That Kind of Night

The blankets, slept in. The air thick with smoke from the magical stuff that turns your mind inward, too inward if you let it. I wouldn’t know, I’m more of a bore. The stale sweat rubs me in every wrong way while I tell myself I’m there for some divine reason. A few drops of blood drip from the crown of his head. Flashes of sex. Flashes of nude bones and rolling hills course through me like biblical visions from above. I don’t dare ask. And here he comes with all the magic and an entire universe behind his eyes that a few of us are lucky enough to see. I respect you, is what I wish to say. I like you- like you, is what I wish to say, but instead I talk about Chipotle. I want him and he wants me but I want more. The stink of stale sex and that feeling of whether he’ll be there tomorrow plagues me enough without it. “Not tonight, okay?” And that was ok. And it was ok. Like it should be. But it’s not the sex that connect us. The sadness that sits inside him reaches the depths of hell and the arms he wraps me in feel like the sun and the moon. He is an entire universe I’ll only ever leave in body because my mind wanders towards him in the most sacred ways. So sacred, it doesn’t feel right.

Ode To David

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I sacrifice the ways of man

and rid the pride

of sacrifice

And I will crawl into the bowels

And rise to the sky

into your hands

and I will lift my voice

in delight in whatever you made

me to be

help me to accept what you have vowed

A life, oh Lord, it is mine

A life, oh Lord, it is mine

not rid of strife

but abundance

I’m alive, a wild sun,

a silent moon

slow to utter vows

I sacrifice the ways of man

and rid the pride

of sacrifice

And I will crawl into the bowels

And rise to the sky

into your hands

and I will lift my voice

-Saschia Johnson

Blocked? There’s a Way Out

Encouragement For the Conscious Writer

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Writer’s block’ is an emotional or logical incoherence in a future work slowly working its way through our unconscious. — Alain de Botton

So you’ve hit it, the emotional block. It grows. That block grows and grows until you’ve spent the day avoiding the one thing you love doing. It then turns into doubt and fear and all sorts of negative thoughts. So you shift your focus some more. It can turn into a vicious cycle gnashing at the little bit of confidence you have left.

I’m here to shed some light.

What is a writer’s block? More importantly what is a writer’s block for conscious writers?

Well, let’s start by discussing the fact that you are an amazing writer and you having a block does not make you any less or any more of a writer. It makes you a healthy functioning human being. If you’ve written to the point of a writer’s block, you are doing a phenomenal job. You have gotten past the hardest part and that’s being consistent enough to reach a block. On top of that, you are reading a post about how to unblock that block, which means, you are actively seeking to fix the problem instead of just walking away when it got hard. This is progress. This is maturity. Seriously. You are doing a great job. Do not let negative thoughts make you think for one second that you are not cut out for this, because let me tell you, if there’s anything you’re good at, it’s this.

So what is writer’s block?

It isn’t just a part of the story you can’t figure out. It is a psychological barrier that is holding you back. Before you can work on the block you’ve get to get yourself back into that creative space. Some things that help me step back into my creative space are to:

walk
talk it out
put away the story
edit parts I’m not stuck on
do something else creative
focus on something else I’m interested in like research, empowering friends, or whatever else will take my mind off of it.
write an unrelated poem or short story

These things really loosen up my brain space from tension. Once you get relaxed you can return to the writing space.

When you get back to that space it doesn’t mean the block is gone. It means you’re ready to figure out why it’s there so you can continue. Is the block emotional? Is something in this scene or idea triggering you? It seems at surface value that you’re fresh out of ideas but this isn’t true because you are an idea machine. You are made of amazing ideas sparked by infinite creativity.

How to get to the block.

Look at what you’re adding to your story. Is it something directly related to your life? Is there something you feel limited from in your life. If it is, how can you change your perception to use what’s limiting you in a positive way?

Another way I’ve learned to look at a block is what’s going on outside of my writing. Am I exhausted? Have I been pushing yourself too hard? Am I getting too comfortable or eating too much junk. Now, don’t let your head spin from all these questions. These are good questions to ask regularly whether you have a writers block or not.

When I first started writing, I’d walk away and say I can’t write or I don’t know what to write. I’d have all sorts of writers block excuses but the truth was I was frustrated about something else. The longer I tried to ignore it, the longer I couldn’t write. So when I was ready to face the reason why I couldn’t write, things would begin to fall back into place.

Even if you’re not going through the dreaded writer’s block, these questions will help you learn who you are.

Keep Writing. You got this.

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Rest Rest Rest

For the Conscious Writer

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The work is always going to be there, you will not. It’s so easy in today’s world to get caught up in the over ambitious lifestyle. Work work work till you drop. I think discipline and hard work are both important things but not to the point that they become oppressive. Writing should add to your growth. It can bring you tears. It can bring you frustration especially when you’re dealing with internal conflict, but it shouldn’t oppress you.

In this world oppression is normal and being a slave to our thoughts and feelings is normal. As conscious writers, we are gifted the luxury of standing up for ourselves and confronting our true thoughts and feelings rather than ignoring them.

There are forms of oppression and domination which become invisible — the new normal. -Michel Foucault

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When writing becomes the bad guy, it’s time to step back and change your mindset. Remember why you write. Find another way to write. Find another way to tackle the problem. Just don’t let the act of conscious writing become your villain.

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
― 
Octavia E. Butler

Writing can feel daunting. I have been feeling the weight of editing this past week. There were some tears and frustration. I wasn’t ready to quit, but I was beginning to doubt myself as a writer. There’s no room for doubt in writing. I reminded myself, I am where I am from hard work and determination. I had that mindset before I started writing, and I’ll have it till I die because it’s in my blood. Knowing this gave me no other option than to look for another way to tackle the problem. But that meant, I had to wait it out. I had to wait and trust my inner writer and let me tell you, that wasn’t easy. For me, waiting at a red light is fine. I don’t even mind bad traffic as long as I’ll still be on time, but waiting on my inner writer while I have bills to pay, that is tough stuff. I still tackled the novel. I still edited and reread the story to stay connected. Then I walked around the house, talked to myself, and finally realized half of my work had to be deleted. Which is good. Now I have solid ground to build from.

So, what does all this mean? You have to trust that your story will find a place in this world. Allow these moments of waiting to be moments of rest. Drink your go-to beverage and enjoy the journey. This writing job is the place where you should not be turned into a robot. Writing is a place where you let it all hang out in its own natural and restful glory.

Stay strong writers. We’re going to finish these stories.

Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― 
Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

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Pace Yourself

For the Conscious Writer

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I must admit, pacing myself is my weakness. I like face paced. I like writing the way I think so often times my writing is jagged. I skip over important details and jump right in. Pacing your story and yourself in real life is important. It’s not all about balance like they say, it’s about knowing when to speed up and when to slow down.

Those who sprint might travel quicker, but we’ll all end up in the same place at the end.
― 
Fennel Hudson, A Writer’s Year — Fennel’s Journal — №3

Knowing where your story is going helps pace your writing. I always have to remember my characters are not rushing to a finish line, they are living. They need to know where they are, what they’re thinking, what time it is, and who they’re currently not in love with. The reader doesn’t need to know these things and certainly not all at once like an info dump. These are the things that go in a journal or jotted down in the margin.

Keeping note of all your ideas also helps to stay focused on details so that you can find different ways to play with the pace. I use google docs and I also handwrite my notes to try and stay on track. (It’s too easy to get off track. Our brains are unreliable so write it down).

And as a writer, one of the things that I’ve always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react. Stephen King
Read more at 
https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/stephen-king-quotes_2

I tend to rush through intense scenes. I just want to get it over with so the anxiety I’m feeling can go away. It’s hard for me to enjoy writing intense situations, so I don’t write them or even deal with them if I don’t have to in real life. I avoid them whenever I can. I know I haven’t always been like this, but I’m not sure when I changed. Guess I should get my journal out.

My plan is to hack away at the story in layers and small doses. I’m taking the story apart scene by scene and really diving in.

Wish me luck.

As you can see, I’m still learning this; I’ll have to come back with an updated post on pacing myself and how I solved that problem. How do you pace yourself?

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A Letter to My Characters

For the Conscious Writer

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Dear Characters,

I’m am here. I will always be here forever and always. I will learn and know each and every part of you and help you bloom into the person that you were always meant to be. No matter what choice you make, no matter how many times you fail, I will be near you. Some choices or things you do, may disappoint me or make me cry. They may make me proud and brighten up my day. Either way, I’ll still need your existence. I’ll still seek you out.

I know your past. I know your thoughts. I know your true purpose. Who you’re going to be isn’t set in stone, until you show me with your actions. The calculated ones, the impulsive ones, the mindless ones. They define you, they take you to who you’re going to be. Show me who you are. Show me with your actions what is in your heart and that’ll make sure you become who you’re destined to be. That will make sure you meet yourself exactly where you’re meant to be.

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It doesn’t matter how strong you are, or how smart, or what gifts and talents you were given. All that matters, is when I throw you into a situation, that you be authentically you. I do hope you learn that these situations are molding you into the person you were destined to be, but hear me out, you can act like the person who you want to become. The trick is to be that person in detail. Now, when I say the person you want to become, I mean you aren’t stuck in your flawed or limited behaviors. I mean, if you want to be a writer, then you must be writing. Be writing when the dragons and fairies and handsome princes come barging into your door. I say this because regardless of your true purpose and of your past, and of your thoughts, if you were writing in the darkest and brightest moments of your existence, what are you then, other than a writer in the midst of living.

And if there is ever a moment you feel you are without purpose, I can promise you, you were not brought into existence without purpose. Not for one moment.

With so much love and gratitude,

your creator

P.S. I can’t explain all the bad things that happen in my own world, but I can give you life that’s worth living. Realize that your life is a gift to me.

You’re Contribution is Valuable

Dear Writer,

 

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Understand that you’re contribution is valuable

What you have to share is irreplaceable. People can write things similar to you and that’s ok. You’re adding your work to the mosaic. Maybe your piece is a little darker, or more positive, or more factual. We need it all. No matter what, your writing is unique to you because your life experiences, personality traits, and the place you were raised separates you from others. Own it, accept it, and keep writing.

You never know who you’ll inspire when you put your writing out there. As a shy person, I know there’s a lot of shy people who fear speaking up to support your writing, but they are still moved by it. Write for them. Write for you. I know when I first started blogging, I was really shy. I didn’t even want bloggers to know I was reading their blog. Now, I always try to make sure to let writers know I’ve read and appreciate their contribution. I’ve changed from reading blogs over the years. Your posts change people.

 

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If, for the briefest moment you rescue someone from a dark place, your work has filled its purpose. This world has only a handful of moments that are pure beauty buried in the midst of a whole lot of bullshit. It doesn’t matter how you look at it. Dead is dead, gone is gone, and sometimes we are so lonely we can’t get out of bed. We need your work to get out of bed. We need your work to take one more breath. We need your work to remind us that there are times when everything is not ok and even then, we can still bask in a moment of bliss.

Now’s a great time to start valuing your voice as a writer.

You can also check me out on Jayne.Press@jayne_press on Instagram, and Jayne.Press on Facebook

 

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On Writing

On Writing- Old Wounds and Your Characters’ Decision Making

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When writing a character, it’s the wounds that guide their decision making. Unless something divine intervenes, when the character is left to make their own decisions, that decision must be made with their old wounds in mind. Whether it makes them use courage and face something head on, or if it makes them a coward (in the most honest term) and avoid any confrontation. Or maybe it just makes them take a second longer to make an unbiased decision. Anyway, the past must be taken into account with decision making. It tells the reader if the character is learning, if the character is ending up to be quite the bore which hopefully places the spotlight on other more interesting characters, or more excitedly is it pushing the character in a negative way causing negative reactions or villainous behavior. dum dum dummmm….

In life, we’ve got to understand our wounds like our character’s wounds. We will make decisions based on our past traumas. It’s up for us to decide if we will allow those wounds to make us stronger or turn us into our own villains. Or if our avoidance behavior is going to remove us from our own story.

Don’t remove yourself from your own story. We need you in all your glory to show up.

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Show Up and Bare it All

On Writing

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When you look at a writer’s work, you can’t look at one piece and know the whole artist. One piece of work is just a bleep on the radar. Especially in today’s world. You can’t just look at one post, or one blog, or one short story, poem, whatever. You have to follow the artist. Follow them with the intent to understand where their work is coming from and for the most dedicated followers, where it is going. How is it evolving? How is the artist evolving?

We don’t know Leonardo da Vinci from just the Mona Lisa. We know him for his writing, his contraptions, his relationships with other artist and intellectuals of his time. We appreciate da Vinci for who he was entirely. Would he be so well admired if we didn’t know about him outside of his paintings?

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The point here is, show yourself. Show who your are outside of your art. You are not one painting, you’re an entire collection. You are more than one work of art. You’re a gallery. You are Picasso’s works before, during, and after his Blue period. That’s about 50,000 works.

Which also means, keep writing. You can’t stop at just one piece. You have thousands more to create and many more late nights ahead to fight against sleep. Every time you finish writing, a little piece of you changes. I’m not sure whether something is added or subtracted. I’m not even sure if it makes you more whole, but it adds to your collection and it makes you a little more whole to the viewer.

Bare it all

Showing up is great but you gotta do more than that. When you write, take the risk. Don’t be afraid to bare it all. You cannot take a snapshot worth keeping without baring some part of you that you hold sacred. Don’t worry about how people will react. Bare it in the most artistic way possible, then move on to your next work.

There’s going to be days when writing is an inconvenience, write anyway. There’s a million reasons to take the night off. It may seem like just one night away from writing, but it’s not. Writing everyday is proof you’re here and awake and fighting for something.

Writing can become your best friend, if you let it. There’s an intimacy in writing everyday that you can’t get from most relationships. It becomes your secret place and a place you can go where you’re allowed to be authentic. Writing can’t love you back but it sure can feel like it. Stay committed and you’ll be rewarded in a million priceless ways.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

— Louis L’Amour

Writing everyday keeps you in the flow. I feel, when I miss days of writing, it takes more time to get back into the story or into a place where I’m willing to share. It’s like anything else, once you step away, it can turn into days before you’re back in the flow again. When you’re in the flow, it doesn’t feel like it until you’re out of it again. Stay consistent. Write every day, even when you don’t feel like it.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

― Maya Angelou

If you stop writing, you leave things unsaid. You lock stories up inside you that could be shared with the world. Write it out. Write it down. It may not seem like an interesting story now, but I can promise you, there’s someone out there that will love it. You just have to find them. But write it first, worry about finding them later.

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Your Wife III

She pokes and prods

Yells and screams

She wants sex

She wants to feel sexy

And dinner out

And he worked

he worked his ass off

But she wants wants wants

And the kids are hungry

And work is calling while they sit at the dinner table

Chicken and salad…. again

He’s glad he got fast food

But now she’s hurt and mad and sad

And needs attention

But he’s tired and she understands

So she cries in the bedroom with the baby

because she knows she’s too much

She wants to be more

To cook better

To look better with her hair and nails done

She nods off

baby on lap

Daughter in bed

Mom in chair

Dad somewhere she hopes is comfortable enough for him to get rest

So maybe just maybe tomorrow

he’ll finally have the energy to put up with her

Maybe he’ll even bring flowers

-Saschia