Encouragement Pages-11/18/2019-The Wisdom Of James Arthur Baldwin (1)

I am a fan of James Baldwin. And adamant follower of his gift, life and teachings. From that well of wealthy knowledge, I remind you as a writer, just as Baldwin would:

Do you work.

Your writing is your work. It is your job as a waking recorder of the world, to report what you see.

Do it crying, flinching or screaming. But do it.

That is your job…and no one can do it for you.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

The Uncomfortable Truth: Do You Want To Even BE A Writer?

Sometimes, it’s the questions you don’t wanna answer, which need the most urgent ones.

By now, you all are aware of this cool concept of MasterClass. This is app available on Android and Apple iOS which has all sorts of famous people teaching their crafts. These classes include music, cooking, sports, film and writing.

One thing that I thought was interesting was the quote that Martin Scorsese said about film-making. In paraphrasing, he said that if film-making is a not something you cannot live without doing, ‘then this class is not for you.’

What I will tell you is that writing is demanding for those of us that do it. Writing is, can be, something that we as writers do naturally, like breathing.

The gratitude of doubt, as hard as this is to hear, perhaps writing is not what you want to do. You may have wanted to be a writer, tried to be a writer–and the doubts may have overwhelmed you.

Remember, the doubts come as gut-checks. They check your motives: you are supposed to acknowledge it, but not hang on to it.

Check out this series in September 2019. Go now. You won’t regret it.

However, I want you to take artistic inventory. I want you to think hard about what it is you want, and desire to do. If you want to write, you will find a way to do that. If you desire not to write, you will find every reason not to.

At this point? You should put it down. Put up the pen. Scrap the work. Don’t share new work. Give it up. A good rule of thumb I have discovered if you feel this way, is to give up writing up for a season. A chronological season is 3 months, 90 days. If you can be a peace with not writing–this means not writing, not thinking of writing, no desire to write–it is safe to assume writing is not what you want to do. However, if you feel called to it, want to go back to it, feeling that you cannot be your whole self without it, then I suggest you get back to the work at the end of those 90 days. Whatever you thought about writing in that time away from it, start the next season with that work.

Writing for us whom love this craft, won’t give it up. We do not give it up easily. If you feel that you can? Well, the world is a big place; you have the freedom to do other things. Try other things. Perhaps writing is not the thing which calls to you. It is better you find that out now, rather than later.

There is nothing so sad (or scary) as a writer whom does not write.

Encouragement Pages-11/04/2019

There are so many people that go through this life and never leave a record. Don’t be one of those people.

If you call yourself a writer, part of that job is to leave record of thought or moments.

Don’t fear that title. Don’t fear that responsibility. Don’t fear the words or what you will make them say.

You can do it.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

The Things That Stop You, Can Start You

As a writer, if you gave in to every distraction and hinderance, you would never write.

If you surrendered to every doubt, you would never write.

If you listened every doubt, you would never write.

The doubt comes to check your motivation–Who are you writing for?

Distractions come to check your focus–What are your writing? Do you have everything you need to begin?

Stephen King, the Master of Horror himself, says that the scariest time is right before you begin. I would have to agree. The scariest part will always be right before you begin! Even with outlines, support and research, or strong coffee, fear still creeps in.

It creeps in because it’s supposed to! Writing is always a little frightening. It will be disconcerting. It will scare the shit out of your sometimes–and that fear can be come a paralytic.

A writer with paralysis is like a swimmer doing the breaststroke with weights!

In order to free yourself from that paralysis–you have to write. Even though you’re scared. Even though you may have doubts. Even though you may be unsure.

Write, and keep writing.

You can do it!

Encouragement Pages-10/28/2019

Let’s talk about why you stare at the pages or screens.

This is done for two reasons:

1.) You don’t know what to say.

2.) You are scared of what you might say.

As a writer, some things are inevitable. Criticism and second guessing and deconstruction are some of them. Yet, write anyway. Good writing, bold writing is a little scary. You are pulling something out of the creative ether and bringing it to reality–that alone is scary.

But do it any way.

Don’t allow a screen or a blank page to stop what you want to create. You are your first audience.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris