For The Love Of Writing

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light…”

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.

[image from kallieross.com]

Encouragement From The Crates

Things I Ponder:

(c)JPHarris, 2014

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.

[image from Kai Ellis, all rights reserved.]

Beta Readers: Pros & Cons (Part II-PROS)

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!

The work awaits!

Beta Readers: Pros & Cons (Part I-CONS)

As great, and as much as I sing the praises of Beta Readers, they do have a downside.

Beta Readers are the best weapon you can have for a new work especially when they read and get back to you. Beta Readers are the best when they read your work and get back to you. The crucial thing to remember is that communication is essential to any draft or revision.

If you give your baby that your carried for almost a year, and turn them over to someone your trust, only to have them tell you they have nothing else to tell you? Even after they have been with your child all day? You would be a little suspicious and a lot aggravated. You would think the horrible and the impossible all at once! The main thing you may think is:

“Did they even pay attention?”

The same with Beta Readers. The best Beta Readers are engaged, they are excited to read your work, give feedback and even criticism! As the writer, as the creator of any work, your primary job is to protect your work. Your job is to revise and finish your own work.

Think of a WIP (Work In Progress) as baking a cake. All the ingredients go into the batter:  milk, sugar, butter and flour. There are elemental things that go into it which are not to be disputed. A WIP requires imagination, time, a draft and a reader. These things are immutable.

One of the best metaphors I heard in regards to having an editor or another reader was:  “Would you do you own eye surgery?”

If you’re a rational, wise person, you wouldn’t. This means that you can’t always see what is the best thing to do! But this element of the draft process can only work if the readers do their jobs!

Beta Readers have to be engaged. They have to value your time, your intention and you work. If they cannot do that, if they will not do that, don’t trust them with your work.

You wouldn’t trust your baby with just anyone. A WIP is the same way! Don’t trust your baby to someone that can’t won’t talk to you. Those are the ones whom are most likely to take your work. Be ware. You’ve been warned.

The Things To Ask A Beta Reader

Beta Readers are the wild cards in your deck of writing tools. What I am about to tell you will save you so a ton of frustration.

As you’ve reviewed here, you know a Beta Reader is someone that looks over your work and gives feedback. They often do this for free of for a minimum charge.

However, it is good to know exactly who your beta readers are, and what genre they are most likely to read. Here are a few things to ask before you all get started:

What genre are you comfortable reading?

Are you comfortable looking over a work more than once?

Are you comfortable voicing what you like and didn’t like about the piece?

You may think these questions aren’t important or even silly. But they aren’t, I promise you. They can be used to weed out whom would be a suitable Beta Reader for your work. You want to be able to give/send your work to someone that will value your work along with their time.

Take heart!

If your potential Beta Reader doesn’t want to read your work, or may not have time at present you can still expand your pool of readers. You can still ask people you may not have thought about to read for you.

Cardinal rule: Protect your work. Value time. Keep writing.

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!

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]