We are Agents of Beginnings

For the conscious writer

Image for post
Image by klimkin from Pixabay

“We are agents of beginnings.” –Art as Existence by Gabriele Guercio.

When I first started writing, I wanted to hide behind my creations. I wanted to be an anonymous figure that created something powerful. For me, there was a sense of humility in creating a profound piece of art while living in secret without all the reviews and rewards. Living a private life, hidden from the world is something I do treasure. So this seemed like a marvelous path. But there’s a problem with this mindset. First, let’s talk about our new beginnings.

“Who am I?”

One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as artists. This really is the bedrock of our creations. This is where writing is transformed from mimicry to individual and original works. Okay, now that we’ve clarified our foundation, let’s keep moving forward. What accompanies our who?

With our “who” we are led to our why? Like, why are we writing? Then we are led to our what? What are we doing about our why and our who? For clarity, this might be what your why looks like:
I am the representation of a strong woman who perseveres as a writer to show others the gifts and tools writing can provide.

Ok, let’s just say you know your why, how are you acting on that? Not in your art, in your life. What are you actively doing to pass on this mindset? So what I’m saying is, you are what you do. Not what you’ve done but what you do presently. The monotony, the unexpected, the things you say yes to are all who you are. This isn’t to create a sense of unforgiveness or shame but to bring awareness to your actions as a conscious writer.

I am [insert your action] because [insert why].

When you begin to explore your who, the goal is, or should be, to become aware of both your internal and your external until you overcome the gap. Freud would say making the unconscious conscious. Whatever you label it, this exploration has no end. Closing the gap between the two isn’t to reach a fixed state. It should be understood as a constant “production of presence.” According to Gabriele Guercio in Art as Existence; Hanna Arendt, a twentieth-century great thinker, argues,

for a view of the the human condition in which everyone’s insertion in the world must be understood as a ‘second birth,’ singularity revealed via praxis. This birth ‘is not the beginning of something but of somebody, who is a beginner himself.’ It occurs when one stops belonging merely to a natural species and asserts one’s own initiative.

Image for post
Photo by Amit Gaur on Unsplash

We are a species of new beginnings. The initial “insertion into the world” (what Arendt would like us to call second-birth,) is what some call self-actualization. Part of the second birth is accepting that we aren’t a fixed state. Which means your “who” and your “what” can evolve and change as the gap between the two closes. And as it closes you become fully embodied in your who. What a beautiful thing it can be to become an unpredictable and unique individual. Someone with their own initiative who doesn’t just go with the flow of things.

This is why my mindset shifted from hiding behind my art. I realized that my becoming is part of my novel writing. This becoming and unbecoming is what is going to make my art art. I show up with my flaws, and my mistakes, and my manic days, and my downward spirals because my awareness of all these details is going to close the gap. It’s going to insert my humanity into the world with all my “beginner” showing. It is now my intention to allow my life to compliment my art. I want to mirror something other than the outside world, I want to mirror myself.

Image for post
Photo by Jian Xhin on Unsplash

The quotes in this article were taken from Art as Existence by Gabriele Guercio.

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

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

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

Image for post
Photo by Dyu – Ha on Unsplash

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.

Image for post
Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

WordPress Jayne.Press

Medium https://jaynepress.medium.com/

Instagram @Jayne_Press

Facebook @jaynepresswriter

Rest Rest Rest

For the Conscious Writer

Image for post
Photo by Eduardo Flores on Unsplash

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

Image for post
Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

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

Image for post
Photo by Derek Liang on Unsplash

Read more from For the Conscious Writer here

A Letter to My Characters

For the Conscious Writer

Image for post
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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.

Image for post
Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash

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,

 

Image for post

Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash

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.

 

Image for post

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

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

 

View at Medium.com

On Writing

On Writing- Old Wounds and Your Characters’ Decision Making

Image for post

Photo by Taisiia Stupak on Unsplash

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.

View at Medium.com

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

What is Worth Fighting For?

There should only be a few things

Image for post

Photo by  on 

If you allow it too much to fall into your bucket of things worth fighting for you’re going to get off track from your true calling. It’s easy to end up fighting battles that aren’t yours to fight. For me, there are only three things I think are worth fighting for, relationships as in my family and friends, my dreams, and being honest about my truths. Anything outside of that, is a distraction or entertainment.

I want my family and friends to have a life where they grow up knowing their worth, their voice, and what they bring to the table. I want to bring those things into their lives. In the past I did drop the ball on those things but I have rebuilt myself so many times that the only thing I want to bring into their presence from here on out is encouragement, empowerment, support and what ever else goes with loving them unconditionally.

My dreams have been my only reason to get out of bed. I lean on them. My hope is that my dreams will outlive me. What else is better to have in our darkest times than hope in our dreams?

I was a quiet girl. Sometimes I was a coward to keep the peace. Sometimes I blew up because I kept my mouth shut too long. I’ve made a lot of mistakes by not being honest about my feelings and about who I am as a person. Sometimes I even say things I don’t mean when someone treats me as if I’m worthless. And for those inappropriate things I’ve said, I’m sorry. I reacted and I shouldn’t have. I understand some things I have said can’t be taken back, but I will show you with my actions that I didn’t mean them. Please know, everyday I push myself to be honest about how I really feel. Everyday I try to explain why I’m angry, sad, or quiet. I’m not out here trying to be malicious with my honesty. I’m not using my honesty to prove to you that I can say things that are going to upset you. I’m honest because I know it’s my best option.

Those are my priorities. Those are the things I want to focus on. What are your top three priorities in life. I’d love to hear them.

View at Medium.com