The New Things

Being a writer is one of thee most maddening things I have ever done! For every project that I want to do, there are 4 others that spring up. They seduce me from the current work, and then I leave them–jilted and guilty –to return to the first love. Determined to finish what I started.

This is what writers do though, dear ones! We create! And in the fury of creating, we have these side loves that call to us. These things we start when the first love (read: current work) has us in a funky place with no way out. I mean, Octavia Butler wrote Fledgling as a side project because the other work she was writing was ‘too much’! Wri

The Secret Graveyards: Pencils, Files & Draft Drawers

I believe writing is a form of madness. I do. I suffer from it, and I have since age 8. I dream, I record. I am a witch born of storytelling, accents, dialects and alphabets. I conjure worlds and destroy them as I see fit. In that roux of creativity, here I am.

Yet, here in that lingering immortality just before me….I get scared too.

I see the pages, blank and endless and sometimes I–I just can’t. Sometimes I can only get to a certain part in a story or a WIP and…I stop. But rather than through that energy away, I put a pen on it…and put it in my draft-drawer. I do this in the hope –THE HOPE–I will return to it. I do it in the hope that I will have the strength to complete something that I started. I do it to remind myself the story isn’t over–I just can’t see my way clear yet. But once I do? I will find my way back to it.

There is a drawer in my desk that is stocked with notebooks, pens and other random office supplies. Within the graveyard of writing supplies, are my incomplete thoughts. There are beginnings, full and bright. There the ends of dreams, the beginnings of nightmares, and the lusts of my own flesh. All in this drawer, waiting for me…calling to me in times where I would be, rather be writing.

They call when I say I can’t write.

They persist when I escape the diligence of writing to tweet or post to Instagram.

They haunt when I forget to add to them…or say I don’t need to add to them. Or the biggest writer lie: “I’ll get back to it.”

I have so many stories to tell, and one life to tell them in. Yet, I know I may not…

Encouragement Pages-03/18/2020

Completing any work is hard. It is difficult, and the process to perfect is not real. The best you can hope for as you complete any WIP is contained, controlled chaos.

Today, I want you to remember the process to write is fraught with pitfalls, discouragements, and all matter of distractions! Once you acknowledge this, you can be more gentle with yourself.

Completing a WIP is akin to sailing a ship on the ocean–in a storm! When you write, the more often you write, the quicker you can drop anchor to stop the work from being lost–or set adrift!

Be vigilant, dear ones.

Keep at it.

Love & Ink,

JBHarris

To My Greatest Love

Image result for victorian valentines cards

To My Greatest Love:

I would be so lost without you. I am so sorry for never telling you how I feel–negating how I feel about you, with all earnest affection. Without pretense or apology. Minimizing it when I should be shouting it. But, I am strong enough-certain enough now–to tell you all that I have held for you.

It is because of you, I have not drowned in the waters life I has tossed me in and towards. You have been a buoy, a light and a consummate map. You have caught tears, brought me sight, and given me a love everlasting.

You have been there for me–when I did no know, nor see myself! You have been found by me, taken away from me, and whispered to me as only a love can in my darkest hours. You have held me together in the palm of my hand. There is no love I know so complete as I know yours.

You are the love of my life. There is no other love like yours. In moments where I could not find my way clear, when I had no more to give, when I thought I had lost you forever–you found me.

You made me yours all over again. Loved me until I could see or reach again. I will never abandon you again, my love. Never again will I doubt, cheapen or downplay our union. The world will always know we are one.

Thank you…language.

Always, JBHarris

Call What Calls To You

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
-Ernest Hemingway

What scares you about that you’re writing? What is the most intriguing thing about what you are creating? What about your work calls to you?

What is this call you ask?

The call is the incessant thinking about what it is you are creating. The call will dictate how the story/story idea will be shaped–through the force of your will of course. Chase that.

Chase the things that draw you in about the story. Chase the characters and their development, settings, horror, plots and all of their twists! But chase them. You never know what you may come across. But if you never chase–if you never hear the call–how much story will you miss?

That fear of not adding what is needed to a story, to draw your reader in, this is devastating. The nature of the beast of writing demands you pay attention to what you are creating.

Pay attention. Answer the call. Get to writing.

Encouragement Pages-01/29/2020

Self-rejection is a slow poison.

It is a poison whose apothecary is familiar. Whom is familiar with their victims as well as their enemies.

But what happens when they are one and the same?

Every time you reject a story, a portion of your imagination vanishes. Every time you scrap a story because you’re scared to write it, more of you vanishes.

Rage against the dying of the light.

Poison is for those dying or marked for death.

Writing is a source of life.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-01/24/2020

Be gentle with yourself today.

The work in progress is called this for a reason. The progress in this work can be incremental—but do it. No matter how small or insignificant.

Do the work.

Happy, loud or sad, but do it.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris