The Spark, The Fire, The Light

Through this month, I have done all I can in this space to remind you of the power you have and can harness to go in the world and create. I hope you do so. -JBHarris

Think if your newest project like a candle. With that image, remember this. For a candle to do all that it must, it must realize that it is a candle: not a door, window or can opener. It is a candle. So, light it. Let me explain how.

The Spark. This is the beginning of the work, this is where you start to write. This is where the ‘new thing’ has taken shape. You have garnered up enough moxie to write. Regardless of genre, regardless of length of story, you are writing, you are beginning. You are beginning! For this, it might seem the most impossible–but the scariest is always right before you begin. The spark–your spark–is the beginning.

The Fire. Oh! This is when you have embarked on the journey to write. And continue writing! This is where the power of time and imagination converge to allow you to create universes, people, theories and anything your mind demands! The beautiful thing about all this? Fire can be channeled! You can push it as hard, as fast, and as deep as you want to! Write while the motivation is there! Write while the iron is hot! Write when you cannot contain the words, so they can spill onto the page! Write to contain the fire! The fire is what you control.

The Light. This is what happens when the work is done. When you have completed your draft, and you can take a deep breath. You now have proof of what you have carried on the inside of your imagination in a physical form. You will be holding the thing which you thought was on only a dream. You can see it. You can print it. You can submit it. And for that, this is a reason to be proud. Light is the evidence a fire is burning.

You, my dearest Oracles, are the possessor of all these elements. You. No one else. As I leave you for this month of April, I remind you of the words of Audre Lorde.

Audre Lorde quote: You cannot use someone else's fire. You can ...

Push. Write. Repeat.

Writing, in my opinion, is one of the sexiest profession you can choose. The most seductive hobby you can persue. It is the most entricing thing you can begin.

Think about it.

There are romantic stories of writers all the time, all over the world, who have told you about the erotic nature of writing.

Being pulled out of sleep.

Writing until the hours where the sun is their only company.

Having a poem, its power, rumble through them until they find paper.

I, myself, have experienced all of these things. All of them. For that feeling, for this desire, for this lover like no other–I write. I push. I repeat. And so should you! I am a believer that writers are always writing, even when we aren’t actively writing.

We always have a couple things in the back of our minds. Writers are the secret students of the world! We observe and study and record everything. From that studying, of the world, there will always be something to work on or create. In the pursuit of the latest work, the new thing, the work to come there must be a push to find it! There must be a push to write it! You must be content with the balance of desire to create, and the process of that specific creating!

You must! You are a writer, it’s what you do.

So, do it.

Encouragement Page-04/03/2020

There is a power in remembering. There is a power in looking into life events and choosing how much you want to reveal to people: good, bad or ugly. The beautiful thing is when you tell this stories–they are yours.

Remember that when you become ashamed or shocked upon the reflecting of your own life. You own your story.

Good. Bad. Ugly.

Sometimes it takes ink to smoothe your life out.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

The Walls, Fears & Jumping Out Of Planes

Writers don’t have skeleton’s in their closets–they have them in their desks.

I try and make a habit of looking through my Draft-Drawer once a season, normally this happens with the speed of Fall and Winter. Then, I have time–I think–to sit and reflect on what I didn’t do when it was warmer and life was more demanding. From that vantage point, I always think such explorations are fun, not traumatic.

However, it is rare I come across an idea that shocks me–I mean it did come from my own imagination…how crazy could the idea be? But there have been times (quite recently here) where I will come across a work I abandoned–because I was simply too scared to finish it.

Yes–scared to finish it. There was a wall. I was scared, and the thought of finishing that work felt like jumping out of a plane. With that acknowledgement, I dissected that feeling. Consider this your wrecking ball.

The Wall. Oh my! How familiar is this feeling? When you find a work you once poured yourself into–and lose it, only to find it again? It is like finding a lost child. You are relieved, you are happy and you are irritated (read: angry) if was ever lost!

Yet, you want to put it back. You want to unsee what you saw. You don’t want to remind yourself of what you gave up on. There is a mental wall erected! You can feel it more than you can see it. Do not run from this feeling. This is the start of breaking the wall. Baldwin himself said that nothing can be changed unless it is faced. Face the wall. No flinching. Flinching leads to fear.

The Fear. What is the thing (there is always a thing!) that is stopping you from picking it back up? This is the feeling you get when you think about finishing that project. That procrastination. That hesitation and excuses. That feeling of ‘I would rather clean toilets than write this’. That fear is a paralytic rather than a rocket fuel. Once you identify what it is–write through it. This means –yes!–write scared. Once you work the fear, it goes away. The more you right, the less it will scare you. But you have to write.

Jumping Out The Plane. Simply put? Finish it. What you have found, what drew your eye and attention, finish it! Let the characters find their exit, their punishment, reward or happily ever after. Writing is an extreme sport sometimes–so get to it! The free fall is crazy, because you don’t know where you will land. Your imagination is the rip cord and parachute. You can do it! You can finish it! Jump!

There is a power to breaking that wall, fellow Oracles. There is a power in confronting the fear, dear ones. Get your parachute (your work in progress or incomplete draft), and jump out the plane.

The world is waiting on you.

Encouragement Pages-02/17/2020

Embrace that which is uncomfortable. Sometimes to get at what it is you want from a work, you have to wrestle with it. You have to be both writer and reader!

Answer the questions that need to be answered. Veil the things you want your readers to sit with. But wrestle, my dear ones. Be prepared to wrestle. The writing will be fun, the ride will be wild. Just beware of the curves.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Find Where Your Heart Is

“You only fail if you stop writing.” -Ray Bradury

The question most often fielded by writers is, “What are you working on?” From that picture, enter the WIP (Work In Progress). There is a pleasure that comes from discussing the new work–its like talking about a crush.

Or a new love, that loves you back–just as much as you do.

All these gorgeous blank pages waiting on the stroke of your hand, the sparks of your imagination. With this steady seduction, I want you to imagine the work you want to create. What you want the reader to see, feel, imagine or experience.

I want you to fall in love with the work first. If you have not fallen in love with what you are creating…no one else will.

Write what you love–love what you write.

Encouragement Pages-01/29/2020

Self-rejection is a slow poison.

It is a poison whose apothecary is familiar. Whom is familiar with their victims as well as their enemies.

But what happens when they are one and the same?

Every time you reject a story, a portion of your imagination vanishes. Every time you scrap a story because you’re scared to write it, more of you vanishes.

Rage against the dying of the light.

Poison is for those dying or marked for death.

Writing is a source of life.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-01/24/2020

Be gentle with yourself today.

The work in progress is called this for a reason. The progress in this work can be incremental—but do it. No matter how small or insignificant.

Do the work.

Happy, loud or sad, but do it.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-01/22/2020

Shameless plug to remind you to read.

Writers are readers, inquisitive about the world around them so they can create another. If you’re stuck in process of creating an WIP and become discouraged, take a break. Fill up that blank time with a book.

Sometimes the words of others, stir our own.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris