JBHarris Writing Services Tool: Encouragement Pages

This is a new thing on JBHarris Writing Services. It is going to be used as a tool of encouragement and focus. Three times a week there will be posting to encourage you to keep writing.

They will range from the serious to the affirming, and sometimes funny. But the goal is always to keep you writing, fellow scribes and oracles!

Look for encouragement pages to start every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting April 10!

Beta Readers: Pros & Cons (Part II-PROS)

There is something so amazing about sharing your work with people excited to read it!

It is a testament to the WIP (Work In Progress) that those whom you have asked to read you work are just as passionate about what you are creating as you are! The people whom are willing to look over typos, incomplete sentences or even lopsided plots (and their holes) and see the potential (and potential greatness) in what you’re creating!

Beta Readers are the frosting on the WIP cake! They make it better, sweeter and help to bring everything together. When your Beta Readers are engaged; when they communicate with you; when they get swept up in a world you’ve created? This is the very best thing.

Beta Readers offer you first hand reaction to your story! The scary part of any WIP is the actual draft, but to have someone willing and engaged enough to read it? Including the revisions? This is a high compliment and encouragement.

Think of Beta Readers as sous chefs. They help to get and pull everything together. Their help and input help to shape the document, making it perfect for the rest of the world.

Do not shun the extra eyes, dear ones. Don’t negate the power of those whom are willing to review your work and invest in it! Beta readers are needed! Seek them out and use them!

The work awaits!

Spring 2019-Writing Workshop

The second writer’s workshop is in the next 2 weeks!

The purpose of these workshops is to assist budding and aspiring writers with with manuscripts, ideas or works in progress! For 2 hours, there will be advice dispensed, questions answered as well as resources given!

I am excited for what this second workshop will bring and the work to be created from it!

Pushing writers is what I do, and this platform is one more way to do that!

Best,

JBHarris

Protecting The Work: Integrity In Chosing Beta Readers

The most important thing for Beta Readers is not the reading.

No, it’s not a joke.

Yes, I’m serious.

The most important thing for a Beta Reader is not to steal your work. Even if it’s a rough draft.

In choosing your Beta Readers, the best advice is to keep your number small and composed of people you trust. It also doesn’t hurt to have your Beta Readers sign a contract that dictates not to share/plagiarize the work you show them.

Intellectual property is still property! It needs to be protected to the fullest extent of the law.

Take pride in your work! Protect it.

There is nothing worse than having your work stolen by the very people you believed you would trust with it.

[image from ad-Martin.com]

Are Morning Pages A Writing Tool?

Writers need tools. We need space to create, to brainstorm and to follow through with the ideas we develop. We need that. I am a fan of customizing your tool kits. What works for one writer, does not become the uniform for every other writer!  I cannot emphasize this enough. The things that I have found that work for me, don’t work for every writer. This is one of the joys of being a writer! You get to customize what works for you and toss away what doesn’t with no explanation given.

I believe after using this writing option for a month, that it is indeed a tool. It is something that can be used for writers to be more focused on what they are writing. Even being intentional about what it is you desire to writer. It helps to clear your head–even prepare you for what it is you have decided to create for that day. It’s a sort of locker room, if you will, for writers.

I want you to bear in mind that to be a writer, you must writer. There is no shortcut, no quick way, no back way to become a writer. You have to writer. You must figure out where it is you fit in this vocation, and make your own roux. One of the ways you do that is to gather your tools for your own toolbox. Writing pages are one of those tools that you can use as you see fit. I like using Morning Pages when I have a project that I have to do, and feel that I need to have my mind a little more focused. The glorious thing about Morning Pages is that you can customize your schedule! If you don’t necessarily want to do them, you don’t have to! But once you commit to doing Morning Pages, you will maximize their benefit through your discipline in writing them. 

For the time that I have used them, I have been better able to command my thoughts. I have been better prepared to write. I have found my8self more disciplined, and even the flow of creativity being greater.

As hard as writing can be, you need all tools at your disposal. Don’t knock new tools. Being a writer demands versatility, and the keen ability to adapt. Only foolish craftsmen reject tools that will only help them.

Happy Writing!

[image from techgyo.com]

The Use Of Morning Pages

Writing is one of those careers that is both static and dynamic.

The latest thing that I have come across my desk is the idea of morning pages. I had heard of this concept, or writing exercise from a YouTuber I have followed for years now (Shira:  SugarFreeTV/SynchoncityStudios/VisionClass. If you haven’t followed her or heard of her, she is a gem!). She was going this free (FREE!) YouTube hosted class, Vision Class, and she introduced this concept. This was about 3-4 years ago. The idea, the purpose for this, is to write as the first thing when you get up.

No topic.

No theme.

No erasing.

  The ideal is to create, pour out if you will, whatever is on  your head.

Simple, right?

Now, this is  not a practice a lot of writers that I know implement. I journal, and have on and off since I was bout 8 or 9. Morning pages is alike a heightened form of journaling. It’s stream of consciousness–whatever is on your head–no feelings necessarily involved.

For some writers it could be assumed this will help clear your head. Clean the slate for the day ahead. I get that. It’s a tool. Every writer needs tools. What works for one doesn’t work for another, and that is the glory of writing. Use it if you can; if you can’t, it’s rubbish. Writing is a discipline. Remember that–we can use all the help we can get.

[image from Pinterest]

Keep Going! This Is Why You Write…

Image result for red marks on essays

Writing is work! Octavia Butler said that sometimes writers would rather clean toilets than write.

She’s right.

There will be times when sitting at a computer, or pens out lusting for your hand to seduce the pages of blank paper under them–and you will think, “Why am I doing this?” Every writer I know has experienced this. It’s beyond self-doubt. It’s more dangerous than that–it’s apathy.

Apathy is a thief.

It steals all creative joy. It steals all promise that ambition and talent will bring. It lies and tells us that no one will read our novels, our poems or do our workshops. It lies to us because if apathy knows how talented you are—it would be unemployed. It would have nothing to say, nothing to offer, noting to give. It has nothing else to tell you.

In deciding to submit your work, in being a writer either indie or through an agent, you have to know two things.

One:

Not everyone is going to like  your stuff. This is crucial.

Two:

There are people that will like your stuff.

 

 

Some of the most hurtful criticism I have heard gotten was from someone close to me whom called what I did my ‘writing crap,’ Another was when I was writing for another blog, and they changed almost everything that I wrote. Here recently, I was told that my sentences were too cluttered, and my mechanics just sucked. However, I didn’t quit. I didn’t stop writing. I didn’t find sycophants. I took the criticism, weighed it for relevance, and kept it moving.

 

Writing is a constant balance. A constant need to swim upstream and know you can. That is the crazy part—you can do it. In the face of opposition and evil editors and low readership to blogs or mailing lists, you can do it. The question I need to ask you is, do you want to?

 

[image from Google]