Spring 2019-Writing Workshop

The second writer’s workshop is in the next 2 weeks!

The purpose of these workshops is to assist budding and aspiring writers with with manuscripts, ideas or works in progress! For 2 hours, there will be advice dispensed, questions answered as well as resources given!

I am excited for what this second workshop will bring and the work to be created from it!

Pushing writers is what I do, and this platform is one more way to do that!

Best,

JBHarris

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]

Fear Of The Red Pen: The Fear Of Submission (Part II)

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One thing that writers hate is to have their work be seen as horrible. No writer wants to be seen as not being a writer. There is something to be said for the amount of work it take to create something, submit something, and have someone tell you what you worked on is equivalent to snotty Kleenex and should be treated as such.

As writer, I can tell you how hard it is to break out of this cycle of self-doubt and crippling creative anxiety over something your wrote.

As an indie author, I can tell you what it’s like to write and have no one want to read it.

As an editor, one of my jobs is to tell you what I think of your work. And how it can improve. As an editor, I get no joy out of telling another writer their work isn’t good or good enough.

Read:  THERE IS NO NEED TO BE MEAN TO THE PEOPLE WHOM SUBMIT THEIR WORK TO YOU.

There is no need to tell people that don’t have the same talent for writing as you do how horrible they are at it. There is no need to eviscerate another writer.

Just like every writer isn’t a writer, not every editor should be an editor. You have to be able to be a iron fist in a silk glove. You have to be able to do as I call salvage and save. You salavage the writer, this is tantamount. You save whatever part of the work you can. Even if that means you have to tell them what is not good–or unsalvageable. You have to be able to tell what is wrong with a work and how to make it better!

Think of writing like being a martial artist of sorts. You work on the basics. You work on the mechanics. With every critique or criticism, let your skin get thick. Let the chatter fall away until you become deaf to it. You work at your craft. You work it. You hone your voice–this talent, this gift is yours. The strength of it is not determined by a red pen—or a rejection letter.

Write. And keep writing.

 

[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]

The Stutter: What Happens When the Words Don’t Sound Right?

There is a madness in writing that is not found in any other profession.

The profession by nature is madness! You take what is in your head, a thing unseen or unknown to other people, and translate it to words. This at times, in the effort of being honest, is hard.

It’s hard because thoughts are fluid, they are invisible, they exist only in the mind of the person that has them. Which is made crazier when you have to make these thoughts relevant to other people–who aren’t or will never be in your head.

What’s to do, right?

Give up?

Ignore this screaming ideas in your head?

No.

Write them down. Let the thoughts out. It doesn’t matter if they don’t make sense to you at present. Don’t worry about syntax, spelling and cohesion just yet.

The goal in times like this is to release the thought into words. This is how you overcome what I like to call the stutter.

The Stutter is what every writer experiences one time or another. It’s the feeling that doesn’t let what is in your head get to your hand. It’s not a crisis of confidence, it’s translating.

The cure? Writing!

You cure the stutter by writing! You free write, you write drafts, you edit, but by no means do you surrender to the stutter. You take it hostage and make the stutter into story. You write it into submission!

Go forth and write…no more stuttering!

[image from Google]

Bend Blank Pages

I have never been afraid of a blank page or the secession of them. I wanted to fill the blank pages the I had. The best therapy for me is, and still is, school supply shopping. I love having a supply of blank pages. A fresh notebook is the sexiest writing item.

However, I understand the intimidation of blank pages–I get it. What I want to remind you of one thing: you are in control.

As a writer, you are in control.

The worlds you create must bend to your will and talent. They must! Here is motivation for how to continue to make the pages to your will:

Confidence. The story, before it is ever seen by anyone else, belongs to you. You must know every idea, personality or plot belongs to you. Because you are the Alpha and Omega to your own story, act like it.

Confront the Hang-Ups. This happens more often than you think. When you write as particular genre, like erotica, you may be constructing a scene which may be beyond your personal comfort zone. First, this is okay. You have the right to feel uncomfortable. Embrace that. After you embrace it–push past it. The story you write should be complete! If you are anxious to see what happens next, so will the people who read the story. So, tell it.

Show your work. Just like in math classes, when you write, show your work. If you choose to have your first draft in the traditional pen and paper format, keep the draft. Make your notes on the pages or margins.

For me, there are some works just begin on paper so I can see what I’m working on. It allows me to see in my own head–which is sometimes chaotic as the heads of most writers are. Writing down what my mind sees hasn’t been a problem. I allow myself to feel, to see and to write.

To you dear one, I offer the same advice. Scratch through the ideas that don’t work or make sense. Spell things in corners or on back pages. You are the master of your work. Master it.

I believe in you and all your pages hold. Go forth and fill them!

[Image taken from Google]

Real or Fake: What Is Writer’s Block?

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Writer’s block.

The clean, chic definition for this condition is this:

Writer’s block:  the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

This is a debated topic among those in the craft, and those who have their ideas about the craft. In a recent article, on the intelligence dropbox of Google, most people believe writer’s block is space in your psyche where you fear what you may or might say.

As one who has endured the traveling through the desert of writers’ block, I can assure you, writers’ block is real and two-fold.

Writer’s block is a real thing, that really happens to writers. Audre Lorde says for those that write, the times where we are not writing is painful, because writing it like breathing. There those of this ilk, of this guild who desire to write, and when we hit these impasses that stop the flow of words? It’s devastating! That devastation is real, tangible and heartbreaking.

The first step in confronting writer’s block is to acknowledge it. That is the scarier part–you must admit it exists, that this process indeed is happening to you. It is happening in the life of you work, may happen in the life of your writing career, and it can be overcome.

All is not will not be lost if you encounter it. Breaking through the walls of your own creativity is another matter. The walls to the writers’ block are real–even if only you can see them.

 

Jennifer P. Harris

Editor/Founder-Shekinah Glory Writing Services

 

 

When Am I A Writer?

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I discovered I was a writer when I was about eight years old. I was in third grade, and my teacher told me I was “good at this” after she read the short story I wrote and left on her desk. Whatever this it was about, I was good at it!

The process in admitting you are a writer is intimate. It is a process of discovery, humility and frank honesty. It may not be as linear as you would hope, and the career may not begin as quickly as you may like, however, it is not impossible.

Simply put, you are a writer, when you can admit that you are. You are a writer when  you can honor what talents and drive you have which mark you as being a writer. These intangible things, are such which make you being to wonder if you are indeed a writer.

What is the process of that discovery? Beloveds, there is no map. There are only paths from those whom haven cut and blazed before you. If pressed, here are a few thoughts to encourage as your venture towards this identity, this career as a writer.

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1.) Be mindful of your pens. What do you find yourself wondering about most? When you wonder, do you roll ideas around which will stretch your imagination? In those moments, do you feel compelled to write anything or everything down? Do you  save it or toss it?

2.) Mind the clock. There are certain things writers do, we can lose all track of time when we do them. One is read, the other is writing. What do you find yourself most idly doing?  And are you happy doing that?

3.) Be A Fan. Who is your favorite writer/author? With the creation of Amazon, hundreds of authors are available. Any genre, multiple titles and plentiful! There are publications dedicated to the nurturing of future writers, like Writers Digest, where authors are featured in candid formats including  interviews! Writing can be a lonely profession, and it is great to know the process of the becoming a writer is not an anomaly. And there are so many paths that take you towards this goal.

Even though the path is not a cookie cutter (neither should it be!), there are still maps. Anne Rice this in regards to writing:  “Writing is the only profession you can start at any time.” It is never too late to do what you love–to do what you believe you were good at.

It’s not too late to be you.

 

 

Jennifer P. Harris

Editor/Founder-Shekinah Glory Writing Services