Encouragement Pages-9/16/2019

Keep the rhythm.

Find the beat.

Trust your talent a little bit today. What thing of light, of dark, of horror or light ate going to develop?

What (or whom) will you pull out of the air?

Trust the things your imagination sees and hears. Perhaps even chase a few.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-09/13/2019: Inside The Story Machine

*Note: This concept will be discussed on The Writers’ Block podcast on 9/26. This podcast can be found wherever you get your podcasts, see the end of the post to get all info!

I had an English professor, Dr. Karen Kalenevitch, who gave us a trick to combat the hell that is writers’ block. She told us about something she called the story machine.

Now, what is this you ask? I’ll tell you.

You take an empty bag and write random phrases, places, date or names on it and throw them in the bag. You shake it up, and pull out 3 slips of paper. From those pieces of paper, you can construct a story. Perhaps from there, a free write. From there, a draft. From that draft, a revision. From revisions, to stories.

Try it.

You may never know what you come up with.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

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Encouragement Pages-09/11/2019: For The Fallen

I know where I was on this day 18 years ago. I even know the clothes I had on. I know what was on the radio, who I was on the phone with–even the shrill in my mother’s voice when she asked if there was a movie on Channel 4 when the second plane hit the other tower.

This week will be impossible for a great many people today. Writing, journaling, is a therapeutic tool. It is a way for you to confront what you are feeling in a controlled way. It is a way to heal, reflect and analyze.

There is a way to control and deal with tragedy and mourning. There is a way to deal with loss outside of medication. Writing is a purge of the soul as well as a tool against the encroaching madness of the world.

On today, consider blank pages to scream on. They are always willing to listen.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-07/24/2019-Perception

Blank pages are enemy…and friend.

They exist to serve and house all your imagine can hold! They sole purpose is to serve you.

Don’t leave them empty and lacking! They are dragons to slay. Murder them, dear ones, with your pen, ink and time.

You can do it.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Keeping Lives Separate

Websites are amazing! One of the coolest things about having a pen name, or any type of on-line presence, is that you can build that presence to your liking! You can allow your alter ego/literary persona ‘space’ if you will, to be independent of you.

That seems kind of Frankenstein-Mary Shelley, but there is a peace for this. Especially, if there is a day job that you don’t want conflicting with this. Moreover, if you are writing about something that you don’t want family, friends or neighbors to know about. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to separate those lives. It seems crazy, but is necessary in some cases! And in some circumstances, kink-shaming is still real. Certain sexual situations or real-life retelling, are too much for people!

Having a specific place, a virtual house of sorts, to put everything allows there to be one less thing to worry about. The time and energy used to stress out about being seen, can be used to create. You are a writer, an artist, and you need that energy to put towards other things!

What I want you to know my dear writers, storytellers, oracles and dreamers, is that you should never feel bad for this. You should never feel bad, or be guilted for making space that you believe that you need. This is one of the reasons why free domains exist. Make your space. Create your worlds. Let the people in your head out. Stretch out in your talent, and enjoy the ride.

Besides, you are the captain of this ship. You have the power to create and destroy as you see fit. In choosing to have such a level of artistic autonomy, you invite your potential audience to like two genres without ever asking them to do so. You invite your readers and audiences to enjoy, to devour and keep coming back for anything that they like of your work. Even if it is in two forms. When the time is right, you can integrate those creative selves–and even then that is if you want to!

Have fun with it! Lead them towards Red rooms or Yellow Brick Roads…it’s all up to you.

Egos & And Alter Egos

I got mad at Janelle once. Like, I was honestly upset! Why you ask? Her pieces on the other blog I run were getting way more traffic than anything else I had put up on the same damn blog! I was so upset. I thought for a while to just stop writing as Janelle.

There was good friend of mine that had to remind me that this person (1) doesn’t exist and (2) wasn’t the point of writing as Janelle to experiment? To grow and explore? Being mad at a portion of me, that I created purely for exploration–and people like it!—why am I upset?

I really had no answer.

The only answer that I had was I wanted more people to look at the work that I was doing. I wanted to be seen, versus Janelle just being seen. It was a weird, pseudojealousy. And once I identified it, I couldn’t unsee it. I couldn’t help but try to reconcile it! And that took a while. The process of that reconcilation, once complete, was hard.

I created an entity, a voice to give voice to other ideas that roll around my head. Things and topics that I want to look closely at, while not admitting my head is even in that direction. In writing, in writing with an alter ego, that reconciliation must occur.

When those worlds collide, you will have to reconcile these writing realities! There may be a portion of jealousy that rises, but those accolades, posts and retweets are still for you. It is still your work. Those thoughts people gush over, are still yours! You need not be jealous…of you.

Your only competition is in a mirror. No more, no less.

Here Is A Mystery: The Power Of The Continued Yes

I never set out to be a blogger.

I thought since I considered myself writer, most writers didn’t become bloggers. I think that is a little elitist looking back on it. The steady quote I ground myself with is by Christopher Priest:

“A real writer can write anything.”

It wasn’t until a recently as 2 years ago, that I finally was brave enough to call myself a real writer. I was afraid if I did, that I would be adrift in the creative world around me. However, in reclaiming my talent, and being confident in what I knew I could do. I was a writer. In being a writer, I could write anything. No topic is strange. No idea too far. I could even start a blog.

I said ‘yes’ to my talent. I said ‘yes’ to projects, and being a part of creative spaces. Saying ‘yes’ allowed me to own all I would create. I was free to develop my craft and voice. I reclaimed my artistic self. It is from, for and because of that reclamation, that you have found a space here, dear Writer-Scribe-Oracle.

You don’t know how far you will go if you never go.

All work starts with a yes. No matter the size, topic, width and breadth of the work, all starts with a yes. Here is what you say yes to.

YES I will:

-claim the title of writer.

-write this story/essay/post.

-write about new topics.

– be confident in my imagination.

-follow my imagination to its conclusion.

Becoming a writer, holding that title, is incredible. The mystery lies in you and your ability to give weight to what it is you create. Or desire to create. Give yourself credit and appreciate the progress as you go.

Writing, like life, is a journey.

I believe in you. Take your pens, your cache of paper, and full imagination and create. Go solve your own mystery of the talent you hold. One word at a time. But go.