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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Trust The Writer

6 ways how to trust your inner writer

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As writers, it’s important to value the process, but it’s trusting in your writing that helps deliver it to world. When I find myself doubting my work, it brings me down. I get writers block. I can get overly frustrated while I’m creating, so then I can’t get it finished. That’s when creating isn’t fun for me anymore. So, we need to trust our writing because it helps us to be confident in what we’re creating. We need to write because it saves people. So here’s seven ways to trust your writing so the world can keep on survive.

“If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.”
― 
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Know your purpose

Once you know why you’re writing, it makes it easier to stay committed to your work. It gives your work a rich touch that’s unique to you. Use your purpose, goals, and values as beacons to get you through the rough patches. There’s a million reasons to quit, but you only need one to keep going. Discipline is great. Motivation is great. Determination is great. But none of those things are going to push you through your doubts, your blocks, and whatever else the universe throws at you. Find your purpose and let it distract you from all the reasons you have to quit.

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Always take time to acknowledge your efforts

If you’re a writer, your work begins before you put fingers to keyboard. Whatever writing you’re working on, remind yourself how far you’ve come to get to this point. Recognize your efforts so that you can feel confident about your current skill level. Then keep moving forward.

“Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea.” -Edward de Bono

Understand that you’re contribution is valuable

What you have to share is irreplaceable. We are still discovering artists from centuries ago. You never know who you are inspiring by putting your writing out there. There’s a lot of shy people who fear speaking up to support your writing, but they still are moved by it. If for the briefest moment you rescue someone from a dark place, your work has fulfilled 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.

Start new everyday

Wake up with brand new expectations for the writing that needs to be done. Let go of whatever you didn’t finish the previous day and just focus on finishing your goals for that day. You may ask, well what if I get behind? Yes, that is a great question. I used to overwhelm myself when I didn’t complete my task list and it would snowball throughout the week until Friday came and I was ready quit because I could never catch back up. I’d find my self wrapped up with what I didn’t complete the day before. When I began to start everyday as a new day, the snowball effect disappeared, and I was still getting my work done in a mindful manor. Also, knowing that tomorrow is a fresh start and my work won’t snowball, means if I don’t push myself a bit harder to finish it, it’s not getting done. Which will put me past my deadline. It’s effective. Start everyday as a new day and don’t allow the unfinished work snowball into an anxious mess.

Don’t overthink it

A good chunk of the time, it’s important for me to just throw my work out there. If I edit a piece too much it can lose its initial meaning. It’s ok to allow your writing to evolve, but don’t ruminate on it to the point of not sharing. Which leads to my next point …

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“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
― 
Ann Landers

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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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Allow Your Characters the Space to Become Monsters

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Let your characters choose between right and wrong. See how they react in a situation. Sometimes they surprise you and they respect themselves far more than you think. Same in life, you have to let people choose to make the wrong decision. If you take away the chance for someone to choose between right and wrong one, they will never know if they were capable of making the right decision, and neither will you. Your mind will always wonder how bad they would have fucked up if you didn’t step in. You gotta let them be themselves. It gives them room to grow and trust themselves. Making mistakes is the most important part of growth.

So let’s just say we step back as writers after we place our character(s) into some fishy ass situation. Now we think from their past experience, do they know how to step away from something that will destroy their life? Have they learned yet to say no to self destructive behaviors? Are they constantly sneaking around and making bad choices? Why would this time be different? If you step in without thinking and don’t allow your characters to be honest with themselves, the future is going to become murky. The rest of the book will be built on this need for control that you have as a writer and you are going to have to delete the rest of the book and return to this point where you stepped in for your character. Which in turn doesn’t allow your character to be themselves but forces them to be what you want them to be.

Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”— 

We want to be surrounded by people and characters who choose who they want to be because that allows them to be honest with us. When we surround ourselves with honesty it’s much easier to be honest with ourselves and grow into the person we were truly meant to be.

This means that your characters are going to do things that make you really upset. This means that you are going to have to forgive your characters. This means you’re going to have to have a healthy attachment to your characters. If they don’t piss you off, are you connected to your writing? If they piss you off to the point that you can no longer write their story in an honest way, is there something you’re hanging on to that’s hindering your inability to finish? These are questions we need to ask ourselves as writers within and outside of our stories.

Let people show you who they are. Let them write their own story. Let them destroy themselves. Let them become the hero of their own story. They might surprise you. They might disappoint you and do exactly what you thought. But either way they are going to grow from the experience. You are going to grow from watching them. They’ll show you who you don’t want to be or they’ll show you they are someone who you can truly admire.

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Dear Writer, Your Ability to Focus on Today is Amazing.

For Writers Editing Their First Draft

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You stayed focused on today and that is amazing.

When you focus too much on tomorrow it takes away from today. If you took your time and slowly carved away at your words, that is true craftsmanship. You can’t rush art. You know what you have in mind. Put it together. Try it out. If that doesn’t work, it’s ok try another way.

The first draft of anything is shit.”— Ernest Hemingway

Writing doesn’t come out perfect on the first draft, if it did everyone would be a writer. (Well, I think everyone is a writer but that’s for another day.) A huge part of being a writer is editing your work. That is the art of writing. So if you know what you want to change and edit, you are already on the right path.

I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them — without a thought about publication -and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside. — Anne Tyler

I love how you poured everything into these new ideas. It shows courage. It shows you’re in this for the long term. You’re no quitter when you let everything hang loose in your first draft. Now it’s time to let it all unfold in flames and into your story.

I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent — and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. — Malcolm Gladwell

Don’t give up now. If you’re feeling like quitting, accept the thought but don’t dance with it. Think of negative small talk as background noise rather than allowing it to become a suggestion. You created something that came straight from inside your head and placed it on paper. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Just keep going. Keep taking it one day at a time. You can do this.

“Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist. It’s perfect in its existence. The only way it could be imperfect would be to NOT exist.” ― Jane Smiley

Well, that contradicts the first quote but I agree. The first draft it is not meant to live up to impossible expectations. It’s meant to come alive and that is just the beginning of it all.

Quote Cred

https://www.writingroutines.com/famous-writers-on-first-drafts/

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My Fears as a Writer

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I’m afraid of becoming an egotistical asshole if I sell too many books. Even though I very much want to sell my books. I also don’t want to feel like I have something to prove financially. I would be proud to be independent. To be a writer making enough to pay the bills. I just don’t want that to hinder my view of others. I don’t want to forget my struggle or my humanity. And lastly, I don’t want to lose appreciation for other writers. I want to be understanding and gentle and loving. I don’t want to snub someone because I’m a well paid writer and they aren’t.

There’s a thin line between discipline and chaos, between empathy and narcissism. The line is so thin in fact, that we can cross it without realizing it until we step away from a situation. Or until someone calls us out on our behavior. Yes, we all make mistakes. We all hurt the people we love most. And what’s important is to be accountable and honest when we mess up.

I don’t think this fear holds me back. And Freud would probably suggest the only thing holding me back is my childhood drowning. Either way, I’m getting closer and closer to selling my book and the shadow is growing. But I’m not going to let it stop me. I’m gong to sell my book whether I’m scared shitless or not.

What helps me when I afraid is to list the reasons why stepping through a particular fear is beneficial. So I thought I’d share some reasons why you should sell your book….

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Write Anyway

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 in 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.

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Paul Gauguin On Solitude

 

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Paul Gauguin Self-Portrait with Halo 1889 oil on panel National Gallery of Art

Paul Gauguin was a painter who was praised as the leader of the symbolist artists in 1891. This style of painting was inspired by the symbolist writers of the time. In a letter to symbolist poet, critic, and editor of litarary journals Charles Morice, Gauguin says,

…[ There are] two kinds of beauty: one that results from instinct and another which would come from studying. The combination of the two, with its necessary modifications, produces certainly a great and very complicated richness, which the art critic must devote himself to discover….

Art has just gone through a long period of aberration caused by physics, chemistry, mechanics and the study of nature. Artists having lost all their savagery, having lost no more instincts, one could even say imagination, went astray on every path, looking for productive elements which they did not have enough strength to create. Consequently, they act only as a disorderly crowd, they feel frightened like lost ones when they are alone. That is why solitude must not be advised for everyone, since one must have strength to be able to bear it and act alone.

There’s a lot more in this letter than Gauguin’s thoughts on solitude. An artist must learn to art alone. It is in solitude where thoughts come and go freely without the harsh priority of daily chores. When an artist learns to be alone, they gain control of their environment. Like baby turtles they must learn to get from the nest to the ocean without getting lost or snatched up on the way. This requires some instinct and once alone, it requires study. There is an art in arting alone. There is a space where artists must meet themselves and say ok we’re in this together and I’m not leaving you here to drown. It does take a faith in yourself and a great faith in your art.

According to  Gauguin thought of himself as “a savage beyond the taint of civilization.” He escaped European civilization and fled to Polynesia where he spent his life painting. All while being pressured by his family to return to business. He painted alone so alone in fact that he did not even have the support of his own wife and family Until. The. Day. He. Died.

He’s right when he says solitude requires strength. I do, however, believe that solitude should be for everyone.

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My Top 5 Distractions

We all have a few things that we just can’t seem to tear ourselves away from. It adds time onto my writing but I have no regrets. We all need brain breaks, right? Here’s my top 5 from least distracting to greatest

5. Cleaning.

There is always cleaning to do. When I sit down to write if I see something I can sort out quickly, I will do it. Then once I start on that small task I find another thing, then another, and I have to remind myself that my story isn’t going to write itself.

4. The Outdoors.

I will, mid writing, get up and sit outside in the sun.Simply cuz I want some vitamin Sun splashed on my face.

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Extracting Ideas From The Inside

Central sensitisation occurs in the synapse of the dorsal horn.

This is literally what a thought looks inside the brain. But when we think, this is not what we see. Today I’d like to discuss how we get our thoughts from conception into a place where we can mold them into a story.

Getting ideas from pure thought onto paper can be a complicated thing.

But there’s a trick.

The trick is….

to just start writing. And that’s it. You’re swell-come.

No, but seriously, that’s the trick, to start writing. Write the story without limits. When I start my story, I also use journals, maps, lists, brain storming, charts, Pinterest, worksheets, whatever I need to pull all the pieces together.

I think of this process in the same way Michelangelo thought of David. In the beginning, it’s a slab of rock or a mass of words and as a writer at some point, it will be my duty to carve away at my story until I set it free. The setting free of the story happens later. So right now we are building our slab of marble to have something to carve from.

While getting these thoughts on paper it’s ok to struggle. The process of getting my story onto paper is a lot of walking in the dark chaotic recesses of my mind. It sounds complex because it is a complex thing to do. So when I struggle, which I do, it’s important to accept that as part of this extraction process.

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
― Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades

Trust your own thoughts and ideas and give them credit when they show up. At this point the only important thing is extracting ideas from the inside of your mind. Stay open to your own ideas and give every single one credit. You can weed through it all later. Focus on making this a positive experience so you can get it all out. All your ideas and thoughts are worthy of acceptance.

And that’s it. Start writing the story. Write everything down without limits. It’s OK to struggle, and remember all ideas and thoughts are worthy of acceptance.

Writers challenge

Start and finish a short story within an hour. I find that I’m more forced to deal with the ideas I have when I set a time restraint. While writing your story, journal or use at least one other resource to assist in welcoming all your ideas.
Accept the story as it comes.
When you’re finished, sculpt and mold it into a short story. Then you’ll have one more piece to add to your collection

I also spoke about Why understanding the Creative Process is important   and What the creative process is Click the links if you want to learn more about the creative process

Links to sites that added to the creation of this post
https://backtoroots.community/clinical-corner-articles/2017/2/8/sensitisation-primary-adaptive-vs-secondary-maladaptive -for the picture

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/creative-process -for the quote

I can’t find where I learned this about Michelangelo so if someone knows please send me link.