I have always loved writing, and I know that skill of verbal, written expression is not easy for everyone. The goal at Shekinah Glory, LLC is to make that process less stressful. Feel free to contact with me with any questions you may have and the writing needs you would like met.
The imagination of a writer is a marvelous thing. It can be freeing, nonrestrictive and provide seducing conversation. Yet, as a writer, you must understand that you have to feed it.
What do I mean?
Well, the adage is that writers should always be reading. There should be an a book that you are reading, would like to read, and of course have a TBR list. Reading allows you to critique, critically think, and check out the competition. A writer needs homework. The greater thing? Unlike when you were in school, you get to pick the amount of homework.
If you like horror, you should be reading it.
If fantasy and romance are your jam, you should be reading it.
If you like sci-fi, it’s not enough to watch SyFy.
Reading is the simplest way to fuel your imagination. To stretch it! Find new things that you like. Find out what else you could branch out to and towards. What challenges you? What inspires you? Or, what genre or topic do you escape with.
Being a writer means you will have homework forever. This is not an exaggeration. This is the blessing and the curse of being a writer. There may always be a portion of you that is intrigued by something said, overheard or read. From that, the gears of your imagination may turn–even without your conscious knowledge. Don’t fear that. The homework is what you make it. The homework is to strengthen, to encourage and remind of you of this:
If you are a writer, you have to write.
Ergo, you need something to write about.
Do you homework, my scribes, poets and oracles. Do your homework.
When branching out into new genres, this is always going to require some work. However, but researching for a specific genre is another sort of work. This research allows you to see where it is your imagination may be naturally bent towards.
Anne Rice says it this way:
“Go to wear the joy is.”
In researching where your joy lies, it may take trial and error. It make take several changes for you to find your beat and bearings in it.
How you write for fiction isn’t the same as non-fiction.
How you write romances isn’t the same as how you write horror, fantasy or speculative fiction.
In finding your beat, you must know what the basic rules are in order to bend (or break) them to your liking.
In research, this includes writers groups and workshops. Research isn’t limited to Google, old wives tales and Reddit.
You’re a writer. By nature of profession, you get the freedom to change something and no one notice straight away. Use that to your advantage.
There are things in your imagination that sometimes need verification.
What do I mean?
That means that for all your imagination can fuel, if there are certain things which are based in reality—you’re going to need information.
The goal of any story is to have your reader keep reading! The ultimate test of any story is cohesion–even with fiction.
Research is the homework writers must do–have to do–for their writing careers. There is no way around it! The bulk of the work is and will remain powered by your imagination. Research is the rocket fuel to that. It is the foundation that allows your imagination to leapfrog or even recreate it as you see fit.
Consider research to be your stepping stone, or your rocket booster. However, I consider research my mental exercise. It gives me a starting and finishing point to anything I may do. It gives me parameters or borders to challenge.
Research can be annoying and cumbersome, but remember why you’re doing it. Your characters may need to know what you do. Or you may have to now how to rescue them from some predicament.
You’re building a world. Research helps it to all hold together. Do your homework. There are people waiting and depending on it.
I have been a strong believer in the power of ink and paper.
And for that cause, twice a week I will be doing an Encouragement Page. These pages will be posted here with a corresponding link, to the video. And of course on the official Facebook page. Follow that space by clicking here.
These pages will be handwritten, and meant to be a support on your writing journey! You will be able to share these video and save them. Posting days for these pages will be Mondays and Thursdays.
Every writer needs a tribe, and encouragement to keep going. Consider this your oasis in your writing journey.
I keep going back to the prophetic tone of Dylan Thomas. You have to rage against the dying of the light. You must in order to get back to your first love.
The drive to get back to it must have a force behind it which is formidable and incessant. For me, one of the things that rescued me was the love of words. The seducing rhythm of the peck of keys. The scratch of pen to paper. What are you willing to do to rediscover the love of words?
For me, I had to become honest with what I was. What I had lost. The scarier thing was confronting why I had lost it. If you cannot pinpoint the why, you can get to the for.
Writers, by virtue of their careers, are obsessed with words and languages. We record what is said, and maybe unsaid. We decode and recode in order to transmit truths or dreams. It is for the love of words that allows Tolkien to be timeless. Hemingway and Fitzgerald to be classic. And Angelou, Hughes, Morrison and Walker to be part of societal shaping: classic works in their own right. It is because of the existence of these works, am I able to create. To record. And to tell stories with the most passionate of fervor.
It is the love of words that compels. That calls. That draws. It is for that love, that I keep at it. I want to know more about it. I study and stretch my own imagination. It strengthens my craft. The love of words deepens. Have I mastered everything? No, that’s why I, like Stephen King, call writing a craft.
You work what you have with what you have to do greater with what you will have. Rekindle your love affair, beloveds. I promise your love will be there, arms wide, to make you strong again.
The love of your life is no longer wants to speak to you.
*When I thought my talent, my gift, for writing was gone, I was distraught.
This was something I was able to do, and do well since I was eight. I had no idea how to function without that component. This was the one thing that I had which I believed I could have complete control over. After the breakup of a boyfriend, after coming out of the mire of that toxic relationship, the gift was gone.
It was gone.
No prose. No poetry. No essays. No stories.
I cannot emphasize how scary that was. How frightened I was! How angry I was! I was angry at the relationship that almost killed me. I was upset that I lost three years with a man that whom choked me to the point of unconsciousness on the floor of a bedroom. In a house we didn’t even own, no less. The command that I had, of words and language, was gone. I was angry, resentful and completely heartbroken.
I had saved my life. I had kept my life, at the cost of the murdering of my gift. To this day, I have no idea how that happened. It was gone…completely. I hadn’t written to the fury and power that I had before, even when I was with him. In three years, I had written maybe 6 things. Even though I journaled (I’ve always journaled), there was no other creativity that came. Or would come.
All together, my writing drought started in late 2000, and ended in March 2004. For four years, I had lost my first love. And I had no way to get back to it.
I know what it is like when the words won’t come. I also know what it’s like when the words cannot even be found! I remember how helpless I felt. I remember how lost I was. I had described myself as a writer, someone who writes. I lost my gift and identity.
There was this creative black depression that I found myself in. I was too ashamed to tell people what I was feeling. How dumb I felt for staying with him. How much I hated him, which was a little less than myself. But it was my mother that asked me, “Are you still writing?”
“Are you still writing?”
These four words compelled me not to abandon hope. These four words where a lighthouse. Among this dark ocean of despair, someone was looking for me. Someone knew who I used to me, what I could do so well, and sent out an SOS. After finding the strength to get back to pens, paper and keyboards, I wrote my first poem in over four years–to a Maroon5 song (This Love from the Songs About Jane album).
It felt as though I was learning to walk again. The keystrokes were clumsy and unsure. I erased a lot, and rewrote. But it was there. It was there, and I could see it. The words were out. And I was free.
The dirty secret about writing which I am no longer afraid to tell you is this: you have to learn to fight. You must. Audre Lorde said there are times as a writer when you don’t write. She goes on to say those times are devastating, because writing is like breathing.
I remind you fellow writer, letter conjurer, page bender. There is a way back. There is a way to get back to your first love! The light will come. You are seen, you will be spotted in that ocean. Someone needs your talent. Someone needs your take and imagination. Someone is going to ask you, with concerned confidence, “Are you still writing?”
*For more information about my writing journey, you can purchase a copy of WriteLife on Amazon. Go ahead and click here. Consider it a lighthouse.
Dylan Thomas reminds us in his poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, to be mindful of how life, love and energy is spent. I apply that same reasoning writing. That same desire to create, fulfill should be present in the life of every writer.
I cannot tell you how much you should work your craft, or how often you should write. There are no shortcuts to being a writer. You have to write! I must be part of what you do, in order for it to be a part of whom you desire to become. There are no shortcuts in this. There is no faster way to become brilliant.
Or more poetic.
Or more learned.
It comes one thought, letter, word, word-space-word pattern at a time.
The thing you love, you work at. You learn more about it. You learn the nuances, fortify the foundation things. You make it your own! The thing that you love, calls to you, and demands all that you have. It will always demand that!
Focus. Time. Integrity. Stewardship.
For the love of your writing, for the love your craft, you have to consider what that means. And will mean to you. Find your love, your voice in your writing and find your heartbeat in the twenty-six letters–one more and again.
One of the most upsetting things to encounter for those gifted to be scribes/writers is to be silent. It is dangerous for a writer to be silent. It is dangerous for our pens to be still, screens blank, skills dulled to the point of collapse. Our eyes seeing with no faith to believe for change, no words to create to draw attention. Words which have power to stir thoughts to instill or stimulate change. It is the artistry of imagination where possibility is created, exposed and changed. Writers are misfits. We see the unseen, name the unknown and touch what is hidden. Yet, these things must be seen and said. The atrophy of time must be rebelled against. We must race against the light given to us, race against it. We cannot curl up with the words, the word inside us. The unsaid, the unwritten must still be said…even in dreams.
That is all that makes up the English language. Just less than thirty letter. Some of Arabic, Greek and Roman influence. And for the desire of their further manipulation, their richness and any words that may sprout from that–we have the love of words.
Words, works, languages. The whole lot.
I can’t speak for every writer, but for this one? It is the draw of these letters, this dark trick of words, that has enthralled me since I was 8 years old.
I love writing because it has allowed me an outlet, a space and platform to do and conduct as I see fit. It has given voice and power to things that have troubled me, haunted me and have scratched the surface of desires.
Writing has given me a superpower. Unique and fascinating to create anything out of air, time and thought. The incredible thing? That I am able to pull out of these things out of the air by sheer will and imagination. When you have people read and enjoy your work? Even better.
A Writer’s High? Mm. Nothing like it.
I love writing because it is as incredible as it is everyone can do it..but not well. I love writing because I have found a home, a place, in these 26 other permanent things in the world. I love that when a work in progress is coming together, I don’t want to stop! I love that I can race my imagination! I love that when I create these pretend people, they become alive and part of my creative family.
My love for writing is equivalent to the breadth and depth of the ocean. It is far reaching, deep with dark and mysterious depths when explored. The greatest thrill is the exploration. I love writing because I’m good at it.
There is something so amazing about sharing your work with people excited to read it!
It is a testament to the WIP (Work In Progress) that those whom you have asked to read you work are just as passionate about what you are creating as you are! The people whom are willing to look over typos, incomplete sentences or even lopsided plots (and their holes) and see the potential (and potential greatness) in what you’re creating!
Beta Readers are the frosting on the WIP cake! They make it better, sweeter and help to bring everything together. When your Beta Readers are engaged; when they communicate with you; when they get swept up in a world you’ve created? This is the very best thing.
Beta Readers offer you first hand reaction to your story! The scary part of any WIP is the actual draft, but to have someone willing and engaged enough to read it? Including the revisions? This is a high compliment and encouragement.
Think of Beta Readers as sous chefs. They help to get and pull everything together. Their help and input help to shape the document, making it perfect for the rest of the world.
Do not shun the extra eyes, dear ones. Don’t negate the power of those whom are willing to review your work and invest in it! Beta readers are needed! Seek them out and use them!