The Art Of [Not] Self-Rejecting

Self-rejection: The process of writers completing a work and not believing their work to submit or publish in any medium; they don’t think it’s good enough.

The process for writers to develop self-confidence is on-going! Rejection is part the process, especially if you desire to publish work in a public medium.

Writing requires radical belief in self, and the developing a thick skin. Not everything you create. So, let me give you three things which will remind you to keep writing, and self-rejection is never going to be something of any use to you:

  1. You are the writer. You control the pace, tempo and content of the work. The decision to write, the decision to publish, the decision to pursue writing as a career or hobby is totally up to you! If you don’t believe you can, then you never will.

2. Know your lane. You must know the type of stories you want to write. You must be confident in what you want to share with the world, and know you have something to say! No matter the genre, the troupes mentioned, never think something ‘has been done to death’! It hasn’t been done by you. Since it hasn’t been done by you! Keep that same energy! You’ll need it.

3. Create. Share. Repeat. Sometimes getting some trusted people to read your work is a confidence builder! Another thing to be mindful of is the rich nature of writer groups on social media! Writers do well in community, despite the solo nature of our work. Brainstorm on the community posts, engage with other writers, and those dusty WIP’s share them people whom will be honest with you! In order for you to develop the stamina to deal with rejection (again, this comes with the territory), you have to become used to people reading your work and commenting on it. Good or bad. But the goal being at this step is to get used to writing, critique and feedback.

Self-rejection can be a mill stone around your creativity. It hinders and stymies. No one needs that as a writer. The people in your head need to be let out. Don’t make it harder them.

You can do it! Keep writing!

Push. Write. Repeat.

Writing, in my opinion, is one of the sexiest profession you can choose. The most seductive hobby you can persue. It is the most entricing thing you can begin.

Think about it.

There are romantic stories of writers all the time, all over the world, who have told you about the erotic nature of writing.

Being pulled out of sleep.

Writing until the hours where the sun is their only company.

Having a poem, its power, rumble through them until they find paper.

I, myself, have experienced all of these things. All of them. For that feeling, for this desire, for this lover like no other–I write. I push. I repeat. And so should you! I am a believer that writers are always writing, even when we aren’t actively writing.

We always have a couple things in the back of our minds. Writers are the secret students of the world! We observe and study and record everything. From that studying, of the world, there will always be something to work on or create. In the pursuit of the latest work, the new thing, the work to come there must be a push to find it! There must be a push to write it! You must be content with the balance of desire to create, and the process of that specific creating!

You must! You are a writer, it’s what you do.

So, do it.

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

Encouragement Pages-01/22/2020

Shameless plug to remind you to read.

Writers are readers, inquisitive about the world around them so they can create another. If you’re stuck in process of creating an WIP and become discouraged, take a break. Fill up that blank time with a book.

Sometimes the words of others, stir our own.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris