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.
Organization is the key to your writing focus! It will keep your sanity as well as your stamina! Make sure that you are taking the time to review what you have in order to lay the foundation for the work that you want to do.
Use this acronym to help: KEYS.
Keep all files label.
Evaulate what you need to do next.
Yield time to what you must do (*scheduling is important).
Save your work in two places.
With Love & Ink,
Note: Listen to THE WRITERS’ BLOCK PODCAST 3/14 for more about KEYS.
Sometimes this is hard. Sometimes this is overwhelming. But the devastating thing is for a writer to not write. Frustration in momentary, writer’s block is temporary, but denying you talent? You are flirting with losing it forever.
Let no one take that from you. Let no one doubt your ink, your passion, or your ability to tell a story. Good writing comes from the ability to be bold, believing in what you desire to tell—and the fortitude to keep going.
There are only eight more days until this year is over! With that in mind, what are you looking forward to complete or start for the new year of 2021. What are you looking forward to? What have you been scared to start? What have you been scared to finish? What have you been dreaming of doing? If the idea has come back to you more than once, that is a sign that you need to write it down.
You can do it. Don’t fear the words–fear not writing them.
I am a fan of workshops! They are a place of resources, networking and brainstorming. They are places where you can study, as well as participate. Think of workshops as a type of recess for your brain! Why is it recess? Well, recess is a time to play or exercise–workshops give that! They are places to allow you to learn, ask questions, get critique and network! How will you ever know what you are good at–or how to improve it!–if you never share what you are doing!
The greater thing about workshops is they are constructed to suit the needs of writers. Yes, there are the more traditional workshops that are scheduled according to the desire of a facilitator. Then, there are those workshops which are modeled more after an on-going group. Here, writers are given a safe space to be mentored, become mentors and to even receive guidance to be the writer they desire to become.
While the success of a workshop is subjective, it must be emphasized that success is determined by what you are willing to contribute to it.
Are you willing to ask questions?
Are you willing to admit that you don’t know everything?
Are you willing to try new things?
Are you willing to participate as well as be lead?
Are you willing to write–and even write beyond your comfort zone?
If you answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, then a workshop (either traditional or in a group setting) is just the tool you need to become the writer you dream of being. Find your tribe! Find your people and invest in your talent. After your find your people, make them read your stuff.
This is something I am so sensitive about speaking of! I pride myself on being an encourager, and something of a writing midwife–a writer’s writer if you will. So, when the topic of discouragement comes up? I get really defensive and angry. I want to chase it out of the lives of writers because it is a cancer on and towards all creativity. It’s a block of the worst sort!
But, I have to talk about it. Even if it is begrugingly.
Discouragement is the opposite of encouragement. This you know. With that antonym in mind, discouragement is the thing that strangles your heart, determined to kill everything in it! This type of hindrance is heart-breaking. It often doesn’t come from any internal voice most times! It may be in the form of the people whom love you, but tell you to forsake writing. Whom may tell you they can’t or won’t support you ‘because what you’re doing isn’t special.’ Let’s not even talk about your own doubts, fears and inhibitions! A working writer has enough going on internally as we work –we don’t needed the added stress of other people telling us, discouraging us, from what we are already scared to do!
Discouragement can be project-specific or cyclic. You must be aware of this. You have to be able to notice what causes this, and what uproots or defuses it! In recognizing this, in finding out the direction and reason behind the discouragement you can begin to combat it! Whether this means to start writing in a specific area, or on a specific day, or you just keep all your writing to yourself to share with a select group of people–do what makes you comfortable and happy.
Eff the naysayers!
This is your talent, your time and your life–be bold!
One of the coolest things about being a writer, the absolute best thing, is looking back through drafts. Revisiting work that you either forgot about (it happens!), left unfinished, or decided to abandon because the lure of another project. However, make the time to revisit the old work.
Why is this important? It shouldn’t be on the surface, but it should be something you as a writer do periodically. Reflection is a muscle to a writer, especially in matters of their own work! There does come a time when you must have a working detachment to your work. notice I did not say to become hyper critical about it, or towards it.
You must be able to view unfinished work, as that: unfinished. Not bad. Not unworthy. Not horrible. But unfinished. The work awaits you, and you for the work.
The work is always there!
In examining the work left undone, you have to see it as both done–and undone. You may yet fall in love with it again. Research, time and experience sometimes congeal to grant the fuel a writer to complete what is left–of their own work. You would even be surprise at how flipping a character’s POV, gender, or revamping a subplot into the main plot could work wonders!
Here are your hidden jewels, dear ones. Go find them!