HAVE YOU DONE THE READING?

I am honored to do this first (of many!) crossover event for THE WRITERS’ BLOCK PODCAST!

Follow The Writers’ Block Podcast and Written In Melanin Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify!

The incredible C.M. Lockhart is champion of Black writers, as well as her own spaces: Written In Melanin Podcast.

For this cause, what began as an hour-plus conversation on her platform, became a two-part event which we covered erasure, discouragement, publishing, and the need of people whom don’t read (at all) whom try to argue with you.

Hint: If you have only read White authors, you are not well-read.

I am excited about this event because it is rare where Black writers can be candid, vulnerable, and open in a space where they will be heard before they can be criticized.

Here is to more conversations and more crossovers!

Encouragement Pages-05/04/2022

Note: Watch for the show titled: The Rough Patch on the podcast The Writers’ Block tomorrow (May 5, 2022). Follow us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Sometimes, the hardest part is to get through the rough patches.

These rough patches can include time, subject matter, and even confidence. Every writer goes through these rough patches! But they are not impossible to negotiate.

Don’t give up just because it got rough. The best thing to do is to remember that rough patches are cyclical-not permanent.

I believe in you.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

The I In You Series-IMAGE

What Do You Want To Show?

​The hardest thing in this process pathway from getting what is in your head to and in the world outside of it, is converting thought into image. Since the onus of what is in your head, hiding in your imagination, is up to you. 

IT IS UP TO YOU.

​As a minority writer, you control the narrative, the story that you want to tell. No one else. Do not allow the world around you to adjust your lens. Let no one distract for what it is you want to show! What you have to tell, what is on the inside of you, can only be told by you. As James Baldwin said:  “Fire the imaginary White man that sits on your shoulder!”

​Don’t fall into troupes—they are only formulas! In the hand of any good scientist or alchemist, a formula is a tool. It is meant to be used, reconstructed and re-evaluated to suit the needs to those who have the wherewithal to change what they see in front of them. 

​Do not be discouraged by those who can’t see what you are creating. Do not be dismayed by those who cannot support what you are creating! They are not your concern! What you must be concerned with is what you want to show the world! What is on the inside of your head? What part of that do you want to share with the world? Is there more you to come? If so, keep going. 

See you next week!

Overview: The I In You Series

Remember to listen to The Writers Block Podcast found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify. This series started on the podcast in April 2019 and is my intellectual property. Thank you.

Representation matters.

As a writer who identifies as Black, cisgender, heterosexual woman who writes, I am aware that most fiction is neither written for me or by those whom look like me.

The brilliant Walter Mosley said that in order for your characters to exist in the culture, they have to exist in the fiction. With that said, our jobs as writers is to write what is not there, what is not there, and even who should be there!

The writer-educator bell hooks said that no woman has ever written enough. I agree. I also submit that no minority person has written enough.

No Black person.

No Ingenious person.

No Latin/Latindad/Latinx person.

No Person of color.

No one that identifies as at the intersection of either of those identifies and any part of the LGBTQIA+ community has.

Over the next 5 weeks we will discuss the following topics, which I call the 5 I’s Of Representation. All these things, I believe, need to be considered when writing:

Imagine-

What do you see?

Image

What do you want to show?

Identify (points to genre)-

What story do you want to write?

Identity

Who do you want to see?

Intelligence

How are you going to develop your characters?

Whether you realize it or not, you bring all your identities into every word you write, to every page you fill! You, as a writer, are still comprised of the some total of your two-fold experiences: those experiences in the world, and your experiences in the world as what you identify as. What you want to see in the world already exists in the form of YOU.

Put YOU in the world—this series will show you how.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris, Founder Hesed Writing & Communication Services

Encouragement Pages-01/13/2020

The most amazing thing is to be keep going. The hardest thing is to keep going! I want you to give yourself credit today for going forward.

It is always easier to give up.

It is always easier to stop.

But if you do that, how will you know what the ending is going to be?

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-12/16/2020

When you have established a routine for your writing, sometimes you will become inundated with ideas, concepts and thoughts about the work you are doing and want to do!

Now, you have to remember you can only do so much in 24-hour day! However, it is possible to write more than one work at a time–but you must understand this can only be done through planning. Catch the ideas that come randomly, especially if they appear more than once.

When you catch these ideas, you are honoring your time, your talent and the potential to continue writing even after this project is complete. Honor your talent and time–make it a habit.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Note: Watch for the podcast show “Two-In-One” on The Writers’ Block Podcast on December 17, 2020. Find us on Google Play, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

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

The Map In Your Own Head

This week will make a reference to The Writers’ Block Podcast: the episode name is “The Power Of The Draft Drawer.”

There is a magic to revisiting what you have created. There are some of us whom do this work, practice this craft, know that not everything can be written, and not everything can be seen either. But you have to know that what you have on you head–it will eventually find its way out of it.

There is this concept of a draft-drawer I heard Anne Rice speak about during one of her Facebook Live sessions. She said that she doesn’t toss work away–she saves it! She saves it because it may be needed for something else.

It may be backstory for something else; the original idea can be reworked (Christopher Rice said he remembered the novel we know as The Witching Hour being a totally different permutation before the finished work); the work can be used to be a subplot–but nothing needs to be thrown away! The map to the work you need to write–is in your hands.

The drafts are maps! No good explorer or adventurer throws away their map! Writing is one of those careers where mapping, where recording is one of the ways by which the work is completed. And the work must be completed!

Do not be afraid of the work ahead, Oracles. Do not be afraid of what you must do, must get out of you, and what you are excited about! Writing is hard enough! There are some work you will do which will require a map–don’t sell yourself short.

Value your map. Keep the maps. Do your work.

The Joy Of Self-Recycling.

There is this concept of a draft-drawer on my podcast, The Writers’ Block. But the concept in its entirety is not my own. I heard the marvelous Anne Rice mention that she doesn’t throw any work away–she puts it in a drawer.

Genius!

Anne Rice says that she does this because she wants to be able to go back and revisit a work, and have something to draw from. I agree. As a writer, you need to have, to develop enough faith in your work that you value even the things you do not complete!

Enter–the Draft-Drawer.

The things you have stored away, hidden away or you find yourself second guessing? Don’t toss them away: save them. Why you may ask? Not everything that is incomplete is impossible. Not every project, every poem, every novel is created, finished in a linear fashion! Some things we start need to sit with us a while longer. The POV redone, more research added. But nothing should be tossed away because the process to create it is hard.

What is in your draft-drawer? What things have you kept? What things do you need to revisit? Why have you not revisited them?

The draft-drawer is a form of self-recycling. Your imagination is both the source and end of all things in this capacity. You control the pace and flow of the work! With you saving the work, this work undone or unpolished, you grant yourself the freedom to start again; creation is at your demand. Do not sell yourself so short as to throw something away.

The Three R’s found in Ecology are apt with writers as well, albeit with a twist:

Rethink. Reuse. Recycle.