Encouragement Pages-05/27/2022

(*Note: the phrase ‘lay some track’ is taken from the book THE YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes.)

Dear Writer:

Did you “lay some track” today?

Did you write down that random idea?

Did you complete that sentence?

Did you sketch that scene?

Did you lay some track today?

If not, you should have.

You still have time–get to it.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

May 2022: OWN THE LOSSES

When the writing is hard, the writing is hard. That is the only way I can explain it. When it’s hard…concrete feels softer.

And with that in mind, when writing is hard, time will either creep by, speed up, or you will avoid it (I don’t make the rules, I am just here to help). And the only way to get through the hard writing is…writing.

Time is never on your side when the writing it hard–and you will never have enough of it. And when it is lost, you cannot get it back.

Stepping away is always a good thing–I am in favor of natural light, and walking around as a cure to unlock those ‘hard parts’ of writing. But there is a difference between taking a break and active avoidance! It’s never going to get better by avoiding it. I promise you.

Loss writing time + hard writing= more lost time.

There is nothing so frustrating as a writer who can’t write…because they can’t write.

The nature of the beast is always soothed by time.

Encouragement Pages-05/20/2022

Dear Writer:

The most crucial thing you can do is this: finish.

Neil Gaiman tells us in his MasterClass that writers should not get in the habit of abandoning projects completely. Will there be times that you will have to come back to the work? Yes. But, you must come back to the work.

Finish things (even if you think they are ‘bad’), so you can write other things. Better things even.

Go forth…and finish.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

May 2022: OWN THE LOSSES

As we go forward in this particular series, I must stress to you all that every writer has a horror story about story they lost, a draft they couldn’t find or an idea they believe someone stole from them (sometimes that last part is more accurate than you think!). But for this section, let is concentrate on lost work.

Brief Storytime-

I was working on a sequel to my novel RUBY (currently on Amazon! Kinda proud of that!), on Isabella. That is the name of the computer my husband (now ex-husband) got me for Christmas. I had been in the habit of saving my work in two places since my Junior year of college, but since this was a new computer? I didn’t back anything up.

I didn’t think I needed to!

When the computer gave me the update notification, I knew I saved the work, so I proceeded with the update. And what happened next had me crying on the floor with all of my 35+ year old self. The update called my computer to crash.

CRASHED. I screamed and cried and called my sister in a panic. After pulling myself together an hour plus later, I took Isabella to the Windows store. Two days later they rescued almost everything on it (YAY!) except my novel–with 3 chapters of my book.

Now, in owning that this was my fault (not the crash, but the not saving of my work!), here is what I should have done:

1.) Save the work to a jump drive or Cloud.

2.) Invest in Google Dropbox and put all information there.

3.) If nothing else, get a dump email account to just put all my WIP’s there.

This would have saved me 60 minutes of freaking out and I would have finished that book.

I’m still mad about it. Don’t be like me. Save your work.

Encouragement Pages: 05/11/2022

Follow the miniseries The Burden Of The Pen on I Breathe Fire by clicking here.

Dear Writer:

I know that writing is going to be hard. And the more that you are willing to share your writing journey, the more your work or voice is recognized, the more people are going to demand that you say something. The more the world outside and outside your bedroom door like/respect what you have to say, then they want you to say it more often.

Beware of the people whom want you to talk all the time but never encourage you to listen.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

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May 2022: OWN THE LOSSES

The most irredeemable thing to a writer, the thing what we chase is time. It’s always going to be time! And for a writer, there is nothing more maddening that losing time.

Time.

It’s always time.

As a writer in order for you to come to grips with the time you have lost, ask three questions:

1.) What things could I have been doing?

2.) When you should be writing, what do you find yourself doing?

3.) What is stopping you from writing?

Own the time you have lost. That you have squandered and that you have wasted.

Own this. Learn from this. Do better.