Encouragement Pages-11/15/2019

I want you to take a journey with me real quick.

Imagine the ideal book you want to read. A story to fall in love with! Dynamic characters, great plot and settings you can see in your mind’s eye!

Now, imagine you writing it.

You, yes you.

The book you want to read, you may have to write. Toni Morrison reminds us that.

Get to it.

Love & Ink,

JBHarris

The Uncomfortable Truth: Do You Want To Even BE A Writer?

Sometimes, it’s the questions you don’t wanna answer, which need the most urgent ones.

By now, you all are aware of this cool concept of MasterClass. This is app available on Android and Apple iOS which has all sorts of famous people teaching their crafts. These classes include music, cooking, sports, film and writing.

One thing that I thought was interesting was the quote that Martin Scorsese said about film-making. In paraphrasing, he said that if film-making is a not something you cannot live without doing, ‘then this class is not for you.’

What I will tell you is that writing is demanding for those of us that do it. Writing is, can be, something that we as writers do naturally, like breathing.

The gratitude of doubt, as hard as this is to hear, perhaps writing is not what you want to do. You may have wanted to be a writer, tried to be a writer–and the doubts may have overwhelmed you.

Remember, the doubts come as gut-checks. They check your motives: you are supposed to acknowledge it, but not hang on to it.

Check out this series in September 2019. Go now. You won’t regret it.

However, I want you to take artistic inventory. I want you to think hard about what it is you want, and desire to do. If you want to write, you will find a way to do that. If you desire not to write, you will find every reason not to.

At this point? You should put it down. Put up the pen. Scrap the work. Don’t share new work. Give it up. A good rule of thumb I have discovered if you feel this way, is to give up writing up for a season. A chronological season is 3 months, 90 days. If you can be a peace with not writing–this means not writing, not thinking of writing, no desire to write–it is safe to assume writing is not what you want to do. However, if you feel called to it, want to go back to it, feeling that you cannot be your whole self without it, then I suggest you get back to the work at the end of those 90 days. Whatever you thought about writing in that time away from it, start the next season with that work.

Writing for us whom love this craft, won’t give it up. We do not give it up easily. If you feel that you can? Well, the world is a big place; you have the freedom to do other things. Try other things. Perhaps writing is not the thing which calls to you. It is better you find that out now, rather than later.

There is nothing so sad (or scary) as a writer whom does not write.

Getting Over It

Writing is hard. Writing is real hard. I wish that I could express to you–truly!–how hard this. Being able to pull something out of the nebulous creative ether and share that to other people?

It’s hard.

But what I want you to know something, and I will try my best not to sound conceited.

The cool thing about being a writer, is that not everyone can do it.

The hard thing about being a writer, is that not everyone can do it.

The impossible thing about being a writer, is that no everyone can do it.

For every work that you create, there will be a doubt. No matter how quick, not matter how long, no matter how infrequent. The doubt will be there. Almost like a too tight safety belt.

But, there is something to this. What I want you to do when doubt crops up is embrace it, not hold it. This is something that you will learn with time, and as you get comfortable writing.

Embrace the doubt= you realize doubt is there.

Not hold it= doubt will always be a weight, and it is not to be entertained long.

That is the thing about writing. You have to be able to believe you can do it, before you can ever do it. It is the doubt that allows you to still look at a work with some degree of respect–and realize that every piece, every work in project is your responsibility. To care for. And complete.Being a creative has a certain weight and heft to it. Some part of that creative is, does require a radical belief in self.

With that ability, do one thing for me: be grateful.

There are those of us along with journey to writing or creativity that hold on to doubt. Who forget that writing is not as natural for others as it is to us. Or, they allow the doubts of others to be projected on their own talents and cease to create anything. Or anything else.

But gratitude, that is the counterweight to doubting while creating. Your gratitude will allow and plow room towards what it is you want to create. Honor your talent. Honor your commitment.

Putting off the writing never makes it easier.

Taking your creativity for granted only makes you ungrateful.

An ungrateful writer is one most unpleasant to be around. Besides, there is nothing like a good bout of Writer’s Block to make one humble. Trust me.

Encouragement Pages-11/06/2019

James Baldwin reminds writers, poets and other creative people to ‘do you work.’ The elephant in the room is that he never says how.

I believe that he didn’t want to give us [as writers] a map because we all have a different job–a different assignment.

The trick is to find out what that assignment, that mission is–and be daring enough to do it.

What part of writing are you drawn to?

Are you rapt by poetry and prose or is it non-fiction? Do you want to do plays and film or essays?

There is more than enough work to do, more than enough languages to do it. But, you must do the work, loves. You must do the work.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-11/04/2019

There are so many people that go through this life and never leave a record. Don’t be one of those people.

If you call yourself a writer, part of that job is to leave record of thought or moments.

Don’t fear that title. Don’t fear that responsibility. Don’t fear the words or what you will make them say.

You can do it.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris