Book In A Year Series-Month 1 The Apprehension: Let’s Get Started

“Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” -Luvvie Ajayi Jones

As a writer, as an author, you will always have to wrestle apprehension. It is definitely wresting, and you will have to reckon with it. Any time, and every time, you start something new, there will be this feeling of unease! Yet, it is just that–a feeling!

No matter how big the problem or feeling is, you are always bigger than the problem!

When dealing with the apprehension that deals with book writing, remember to be gentle with yourself. Remember to celebrate along the way. Give yourself positive affirmations like these:

I am going to do as best I can today.

I am going to write as best I can today.

I am going to make this idea a reality because I can.

My idea is going to be a great book and I am going to write it!

The apprehension is normal. The uncertainty is normal. Even the fear is normal! But what you must know is fear is an emotion that makes you pay attention because you are uncertain–it’s a warning! Accept the warning, pay attention to it. Proceed with caution. How, you ask? Write through it. Subdue it with your pen and imagination.

See you next month!

Encouragement Pages-01/22/2021: Dealing With Criticism

Chatter. Noise. Criticism.

There are those that aren’t doing anything, but will tell you that you shouldn’t do what you want. In this case, writing.

Get used to those who want you to write while looking over your shoulder. That won’t change. What will change, is how much energy you give to it.

Write anyway.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-01/20/2021: Dealing With Criticism

There is a dangerous in committing all criticism to heart. There is also danger in listening to all criticism. The goal of criticism is to critique, yes. But, let that be all it does: CRITIQUE.

Let it be motivating to examine your own work, to improve it and even to have you become stronger in it.

Let the critics do what they will. You do what you must: WRITE.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Book In A Year- Month 1 The Apprehension: Let’s Get Started

Let me off you this bit of encouragement: you have already done the hardest thing. The hardest thing that you have done, or will do, for this endeavor is start.

You started! At this point, accept the nerves that will come with this. Accept that the map is not completely laid, the ideas will stutter, and there may even be some days that you think you cannot do this. With you not believing you can’t go on or write another word–when the fear and apprehension try to take hold–do this: breathe.

As hard as it is, I want you to breathe. I want you to remember the thoughts you want to write are yours; the story is yours; the space is yours; you are still in control! Bear in mind the words of James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed unless it is faced.”

This is the fear you must face, and face down–this unknown. You must embrace this unsteadiness–it will pass. It will pass as you continue on. You can do it. Keep going.

Encouragement Pages-01/13/2020

The most amazing thing is to be keep going. The hardest thing is to keep going! I want you to give yourself credit today for going forward.

It is always easier to give up.

It is always easier to stop.

But if you do that, how will you know what the ending is going to be?

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Book In A Year Series-Month 1 The Apprehension: Let’s Get Started

So you have decided to write a book. The next question I know that you’re asking is, “Now what do I do?” The answer for that is this:

Freewrite.

A freewrite is a mind dump! It is an exercise I will always recommend due to the ability and freedom it grants a writer. It is a way to explore an idea without judgement. Without criticism. Without the fear that you don’t think it sounds right.

A freewrite should be based on the idea you want to write your book about. This tool works for fiction and non-fiction as well! The goal with this exercise is to capture your idea (no matter what it is) long enough to put it on paper or screen.

Forget the spelling mistakes. Forget grammar. Forget cohesion (for the moment. Put a pin in that–we will come back to that later). Your goal is to write down what you want to write–not what you think people want you to write. And sometimes that can be difficult! However, it is not impossible! You can do it, you must do it, one word at a time.

Quick tip: To stave off anxiety, you can set a timer for 30 minutes when you are prepared to write. Whatever you write in this time–is a win! If you feel lead to write more, reset your timer and start again.

Encouragement Pages-01/11/2021

“Lay some track”.–Shonda Lynn Rhimes

Heed the warning of our beloved Mother Shonda! When I read YEAR OF YES, she mentioned this concept of ‘laying some track’. I took this to mean getting some ideas down. Getting some things off your head and seeing where they lead you.

Sometimes, this is the scariest thing.

What idea do you need to see on paper? On screen? That you dream of even!

This is your reminder to lay your track–and see where it leads. Your imagination might just surprise you.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-01/08/2021

Rage against the Writers’ Block.

Fight for the words, fight for the time, and fight for the right to create!

Life is hard, and busy! But you must understand what it means to be writer, and how being a writer can be equal parts demanding and difficult.

But, I need you to understand that you have to choose your hard.

Either writer or don’t write. But, which one would you rather do?

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Book In A Year Series- Month 1 The Apprehension: Let’s Get Started

Toni Morrison said that the book you want to read, you might just have to write.

It is with that motivation in mind, I tell you this: The fear of writing a book is normal.

I say it again: THE FEAR OF WRITING A BOOK IS NORMAL.

It is scary to put your thoughts in a place where not just you will be able to read them. It is completely valid to think you can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t and you should abandon all thought of it! Let this month, be the hug you need to reassure–as well as the nudge forward to begin.

It’s always the scariest part right before you begin! That will never change–you just learn how to manage it!

So where are three things I want you to keep in mind which will minimize your anxiety, which will only fuel your apprehension:

1.) Recognize the fear is normal. You’re creating a new thing! That is nerve-racking! But it is normal.

2.) Realize that no book or story is written overnight. You do have time.

3.) Remember that you are in control of the story. How fast or how slow–you are the one that is flying the plane.

Take a deep breath, and start.