Encouragement Pages 5/31/2023

You have to love this. This thing called writing, its storm of chaotic creating, you must begin to enjoy.

Again: you have to love this. There is a part creativity that is tied to gratefulness. It is tied to gratefulness because that is always a power source. The more gracious you are–the easier creation becomes.

And trust me, you need to have some part of this which is writing.

You have to love it. You must be gracious. You must keep going.

With Love & Ink,


May 2023: Being Steadfast (Turn #1 When You Want To Turn Back)

Stephen King almost burned CARRIE if not for his wife, Tabitha. Before the success of CARRIE, he was submitting short stories to magazines, had his work published and paid–but he almost threw CARRIE away.

Maya Angelou had the mentorship of James Baldwin and other writer’s groups to keep her going.

Octavia Butler said that she wrote about power so much because she had so little.

Every writer needs people in their lives to believe in them, to see brilliance in their work that their doubt cannot see or be seen. I call these people the YIELD signs. These are the people who tell you that you can, when you can’t.

They tell you that turn is a feeling.

They tell you to write writing something else.

They pre-order books for their own book clubs.

They follow your email lists, and social media.

They call you to check on the invisible people.

They tell you that you can go forward if you want. And better yet–they are there as you go. They will be there for you as you go…they will be there as you turn back around to go forward. Those people are invaluable–keep them! Don’t leave them at gas stations, or parking lots when you think you got it all together.

Take them with you…you will need them again.

Encouragement Pages 5/29/2023

The fact is this: the momentum you want as a writer you have. Why do I say this?

Half the success you will ever have as a writer is dependent on your ability to believe in your first.

Once you do that, the rest is just work. And trust me, the work will always be there.

With Love & Ink,


May 2023: Being Steadfast (Turn #1 When You Want To Turn Back)

Let me tell you a secret.

If you want to turn back, you can.

If you want to go forward, you can.

This is completely up to you. Yet, but I want you to know that there is no fun in a turnback. But here is what you will inherit if you turnback.

You will earn something that is worse than that rejection: REGRET.

It is one thing to get rejected over a work that you completed, edited and shopped.

It is another to allow the fear to choke the creative out of you.

A completed work can be reshopped, edited again, and submitted–but an incomplete work cannot be.

What is it that you desire to do writer?

If you go forward–there is a way forward. If you turnback, there is no way forward…by your own hand.

May 2023: Being Steadfast (Turn #1 When You Want To Turn Back)

There will be a time where you will want to stop. I will not lie to you.

There will be times where stopping would be sexier than continuing ever could be. Yet, The Turn is going to determine what it is you are going to do next honestly. I will tell you this one thing. If you stop now, the story (no pun intended) will end right there.

Right there. Right now.

And how you handle The Turn, or a potential turn, is how you will continue. You must determine if you want to continue! The Turn (or the ghost thereof) is not bad in and of itself. It is something that you need to realize which is a reality.

A Turn is neutral. It is your reaction that will make it positive or negative.

Turns are watershed moments which invite you to look within you, to pull something else out–or to show you that nothing else is there. If there be something else in you that cannot relinquish this art, that cannot bear to keep silent, then do not turn back.

Dare to continue.

Stop at the pitstop and get gas–and keep going.

Encouragement Pages: 05/10/2023

Note: Look for more about The Turnback later this month. -JBH

The Turnback.

No writer really wants to talk about that.

This is the point where we want to abandon the work, think the work is horrible, or see no use in going for it.

It is crazy to think about something that you have worked so hard on that you would scrap! It happen more often than you think.

There are some things that you may have to scrap, and there are some things that you may have to write through.

Before you ‘turnback’, think of these three things:

1.) If I give this more time, can I write more?

2.) If I rewrite this, will it be better?

3.) Why do I want to scrap this? If so, tell yourself why.

Before your delete the work, ask yourself these questions.

With Love & Ink,


May 2023: Being Steadfast (Turn #1 When You Want To Turn Back)

My first turn was soon after the first time I published my first book of poetry: LOVE SONGS OF THE UNREQUITED.

I wasn’t taught alot about marketing, making a social media presence, or developing an audience. Yet, all the great things that are happening to me at this point was trial and error.

Sometimes that is great–sometimes that is a detriment.

Yet when my first book wasn’t an instant smash, I could have stopped. But I didn’t.

I could have stopped when my first book signing that was self-funded, wasn’t as great as I wanted–I could have stopped. But I didn’t.

Not because I’m not talent, but because it was hard. It is hard.

It is that hardness, that difficulty, that is enough to make anyone stop. Yet, I did not. I could not! I wanted to see how this would shake out! I wanted to see what could happen. The curiosity of the continue make me think that I might be able to do this if I could just keep going. If I could figure this out, if I could make this my own–if I could just figure out HOW to keep going–then I would.

With my Turn–I had to push past doubt to keep going.

The Turn will demand that you believe the fear–or the fact (that you might be able to do this if you keep going).

May 2023: Being Steadfast (Turn #1: When You Want To Turn Back)

If writers are honest, we will tell you that there are instances which provoke us to stop.

If we are honest, we will tell you of the instance where people didn’t believe in us, deterred us, and wanted us to “do something safer.”

Yet, we do not.

Yet, every writer–whether they are traditionally published, or selling books out of the back of their trunks–have stories (multiple stories!) about how they almost quite, should have quit, and secretly wished they had at points.

Which, brings us to this idea–or warning.


“The Turn” is the pivot point by which writer must confront in order to realize what they have in the tank to finish, not just a work–but this journey.

“The Turn” will teach you more than success ever will.