Through this month, I have done all I can in this space to remind you of the power you have and can harness to go in the world and create. I hope you do so. -JBHarris
Think if your newest project like a candle. With that image, remember this. For a candle to do all that it must, it must realize that it is a candle: not a door, window or can opener. It is a candle. So, light it. Let me explain how.
The Spark. This is the beginning of the work, this is where you start to write. This is where the ‘new thing’ has taken shape. You have garnered up enough moxie to write. Regardless of genre, regardless of length of story, you are writing, you are beginning. You are beginning! For this, it might seem the most impossible–but the scariest is always right before you begin. The spark–your spark–is the beginning.
The Fire. Oh! This is when you have embarked on the journey to write. And continue writing! This is where the power of time and imagination converge to allow you to create universes, people, theories and anything your mind demands! The beautiful thing about all this? Fire can be channeled! You can push it as hard, as fast, and as deep as you want to! Write while the motivation is there! Write while the iron is hot! Write when you cannot contain the words, so they can spill onto the page! Write to contain the fire! The fire is what you control.
The Light. This is what happens when the work is done. When you have completed your draft, and you can take a deep breath. You now have proof of what you have carried on the inside of your imagination in a physical form. You will be holding the thing which you thought was on only a dream. You can see it. You can print it. You can submit it. And for that, this is a reason to be proud. Light is the evidence a fire is burning.
You, my dearest Oracles, are the possessor of all these elements. You. No one else. As I leave you for this month of April, I remind you of the words of Audre Lorde.
I am fond of saying that every idea is a spark. From that ‘spark’ anything can be added to make a fire. That fire, that heat, that light–this is the what we chase, my Oracles. This fire is what we create and chase and feed! Don’t dismiss that.
I need you to under as a writer to remember one thing: you control the fire! You control what it burns, how hot it burns, how long it burns! You control this! Meaning: what do you need to start? What new thing are you shying away from due to the heat which would follow?
Those things need to be explored. They need to be examined. They need to be found! They need to be written about. Start a fire, my Oracles. Start it, and be warmed by it. From that warmth, set the world ablaze!
As a writer, if you gave in to every distraction and hinderance, you would never write.
If you surrendered to every doubt, you would never write.
If you listened every doubt, you would never write.
The doubt comes to check your motivation–Who are you writing for?
Distractions come to check your focus–What are your writing? Do you have everything you need to begin?
Stephen King, the Master of Horror himself, says that the scariest time is right before you begin. I would have to agree. The scariest part will always be right before you begin! Even with outlines, support and research, or strong coffee, fear still creeps in.
It creeps in because it’s supposed to! Writing is always a little frightening. It will be disconcerting. It will scare the shit out of your sometimes–and that fear can be come a paralytic.
A writer with paralysis is like a swimmer doing the breaststroke with weights!
In order to free yourself from that paralysis–you have to write. Even though you’re scared. Even though you may have doubts. Even though you may be unsure.
I want you to stop talking about your idea. I want you to stop ‘rolling it around in your head.’ I want you to stop talking about ‘what you will do when you get time.’ Today, begin.
Trust yourself enough, if just today, give yourself permission to start. Give yourself the freedom to express what is in your head. Give yourself the respect of your own thoughts–and write them down.
Start, dear ones.
If you can think it up, you can write it down.
With Love & Ink,
Shameless plug: If you need more help and encouragement, make sure you follow The Writer’s Block wherever you get your podcasts (Anchor, Spotify, Google Play, Apple Podcast). Start from the beginning, and then start your own. -JBH