Retreat Or…Retreat?

 I am both a fan and suspicious of writing retreats. I believe in the right context these types of investments are invaluable. As a writer, you must understand that is only one component of your hobby or career. The mechanics and development of your skills as a writer are totally dependent on your willingness to take them both seriously. This can be something as simple as learning a word a day to build your vocabulary, or following your favorite writing/writer-focused podcast (shameless plug for THE WRITERS’ BLOCK on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify! Check for the red and black logo!). But,  the cool think about retreats are they provide a way to build your writing community as well! These groups and collectives can be your secret weapons to keep you motivated to write! The best thing about workshops is how they can be so specific! There is a retreat or a workshop for any and every part of writing! For every genre, every struggle, every hang-up, and every resource! There is a retreat! Don’t discount the importance of your writing community! Being a writer does not make you omniscient to all things writing related–or impervious to criticism! The reason I am and can be suspicious of writing retreats is because they can be money grabs, and or totally unhelpful! If you spend your hard earned money on something that will help you, there is an expectation that you will get a desired outcome! There are some facilitators of these workshops or retreats whom have no idea how to facilitate them! Or prepared to answer any questions! Cardinal rule of searching out workshops and retreats is to do your research on the facilitator! Email them and ask questions! You are a writer as well as a consumer! Don’t be caught in a space where you have invested time, energy and money and come out worse for wear. Be careful, my oracles. Be wise. Be careful. Invest wisely in the development of your craft and career. The responsibility of the development of your craft is up to you.

Encouragement Pages-10/05/2020, As You Go Along-Part 1

Writing requires a completely different set of knowledge. Writers have the strangest walking around information! Yet, you need this type of knowledge. When writing fiction, you will need to be able to draw from this fountain of information formed and gathered through your own life travels and experiences. The strangest thing about being a writer is how you will incorporate all of those experiences–real or read–as they may manifest into flaw for your protag, a strategy for your villain, or a skill for your underdog!

Get to it! You can do it!

Happy Writing!

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-10/2/2020

I want you to understand that you are in charge of your imagination. You tell it what to do, where you want to go, and what you need the story to say!

You are the writer. You control this world, because you created it.

Create in confidence and write in power.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-08/31/2020

Let me tell you a secret.

You write better than what you think you do. You can write longer than what you think you can. How do I know this? People do what they deem important.

If writing is important, you will write. Nothing will stop you.

If writing is not important, you will not write. Nothing could compel you.

Yes, you will only get better at writing, by writing. It is that development of tenacity, that desire not to quit, which will build the confidence you need to keep writing.

Keep going. You (will) write better than what you think you do.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-08/12/2020

Stop second guessing yourself!

All first drafts are horrible. All first versions of a play or manuscript are trash. ALL OF THEM! But the goal is to write it all down.

Remember: The first draft just needs you to get it all out, it all down, and then go to the next thing–revision.

But, as Nora Roberts says, “You cannot edit a blank page.”

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Take All The Time You Need

Writing is a process.

Writing is a journey.

No writing journey is, should be, is a planned to be linear! Time is relative in the life of a writer. It, too, is a tool. It needs to be something you do because you love to do it, or because you have a plethora of things to say! Either way, you are writing BECAUSE you have something to say.

Self-rejection as an artist can be cyclic, triggered by situations and our own mental health! Recognizing what contributes to your writing journey (or lack of one), is imperative to your success as a writer! This journey will be demanding. It will be challenging. It will be rewarding and satisfying as you take the time to cultivate it!

Be gentle with yourself.

Be accountable to yourself.

Remember you write for yourself first. Don’t deprive you, of YOU.

Encouragement Pages-06/17/2020

What are you waiting for?

There is a need within you to write, so why on Earth are you ignoring it? You have worlds within you waiting to be shown and explored!

Be brave and explore them…one word at a time.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris