The I In You Series-IDENTIFY

*Points to genre; WHAT STORY DO YOU WANT TO WRITE?

Ah, the magic (and menace) of genre! 

 

As a BIPOC writer, you will run into this quandary (more than once) of a potential reading audience, beta readers and almost fans who will tell you some permutation of this sentence (speaking as a Black woman who writes, this is what I have been told more than once):


“Black people don’t write _________.”

 

It never gets easier to hear, or less aggravating to explain. The writer and MARVEL comic icon, Christopher Priest, explains such stupidity this way: “A real writer can write anything.” This is the quote that I use to diffuse any apprehension that I have to writing anything, or being relying on any other opinion other than my own to determine (or influence) what genre I want to write or what I want to write for it!

The story, the idea, the process is all mine. I didn’t need approval to start, and I will not require it to finish. Just like I fire the little White man on my shoulder who thinks his critique and approval for my work is salaried position—I dismiss those unsupportive people who tell me but for my race, I can write anything that I want. Just not that genre.

 

I write what I want. And so must you. Keep going!

See you next week!

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

Decisions, decisions.

In this jungle of self-publishing, writing is only half the battle. The next thing is to decide your format.

Traditional books are physical books—paperback or hardback.

E-books are just that—electronic books. There is a reason Amazon has made so much money with Kindle! I mean, as a bibliophile? I love being able to take my entire library with me ALL THE TIME.

What I want you to remember both have their advantages, and disadvantages. But know that you are in control. It is important to research your options, as well as what your work requires.

Some things to consider while deciding which set up is right for you and your story:

What is the genre?

Word count?

Is this a collaboration with another writer or an anthology?

Page length?

What is the publishing date?

All these things matter when making the transition from messy idea to final draft. The work has to consider not just the ease of formatting—but the ease that is translated to the reader.

Go forth and write!

The I In You Series-IMAGINATION

What Do You See?

Fear is the enemy of imagination!

 

​One of the things about writing is the use of your imagination! Also, it grants you the freedom as a minority/BIPOC writer to make the world you want to see—one word at a time.

So, what do you want to see? Every story starts with you first, dear writer. From inception to publishing, it all begins with you. So, what is it that you want to see in the work you write? Remember the words of Mother Morrison:  “If there is a book you want to read, you must write it.”

What idea have you been thinking of that your mind keep bringing you back to? What does it look like? What would it be like to write it? What tools would you need, do you need, in order to write it? This can also be likened to the Prewriting/Brainstorming phase of the writing process. 

As you formulate what it is you want to write, remember it is you that must write it—only you can see what you want the world to see. 

See you next week!

 

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

Encouragement Pages-04/23/2021

Go where the story takes you.

Try not to edit as you write–your goal is to write everything down. Get it all out! Then go back.

THEN. GO. BACK.

Let the story take you where it is supposed to go. Don’t hinder yourself trying to edit and write at the same time. You will stop your creative flow.

Write first. Then edit.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-04/21/2021

Remember your KEYS.

This is your reminder so save as you go, and save in two places.

Invest in a cloud, jump drive, Dropbox, or you could even do it old school: e-mail.

Set up a DUMP EMAIL. What is this? An email account that exists solely for the purpose of saving your work. You can send WIP’s here, along with completed work!

Jump drives it lost, Cloud storage runs out, and sometimes you get locked out of Dropbox–but an email? There are permanent.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris