Encouragement Pages-09/01/2021

Dear Writer-

Be in love with you pen. Chase it, embrace the ink, be knowledgeable of the power that is has. Do not be tricked to shy from that, or be deceived into what you cannot, should not write.

You are a writer.

Write.

WRITE.

And do it without apology.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-07/09/2021: CHOOSE YOUR HARD (3/3)

Writing is hard. But it is not impossible!

But you have to understand that in “choosing your hard” you are investing in your talent. You are paying attention.

You have made the decision to do what is difficult, for a favorable outcome. It is the outcome we want, we chase and that we want.

Don’t abandon what you need to do because it’s hard—it will always be hard. But you must examine what is HARDER. Once you see that, accept that, it will make writing less hard and more necessary.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-07/07/2021: CHOOSE YOUR HARD (2/3)

The thing about writing is that there will always be the work. That is inescapable! Being a writer is like having homework—always.

But you have to be brave enough to understand that the only decisions you have are either to write or not to write. That’s all. There is no wiggle room. There is no alternative.

When you decide to take the time to write, discipline yourself to write, you are choosing exactly what is most important! Keep that space. Protect that space! The alternative is to not write.

Which will you do?

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-07/05/2021: CHOOSE YOUR HARD (1/3)

Thank you for Nicole Waters for this piece of advice.

Writers are in the business of doing the work of the hard things. In the case of writing, you must make this constant decision:

Am I going to write?

This question is always going to be one which you will, must, answer. You must understand the work isn’t going away, but you will have to do it. Not doing it will never be an answer.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

The I In You Series-INTELLIGENCE

Character development:  How are you going to develop them?

Just like you must have an idea for the structure of you story, the same goes for your characters, their settings and even the scenarios they find themselves in. The key thing to remember is watch out for troupes what will limit the growth of your characters; stereotypes that will stunt other characters and not give them depth; if you are writing cross-culturally (a white writer writing Black character for example), make sure that you have invested time and effort into seeking out someone from that culture/ethnicity/background to read your work!

Why? Blind spots.

 

You don’t want a work to be offensive to other people when it does not have to be! Having someone read for cultural sensitivity will allow for feedback in a safe space where you can ask questions, get feedback and revise as needed! Your characters are brought to life your imagination—and that imagination may represent a real person. Write wisely.

Note: For sensitivity read-throughs, contact Anette King through her site, The Blurb Diva.

The I In You Series-IDENTITY

*Point to character/character development; WHO do you want to see?

​​Imagination + Character= Representation

​Representation will always matter, especially in the media. This type of visibility grants those whom identify as any minority to see themselves in places where they may not have been before. 

This is invaluable. 

​The award-winning writer Walter Mosley said that in order for a minority person to exist in the culture they have to exist in the fiction. Think of it this way—identity is existing! It is existence! It is mirror and a door in a world that doesn’t want people whom are not part of acceptable majority to see themselves outside of stereotypes! Your characters provide an existence, even in the face of a world that doesn’t want you to exist!

​When you create your story it is a sense of identity, even if you leave pieces of yourself in it. In the immortal words of Beyonce’ Giselle Knowles Carter, “I was here.” The people that hide in your head and talk to you through ink or screen—they deserve to be here, too.

​Give them the chance to be in the world that you inhabit. Rest assured that someone needs to see them—in order to see themselves. 

See you next week!