Encouragement Pages-08/09/2019-For The Novices

Today, I want you to do the scary thing: begin.

I want you to stop talking about your idea. I want you to stop ‘rolling it around in your head.’ I want you to stop talking about ‘what you will do when you get time.’ Today, begin.

Start.

Commence.

Trust yourself enough, if just today, give yourself permission to start. Give yourself the freedom to express what is in your head. Give yourself the respect of your own thoughts–and write them down.

Start, dear ones.

If you can think it up, you can write it down.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Shameless plug: If you need more help and encouragement, make sure you follow The Writer’s Block wherever you get your podcasts (Anchor, Spotify, Google Play, Apple Podcast). Start from the beginning, and then start your own. -JBH

Announcements & Encouragements

I have been a strong believer in the power of ink and paper.

And for that cause, twice a week I will be doing an Encouragement Page. These pages will be posted here with a corresponding link, to the video. And of course on the official Facebook page. Follow that space by clicking here.

These pages will be handwritten, and meant to be a support on your writing journey! You will be able to share these video and save them. Posting days for these pages will be Mondays and Thursdays.

Every writer needs a tribe, and encouragement to keep going. Consider this your oasis in your writing journey.

You can do it!

Bend The Pages.

-JBHarris

Silent Murder: Why You Must Kill Your Darlings

Image result for stephen king writing quotes

In Stephen King’s book, On Writing*, he makes mention of a secret tool of writing a novel–the tool was actually given by his wife, Tabitha. I believe that he was writing  his book Desperation. With Tabitha being his sounding board and beta reader, she made mention of a part of the story she wasn’t really concerned about because it took away from the main story. Stephen King calls this, ‘murder your darlings.’

The darling of a story is something of a side quest. The darling is something of the story that you add, it could be history, backstory or even perspective, which can almost take over a story–leading your reader down a path the original story was never supposed to have.

This happens often, more often than you may believe! However, as a writer, you must be ruthless when it comes to telling your story. It is you who guides the reader down the path you want them on. The darling of the story, unless you want to make this an object of a story later, you will have to kill–for the sake of the story.

In killing this darling, remember these keys:

  • Keep in mind the story you are writing (Genre, especially)
  • Plot (What is going on and where is everyone going?)
  • Conclusion (Where are we ending up?)

Remember, you are in control of the written worlds you create. In crafting a story, you must understand that it is you whom dictates the sway of your reader. Tell us where to go, what to do and where to go next. If all else fails, write a trilogy.

Happy writing!

Jennifer P. Harris

Founder, Shekinah Glory Writing Services

*-On Writing is a book written by Stephen King in 1999. I rarely throw my entire weight behind a book, but this is one of those books. As a writer, this book is a reference material in my career, and an anchor as I continue writing. In writing, it is often lonely and frustrating–this book is a beautiful reminder of that; as well as the awesomeness being a writer holds.

[image from Google/Pintrest]

The Stutter: What Happens When the Words Don’t Sound Right?

There is a madness in writing that is not found in any other profession.

The profession by nature is madness! You take what is in your head, a thing unseen or unknown to other people, and translate it to words. This at times, in the effort of being honest, is hard.

It’s hard because thoughts are fluid, they are invisible, they exist only in the mind of the person that has them. Which is made crazier when you have to make these thoughts relevant to other people–who aren’t or will never be in your head.

What’s to do, right?

Give up?

Ignore this screaming ideas in your head?

No.

Write them down. Let the thoughts out. It doesn’t matter if they don’t make sense to you at present. Don’t worry about syntax, spelling and cohesion just yet.

The goal in times like this is to release the thought into words. This is how you overcome what I like to call the stutter.

The Stutter is what every writer experiences one time or another. It’s the feeling that doesn’t let what is in your head get to your hand. It’s not a crisis of confidence, it’s translating.

The cure? Writing!

You cure the stutter by writing! You free write, you write drafts, you edit, but by no means do you surrender to the stutter. You take it hostage and make the stutter into story. You write it into submission!

Go forth and write…no more stuttering!

[image from Google]

Be Your Motivation

 

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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]

Tool Kits: What Do Writers Need?

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I wish I could tell  you there was some magical roux for you to be a successful writer. I wish I could tell you that it would all be easy, uniform, accessible and fool proof.  But with most things on the creative spectrum, your toolkits are formed by trial and error. They become the tools you need become such because you discover you need them. However, there are a few things which are fool proof to get your toolkit started.

  • Confidence. This is a the only tool which you will have to replenish often. Having this sense of self, the knowledge this is what you want to do, is the fuel most important. It cannot be emphasized  how necessary this is. Confidence leads to discipline. Discipline is the muscle needed to continue in this career. If you cannot believe you can put pen to paper, or words on a screen–there is nothing else which I can tell you to stir that gift. If you believe you can, you will.
  • Writing tools. Here is where it gets interesting. There are certain projects I use pen and paper for, and there are some I only can type out. Get familiar with the tools you like, the pace you like, and how you create. Do you think better when you write it down first and then transcribe? Is better to free write and build from there? What is it that you like to do? The beauty of writing is you get to make up your own rules. You determine what works best and when it works best.
  • Access to a dictionary or thesaurus and new surroundings. Your vocabulary is your arsenal. Learn new words. Learn new ways to say things. Invest in a good dictionary or dictionary app. Most dictionary app’s have the option to learn a new word a day. Tune your ears to pick up accents or dialects. Learn how to watch the world around you. As a writer, your leak and drink words. Feel free to gorge.
  • Make time to write. This may be the most difficult to do in the face of competing responsibilities. That being said, you must make the decision to orchestrate time for writing. Whether you have a dedicated day to pour out your thoughts, or just time enough to freewrite a topic or title, make time–make time. But trust me, it will be worth it.

The pathway to writing isn’t the smoothest, but it is a path you create. Be bold. Be willing. And most of all, go write!

Jennifer P. Harris

Editor/Founder-Shekinah Glory Writing Services

When The Words Stop Coming

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There was a three year span by which I did not, could not write. Aside from childbirth, it was a the scariest thing I have encountered. The words just wouldn’t come. The magic was gone, the words where gone, my talent was gone. I was inconsolable! It was only when I came out of that space, when I could really talk about it with some knowledge.

Being a writer, and unable to write–was maddening. It was infuriating. There was, there is a rage that rose up in me like hellfire–quick and hot. On the end of a horrible breakup, it was just one more thing to add to the list of things he took (or I allowed him to take) from me.

In that three year dessert, nothing happened. I pressed the gift, I teased at it, I cried at the lost of it. I had not wanted something so badly to return to me. Writing, being a writer was my identity, it was something that I considered my own. In this desert, in this Ezekiel space, I couldn’t say the dry bones were or could live, because I didn’t know how I could live! In the lives of writers, words are our blood–it’s a part of who I am.

Image result for a writer not writing

There were moments when I saw peeks of the talent I once had. My mother had and would ask me to write or create certain pieces for work, family or friends, but it was nothing like the creative power I knew that I housed. Nothing is more offensive or rage-inducing to writers. I was beyond hurt–worse than the heartbreak that induced the loss of talent in the first place.

I remember I didn’t even journal because I didn’t see the point. I didn’t see the point! I was out of words. I didn’t have the stamina to make up worlds of my own, and I surely didn’t want to record the foolish my own world. However, when people know you can write, they don’t know the struggle you encounter while maintaining that gift–that talent. In their blissful ignorance, they pull on your gift–because they need it.

Writer’s block is real, beloveds. That desert awaits all those whom are writers and authors. It is unavoidable, and only preventable on certain levels. But it is not insurmountable! However, to overcome it is a process. It is always a process. There are whole website dedicated to overcoming writer’s block, and one of the most reputable is Writer’s Digest . Like most craftsmen, whom are serious about what they build, invest in their tools. They build a tool box that will be able handle the potential issues in what is being built. Being a writer is no different.

Build your tool kit.

 

The kit needs to be able to help you with develop your talent, and to help with the eventuality of writer’s block. Tool boxes are supposed to be filled with things you will use, and will be able to use in order to refer. It is better to be proactive, than reactive in these cases. Don’t be caught in the desert, and your canteen is empty because you never took time to fill it when the streams where nearby. The desert is coming–don’t be caught thirsty.

 

Jennifer P. Harris

Editor/Founder-Shekinah Glory Writing Services