created a myth to go along side the main myth–giving her space to write or create the Twilight Saga. She also made it all work! And as of 2020, there are seven books in that series! The latest of these books being Midnight Sun.

This, dear ones, is legendary. A recipe that you can do back to, tried and true, which you have worked at–making it your own.

You control the seasoning, what works, as well as what goes in and what you can work around.

You can do it!

Encouragement Pages-10/2/2020

I want you to understand that you are in charge of your imagination. You tell it what to do, where you want to go, and what you need the story to say!

You are the writer. You control this world, because you created it.

Create in confidence and write in power.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

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Introduction-What It All Means

Writing is a form of creation.

It takes passion and force and focus to create something. That passion is what fuels the vision of what you desire to do. The force is what gives you the strength to do all you desire.

Remember…the Flow is not just an nebulous thing! It is something that is equal parts power and privilege. With all that, combined with time, grants us focus.

That focus is what allows us as creators to truly create—to have nothing ahead of you or inside of you other than raw creative energy. This is what it means to tap into that power.

Herein is what it means to create The Flow.

The Flow is not a secret. It is not vapid nor is it something that is a rumor artists share or whisper about! It is not something that is accidental, but always fueled by intent—and intention.

Intention powers The Flow. Focus directs us to the best access to it. Passion keeps us chasing it, because there is no high like it! None. Let us continue to explore this more.

Indeed, there is a power in and to creation. And we—and you—have it.