What Is A Beta Reader?

According to Wikipedia:

A beta reader is usually an unpaid test reader of an unreleased work of literature or other writing, who gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author.

Note: A beta reader is not a professional and can therefore provide advice and comments in the opinions of an average reader.

Let me make this clear, to publish or become published, you don’t need to have a beta reader.

Let me also make this clear: beta readers are a tool and Shekinah Glory Writing Services is a fan of beta readers!

Beta readers are a great, living addition to your writing tool kit. They can give honest opinions and observations about what you’ve written. They can be just as passionate about your characters as you are. They can ask questions of you to pull out more story–sometimes parts you didn’t think about!

Beta readers are the unsung heroes of revising and drafting! Don’t believe me? Ask Stephen King. It was his wife, Tabitha, that rescued a novel from the trash because she liked what she read! That novel was Carrie.

Keep writing dear ones!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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2019.

If you have been following this space, I first want to tell you:

THANK YOU.

Thank you for following.

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for you referring the space to other writers, and those of the odd oracle ilk.

I am bold enough to believe in all the good this platform will and can do! I also am humble enough to know that power cannot come unless there are people whom have seen that same power.

Please know that you all are welcome to follow me on Patreon as well.

In the new year, there will be more media with the podcast being linked to the blog. Please know that I love you all, and thank you for every email and follow!

Keep following!

We’ve just gotten started.

Keep following!

[image from Google]

Final Thoughts On Morning Pages

Morning Pages are one of the most adaptive tools you will have in your arsenal as a writer. As I spoke of before, an all this month, they are a tool that can be used as you see fit. In the foundation of the concept of Morning Pages is discipline.

Writing will always be a discipline.

The fact, in the English-speaking world, there less than thirty letters that make up better than one hundred-thousand words, that you can master and repeat as you see fit. Some of those words trickle out so that more words can come in.

Morning Pages forced me to write, and not think. Something that is alien for a writer. We are expected to be aware, salient, sentient in all we do. From the recording of the world, or in the making up our own, we are expected to focus; expected to pay attention. Morning Pages forces you to write blind. Whatever is on your mind is to be on the page, for however long it would take. Whatever that would look like.

Morning Pages force you to write, even when you don’t want to–and write that out without thinking about it.

Therein lies the hitch. The drive. The mystery and passion of writing. You are a writer, because you write. In that mastery, in the acceptance of what is no longer a hobby, you must seek to tame it.

Writing is a curious vocation. It allows the freedom to test out, discard and revamp the things that don’t serve or propel you to the heights you desire. Morning Pages can only help to help you see what is on your own mind. As a writer, that sometimes is the best way to unclutter your head. From the uncluttering, you can create what you desire. Being able to focus better as you do.

[image from YouTube.com]

On The Christmas List

The year of 2018 was formidable.

The one thing that is on my Christmas list for this year is growth!

If you like what you see here, if you believe there is a topic that needs to be discussed, let us know! Email us at sgwritingservices@icloud.com!

Also, I am looking for more indie authors and publishing houses to share some light with in the upcoming year! Writing can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility, but I want to share light and space with as many people as I can! If you have book you’re marketing or an author I should be aware of use the author’s name or project in the subject line!

I wish you happy writing, easy but furious brainstorms and extended battery life on your laptops!

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Shekinah Glory Writing Services!

[image from blogmannequinmadness.com]

Are Morning Pages A Writing Tool?

Writers need tools. We need space to create, to brainstorm and to follow through with the ideas we develop. We need that. I am a fan of customizing your tool kits. What works for one writer, does not become the uniform for every other writer!  I cannot emphasize this enough. The things that I have found that work for me, don’t work for every writer. This is one of the joys of being a writer! You get to customize what works for you and toss away what doesn’t with no explanation given.

I believe after using this writing option for a month, that it is indeed a tool. It is something that can be used for writers to be more focused on what they are writing. Even being intentional about what it is you desire to writer. It helps to clear your head–even prepare you for what it is you have decided to create for that day. It’s a sort of locker room, if you will, for writers.

I want you to bear in mind that to be a writer, you must writer. There is no shortcut, no quick way, no back way to become a writer. You have to writer. You must figure out where it is you fit in this vocation, and make your own roux. One of the ways you do that is to gather your tools for your own toolbox. Writing pages are one of those tools that you can use as you see fit. I like using Morning Pages when I have a project that I have to do, and feel that I need to have my mind a little more focused. The glorious thing about Morning Pages is that you can customize your schedule! If you don’t necessarily want to do them, you don’t have to! But once you commit to doing Morning Pages, you will maximize their benefit through your discipline in writing them. 

For the time that I have used them, I have been better able to command my thoughts. I have been better prepared to write. I have found my8self more disciplined, and even the flow of creativity being greater.

As hard as writing can be, you need all tools at your disposal. Don’t knock new tools. Being a writer demands versatility, and the keen ability to adapt. Only foolish craftsmen reject tools that will only help them.

Happy Writing!

[image from techgyo.com]

Writing At All Costs: Morning Pages or No Morning Pages?

Morning pages are not for the faint of heart. They inspire a disciple in you that you may not have had before.

What do I mean?

Morning Pages aren’t the same as journaling. Morning pages have inspired me to trust my own thoughts more. To trust what it is I have to say or would like to say. The goal of Morning Pages are to get you writing, keep you writing and becoming more comfortable in writing.

Now, as someone who writes for a living, and infatuated with language, you would think I would be singing the praises of Morning Pages. I think that Morning Pages are a one of those back-pocket tools writers can have or develop to organize thoughts. Or develop new ideas.

I am a fan of Morning Pages, actually. The act of writing as soon as I get up, or within an hour of me getting up helped me focus. They help me organize my creative thoughts and focus.

I suggest to anyone that does any amount of writing, or may decide to pursue writing as a career to try Morning Pages. The organization of your thoughts through this tool provides the galvanizing of your imagination.

Always a marvelous thing. Morning Pages are a marvelous thing.

[images from blondesandbagels.com]

Writing Corner: Amanda Wells, Founder of FLOW: Where Writing Moves

 

 

 FLOW STL staff.

Amanda Wells is pictured on the far left.

 

 I consider Amanda Wells as a writer’s writer.  She is knowledgeable, accessible and a constant source of strength and collaboration. After completeing her undergrad and graduate degrees at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she established the creative-writer group FLOW:  Where Writing Moves. Another acrosymn she gave me for FLOW is For [the] Love Of Writing. I couldn’t agree more.

FLOW is based here in St. Louis, Missouri, with its artistic residence in the Grand Art Center, down from Saint Louis University on Grand Boulevard. It’s a mix of everything there! From music, to spoken word, artistic collaboration, to writing space. There’s something there for everyone!

 What sure you ask about SPARK!

 

What They Do And Why That Is Amazing

 “We’re a close team of writers, teachers and scholars who believe in the power of individual creativity to connect people. We work together to build strong communities by fostering meaningful writing and storytelling experiences.”

[taken from FLOW:  Where Writing Moves homepage]  

Does it take a village to raise a writer? Sometimes.

There are portions of the creative work where it is beneficial to have a sounding board or at least a few like minded people to keep you from going utterly mad. Worse yet burning anything you have written  and called your work.

How do I know this?

When I was writing RUBY, it was the founder and phenom, Amanda, that talked me off multiple ledges. It was her firm grip ton reality that helped me edit and to finish the book.

 

(RUBY now available at The Novel Neighbor.)

It was at one of her Saturday open collaboration spaces at FLOW that confirmed writing is indeed what I want to spend my life doing. It was brainstorming in that space which allowed me the freedom to expand my novel. In that space of bouncing off ideas, I began to think about what I was working on and possibility of thinking it could be more.

I am of the belief that every writer needs a community. Writing can be lonely and draining! It is refreshing to have a space that is dedicated to that cultivation. FLOW STL is a tool for local writers here in St. Louis Ana is one of the cities best kept secrets!

The website offers other interactive classes and forums as well. The first writing retreat was this October not too far from St. Louis. FLOW STL has a Patreon available and active for those that desire to help with its mission.

Christopher Priest said a real writer can write anything. I agree. And in writing the anything, you need all the help you can get. FLOW STL and its staff are patron saints. They have taken the task off helping all those of us crazy enough to believe we can bend these 26 letter as we see fit.

[images from FLOW STL, and authors album]

The Use Of Morning Pages

Writing is one of those careers that is both static and dynamic.

The latest thing that I have come across my desk is the idea of morning pages. I had heard of this concept, or writing exercise from a YouTuber I have followed for years now (Shira:  SugarFreeTV/SynchoncityStudios/VisionClass. If you haven’t followed her or heard of her, she is a gem!). She was going this free (FREE!) YouTube hosted class, Vision Class, and she introduced this concept. This was about 3-4 years ago. The idea, the purpose for this, is to write as the first thing when you get up.

No topic.

No theme.

No erasing.

  The ideal is to create, pour out if you will, whatever is on  your head.

Simple, right?

Now, this is  not a practice a lot of writers that I know implement. I journal, and have on and off since I was bout 8 or 9. Morning pages is alike a heightened form of journaling. It’s stream of consciousness–whatever is on your head–no feelings necessarily involved.

For some writers it could be assumed this will help clear your head. Clean the slate for the day ahead. I get that. It’s a tool. Every writer needs tools. What works for one doesn’t work for another, and that is the glory of writing. Use it if you can; if you can’t, it’s rubbish. Writing is a discipline. Remember that–we can use all the help we can get.

[image from Pinterest]

2019 NEW PROJECT-FOR A BLACK GIRL

The new year brings new projects!

The latest labor of love via pages is a book of compiled essays based on experiences of African-American/Black women. These essays can range experiences where you were ignored, underestimated or rendered not worthy of respect. The key phrase I have often heard in situations where I was seen as less than, I often heard this as a antecedent/predicate phrase, “For a Black girl” or ‘…for a black girl.”

I would like the essays submitted to be to reflect these challenges, and their outcomes! I want the women whom decide to submit to this book to think of the phrase the author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide But The Rainbow Was Enuf, Ntozake Shange said:

“I write for young girls of color, for girls who don’t even exist yet, so that there is something there for them when they arrive. I can only change how they live, not how they think.”

I want the book to be a reminder of how great Black women are. I want it to be a book of encouragement, even if the reader is provoked to tears. I want it to be a record that what was meant to kill a Black girl–only missed or nicked her. 

If you would be interested in submitting an essay to this book, or would like more information, please contact sgwritingservices@icloud.com with the subject line reading “For Black A Girl.” I look forward to hearing from you!

[image from videoblock.com]

-JBHarris

Keep Going! This Is Why You Write…

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Writing is work! Octavia Butler said that sometimes writers would rather clean toilets than write.

She’s right.

There will be times when sitting at a computer, or pens out lusting for your hand to seduce the pages of blank paper under them–and you will think, “Why am I doing this?” Every writer I know has experienced this. It’s beyond self-doubt. It’s more dangerous than that–it’s apathy.

Apathy is a thief.

It steals all creative joy. It steals all promise that ambition and talent will bring. It lies and tells us that no one will read our novels, our poems or do our workshops. It lies to us because if apathy knows how talented you are—it would be unemployed. It would have nothing to say, nothing to offer, noting to give. It has nothing else to tell you.

In deciding to submit your work, in being a writer either indie or through an agent, you have to know two things.

One:

Not everyone is going to like  your stuff. This is crucial.

Two:

There are people that will like your stuff.

 

 

Some of the most hurtful criticism I have heard gotten was from someone close to me whom called what I did my ‘writing crap,’ Another was when I was writing for another blog, and they changed almost everything that I wrote. Here recently, I was told that my sentences were too cluttered, and my mechanics just sucked. However, I didn’t quit. I didn’t stop writing. I didn’t find sycophants. I took the criticism, weighed it for relevance, and kept it moving.

 

Writing is a constant balance. A constant need to swim upstream and know you can. That is the crazy part—you can do it. In the face of opposition and evil editors and low readership to blogs or mailing lists, you can do it. The question I need to ask you is, do you want to?

 

[image from Google]