Encouragement Pages-05/05/2021

I want you to understand the power you have.

You create worlds.

You re-create, as well as remember.

You intrigue, inspire, provoke and equip.

Don’t relinquish that for the sake of doubt. Doubt is a lie that is whispered. Fear is doubt that is believed.

Rage against the lie.

Love & Ink,

JBHarris

BOOK IN A YEAR SERIES-Month 5: Traditional Books Vs. Ebooks

We live in a strange time.

We live in a digital age where books still matter! As a writer, one of the biggest decisions you will make aside from deciding what to write is what medium you want to publish in.

When making that decision, it will be of great help to consider two things:

Who is your audience?

How long is your book?

There are some readers who prefer a traditional book (paperback/hardback), some prefer a blend (electronic/traditional), and there are those who just prefer e-books.

With the success and brainchild of smartphones, apps, the force of nature that is Kindle, it is easy to take your entire library anywhere you go or the book your friend across the world recommended to you.

Each have their drawbacks, and benefits which are totally subject to the desire of the reader. For as many people who love books as gifts, whom still get lost in bookstores, there are just as many that love carrying all their books in one place no matter what!

Consider your reader. They will thank you for it.

Overview: The I In You Series

Remember to listen to The Writers Block Podcast found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify. This series started on the podcast in April 2019 and is my intellectual property. Thank you.

Representation matters.

As a writer who identifies as Black, cisgender, heterosexual woman who writes, I am aware that most fiction is neither written for me or by those whom look like me.

The brilliant Walter Mosley said that in order for your characters to exist in the culture, they have to exist in the fiction. With that said, our jobs as writers is to write what is not there, what is not there, and even who should be there!

The writer-educator bell hooks said that no woman has ever written enough. I agree. I also submit that no minority person has written enough.

No Black person.

No Ingenious person.

No Latin/Latindad/Latinx person.

No Person of color.

No one that identifies as at the intersection of either of those identifies and any part of the LGBTQIA+ community has.

Over the next 5 weeks we will discuss the following topics, which I call the 5 I’s Of Representation. All these things, I believe, need to be considered when writing:

Imagine-

What do you see?

Image

What do you want to show?

Identify (points to genre)-

What story do you want to write?

Identity

Who do you want to see?

Intelligence

How are you going to develop your characters?

Whether you realize it or not, you bring all your identities into every word you write, to every page you fill! You, as a writer, are still comprised of the some total of your two-fold experiences: those experiences in the world, and your experiences in the world as what you identify as. What you want to see in the world already exists in the form of YOU.

Put YOU in the world—this series will show you how.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris, Founder Hesed Writing & Communication Services

Encouragement Pages-04/28/2021

You’re going to hit a wall.

It is going to be abrupt, painful, and will feel very ‘all of a sudden.’

Yet, this is a watershed moment! You will have two options: quit or regroup.

Writing is demanding! Writing can be hard, and depending on the subject matter? Writing can feel very impossible! But, those choices are still there. They are still relevant.

Regroup and ask yourself three questions:

1.) Am I tired?

2.) What am I scared to say?

3.) Do I need to take a break?

There is more to writing than just writing. Remember that.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Book In A Year Series-Month 4: Why Credit Is Necessary

Note: There will be a social media talk/live (On Facebook and Instagram) about this on Friday, April 23, 2021.

Writing is a part of the arts.

With this being so, writers are artists. In being a part of this guild, it is the expectation that you do your work honest, and with merit.

What does this mean?

The cardinal rule of writing is this: YOU DO NOT STEAL FROM OTHER WRITERS.

You can be inspired by other writers. You can be influenced by writers, and even try to imitate them! But, you cannot take the work of another writer, and claim it as your own. Writers do no steal for other writers! I cannot emphasize this enough.

This is why research is needed.

This is why you must be knowledgeable about your genre.

This is why you must believe enough in your own talent to write the story that you want to write.

Writing is dual ended: the world inspires us! Writing, like acting, is a sort of thievery. We take from other people, their experience, and even conjure people from our imaginations to suit the needs of a story! But, you must understand that intellectual property is still a thing. It is still relevant!

If your story is a fan fiction, and you do not own the characters, you have to say that.

If your story is an adaptation (like the author who had to ask the estate of Margaret Mitchell to write a sequel to Gone With The Wind!), you have to say that.

If the story is not a complete original thought? YOU HAVE TO SAY THAT.

Writing, and your integrity as a writer, is dependent on whether or not you can give credit where credit is due. Do not be labeled as the writer that steals.

It’s not a good look.

Encouragement Pages-04/05/2021

One of the best things about research is what you might find, find out and the development of the rest of your walking around knowledge.

Research allows you to expand your knowledge base, which enables you to write the work you desire.

Enjoy the research. Enjoy the questions that come up! Understand that as a writer, reading and research will always be a part of what is required of you.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-04/02/2021

Research is everything!

It is every bit as important as what you decide to write!

Whether it is academic writing, or non-academic writing, understand that research matters! Whether it is the correct spelling of a word, or the correct time zone for your fiction, research matters.

Google is a first step.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris