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]

Protecting The Work: Integrity In Chosing Beta Readers

The most important thing for Beta Readers is not the reading.

No, it’s not a joke.

Yes, I’m serious.

The most important thing for a Beta Reader is not to steal your work. Even if it’s a rough draft.

In choosing your Beta Readers, the best advice is to keep your number small and composed of people you trust. It also doesn’t hurt to have your Beta Readers sign a contract that dictates not to share/plagiarize the work you show them.

Intellectual property is still property! It needs to be protected to the fullest extent of the law.

Take pride in your work! Protect it.

There is nothing worse than having your work stolen by the very people you believed you would trust with it.

[image from ad-Martin.com]

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]

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]

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]

 

Trying To Break The Fourth Wall

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The trippy thing about writing is when you get sucked into you own worlds.

 

Has this happened to you? I know it has, at least once. In the creating of a story, mastering of a world, you will be sucked in. That’s how you know it’s good. This is the thing you do with a good book–when you have to orient yourself to where you are or even when you are.

This is the goal. This is the high. This is why we write.

This is the fourth wall.

 

Being able to bring the readers into something you have created is beyond amazing. It is a testimony to power, skill and crafting of your story. Margaret Atwood describes it this way in her MasterClass. She says the goal of writing any story is to keep the attention of the reader. Then she gives this saged wisdom. She reminds her pupils that you want to keep the reader enthralled, engaged in a story–‘even though you both know its fiction.’

This is breaking the wall. This is what we all strive for. To be lost in a world you have created…and leave the door open for other people to follow behind you…even when they don’t know what happens.

 

 

[image from Fight Club]

Empty Pages & Empty Pens

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There is a fate worse than writer’s block. It’s empty pages–and having nothing to say.

It is this  feeling that everything is still. Everything is quiet. There is nothing in your imagination that is stirring. That stillness is disquieting.

Audre Lorde said that this time comes for all writers. This lull, this disquiet,  where the the words don’t come–when writing is like breathing she says. I make mention of this in my book, WriteLife. Click here to get a copy.

Writing is a demanding mistress, beloved.

To chase it with power and passion, there will come the still moments. The moments when touching the gift seems further than it ever was. You have to know this, prepare for this.

The duration for this is unique for every writer. For me, it came after a traumatic breakup. The lull was three years and more. It was only when I was in a healthy place again did the words return.

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I believe this is the secret fear all writers have. It’s different than the recovery you need, or give yourself after completing a book. It’s beyond writer’s block. It’s not a block at all–that’s just it. It’s a barrenness. Having everything and nothing. Having the desire to say–nothing. Yet, as a writer–you wanna say everything!

Madness.

I wish that I could tell you a tip or tool to get through this certain scary part of your writing career. Yet, I don’t.

What I will tell you is this, which is scary in itself:  embrace the lull.

That’s right–EMBRACE the lull. It will come. I don’t know any writer–whether they be a newbie, practicing amateur, indie author or a NYT Best Seller–whom hasn’t had a lull. They happen.

What you can do is enjoy the time you aren’t writing. Catch up on your sleep. Learn to garden. Take more walks. As a writer, you are called to record the world. This means every now and then you have to live, to develop, your life beyond creating the lives you create for the people in your head.

 

[images from Quotefancy and Google]

The Intangible: The Belief In You

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In all the encouragement you have found this month, the one thing you need to remember is this. There is no magic ingredient for success, no key, no secrets to tell. The only secret I can give you is to look in a mirror. You are the secret ingredient.

You are the key.

You are the magic.

You are it.

 

The rescue you want is in your reflection and fingertips. You are the intangible. You are the hero of this story. Always remember this.

As a writer, you will have bouts of self-doubt to the point of it crippling you. The doubt reaches into the innermost parts of you and sets every thing you know your talent can bring you on fire–and makes you watch.

Remember your why.

 

Only you know why you write, and you have all the power you need inside of yourself. Unless you believe you can write, you never will. Unless you believe you can write, and determine that you will write, there is no inspirational book or blog which can help you. There must be the inner belief that resonates, catches fire in order for you to continue on this grind. You can do it if you believe you can.

 

If you believe you can, you’re right.

If you believe you can’t, you’re right.

 

It’s a process. Everything you do towards your writing, if this is what you want, determines the width and breadth of what you demand of yourself. If you want to write, you’ll write. If you don’t, you won’t.

The crux is what do you want to do more:  quit or keep going?

 

 

[image from Google]