Advice For Aspiring Writers From Renee “Soul Writer” Brooks

writer

Make no mistake about it, if you are drawn to writing, it is because you were called to it.

I always say,

If an art form grabs hold of you, it has obviously chosen you as the perfect medium for some of its greatest expressions. 

It’s important for you to recognize what a beautiful gift you have as a writer.

It doesn’t matter if you are writing to get your ideas out into the world, if you are college graduate that is just breaking into the scene, or if you have a desire in your heart to share your experiences with the world through your writing – either way, you are on a very important path.

I recently became aware of a project TheLadders is running where they are reaching out to writers and asking them what advice they would give for new graduates attempting to break into the field. TheLadders is a career resource for professionals across all vocations and at at any stage of their careers.

With that said, I compiled a list of some things for you to remember as an aspiring writer.

These are things that I hope you can take along with you on your journey to becoming a writer.

It doesn’t matter what your background is or why you chose to write, all that matters is that you made a choice. Writing is a way of life, expression, and passion, and my wish for you is that you receive as many opportunities as you can – to fulfill your calling and express your unique point of view.

I choose to write because there is a space inside of me that I feel has something to say. There is a place of peace, compassion, and wisdom inside that is just begging to be heard.

I have also learned alot of life lessons that I love to intertwine into my books, passages, and articles that I write. I realize that my words are seeds, and I have the power to encourage, inspire, and uplift people or discourage, frighten, and dampen their spirit.

I choose to write to inspire people to never give up on their dreams, to fall in love with their creative ability, and to  live the life they truly desire.

With that said, here is a list of important things to remember as you progress along your journey. I hope you find value in the ideas that I present to you here, and that you are able to take them along with you as you morph into the writer that you really want to be.

10 Things For Aspiring Writers To Remember

Thing To Remember #1: Develop Your Own Voice

  • This is so important. It is not beneficial to follow the route that everyone else believes you should go. Develop your own flow with writing, stay true to yourself, write about things that you really care about, and not just to get attention, or likes, or comments.

  • The attention will come, just have patience and develop your own unique voice.

Thing To Remember #2: Write About What You Are Passionate About

  • Passion is the key when writing. Your passion is what is going to fuel you. The more you write about what you love, the more it will translate to your audience. They can feel the time and dedication that you put into your work. So participate in projects and write about things you are passionate about.

Thing To Remember #3: Believe In Yourself

  • So you’ve done the groundwork that you needed to. You got your degree, you took the class, you practiced your writing, or you sharpened your skills, but does that matter if you don’t believe in your ability? Some people do all the “right work”, but when it comes to really expressing themselves they freeze, and it’s because they don’t believe in their own ability.

  • They don’t believe their perspective, their experiences, and their unique voice has value. You have to believe that if writing called you – you have something very important to share with the world.

Thing To Remember #4: Have A Vision For Your Writing & Support It 100%

  • So why is it that you want to write? Do you want to make a living writing? Do you want to be famous? Do you want to come up with a new big idea to share with the world? Do you want to write for movies or plays? What is it? What is your vision for your writing? Do you want to just get new opportunities and see where it takes you? No matter what your vision is, just be sure to support it and believe in it 100%.

  • By support, I mean don’t doubt that you can rendezvous with circumstances that will take you in the direction of your dreams. So stay positive, be patience, and move forward with confidence.

Thing To Remember #5: Honor Your Inspiration

  • This is very important. There is nothing like feeling the spark of inspiration, and it’s important that you recognize when your muse is speaking to you. Make sure you write down your ideas. Just because you aren’t using them in that moment, doesn’t mean that you will not use them later on.

  • Also, when things are written out, you may be able to see some new connections, and be inspired even more to something new.

  • Never discard your ideas – write them down and honor your inspiration.

Thing To Remember #6: Recognize Your Value

  • As a writer you are a healer, a therapist, an inspirationalist (is that even a word), a life coach, a designer, a magician, and so much more. Through your writing and sharing, you are holding people’s attention. Your thoughts, stories, and ideas can help inspire another. It can help heal another. It can help them move on from an abusive relationship, or help them recognize the good where they thought there was none. You are the holder of a very important gift – recognize and value that.

Thing To Remember #7: Be Open To New Opportunities

  • When you are writing about things you love and living your passion, you will have people come out of nowhere and ask you to be a guest on their blog, participate in new projects, or they may just want to interview you. Remember to be open to those new possibilities. Sometimes blessings come in the craziest ways. So it’s so important that you are open to new opportunities.

  • You want to make sure however, that you are saying yes to the things you like to participate in. Don’t write about anything that your gut or your heart feels is not befitting to your character, but do stay open to the fact that opportunities may present themselves in many different ways.

Thing To Remember #8: Surround Yourself With People That Inspire You

  • There is nothing better than seeing people do exactly what you want to do in your life. Surround yourself with those people. Everytime you meet someone new that is living their dreams – appreciate it. Everytime you come across a blog or a page of someone who has made their living as a writer – appreciate it. You know why? Because you are getting a glimpse of exactly what you are capable of. It’s important to find your Yes. Your Yes, is a person that exemplifies the life you would like to live. Find your YESes, and surround yourself with them.

*Read the Who’s Your Yes article*

Thing To Remember #9: Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

  • You are your own worst critic. It’s true. Understand that writing is a process. You are absorbing, learning, and growing everyday. You don’t have to be perfect.

  • Recognize your growth, reward your accomplishments, and don’t be so hard on yourself when ideas and opportunities don’t come right away. Give yourself time to find your style and take your time when searching for projects to participate in.

  • You have the ability to create and it will come to you. Just be patient with yourself and don’t take it so hard if you don’t meet certain goals. Life will always throw you another opportunity – recognize that.

Thing To Remember #10: Explore & Journal

  • Be sure to journal about your experiences as a writer. You can look back and see your progression. It’s fun when you notice that you have developed tremendously.

  • Expand your view of the world. Go to museums, explore your interests, dig into your dreams. The more data and experience you collect, the richer and more refined your writing will be.

  • There is so much waiting to burst forth from you. There are so many opportunities for you to rendezvous with, and so many new ideas just waiting for you to translate them.

  • Open your mind and your heart, explore the things you love, write about your experiences, and you will open a space within you that rains inspiration.

Thank you so much for reading. I hope these tips/advice can help you as you grow to master your craft.

Renee B.

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Soul Guidance – Finding Your Way Home

Soul Quote

Soul Goodies

So ummm yea… I am working on my new book and it’s titled “Soul Guidance – Finding Your Way Home“. I am in a very good mood today and I love the way the book is unfolding. I thought it would be nice to share some of what your soul has to say to you – so – enjoy!

Snippet From The Chapter Titled: What Is Your Soul?

Your soul is the part of you that is compassionate because it knows what it feels like to be hurt. Your soul is the part of you that understands because it knows what it feels like to be misunderstood. Your soul is the part of you that listens because it knows what it feels like to be heard and to also not be heard.

Snippet From The Chapter Titled: Listen To Your Soul’s Whispers

Your soul is not judging you. It’s not in the business of making you feel bad or feel regrets. Your feelings are just that – feelings. Nothing more. Your feelings are no more the entire make up of you than a droplet of water is the ocean.

Snippet From The Chapter Titled: The Stability Of Your Soul

You ask for mercy from God – yet you refuse to show it to yourself. You ask your loved ones to forgive you – yet you refuse to forgive yourself. You ask to be seen and heard – but yet you refuse to give attention to your most tender requests.

Snippet From The Chapter Titled: Where Is Your Soul Guiding You?

Your soul is guiding you home. Home is the place inside of you where you feel most at peace with yourself. It’s where you can be all of yourself – all of the time.

Home is the place where your heart resides. Where you love what you do and how you do it. Where you take the time to take care of what you have. It’s where you can drop your bags and your burden, and stand with arms wide open.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I really appreciate it. If you had one question to ask your soul (the benevolent, omnipresent, multi-dimensional, intelligent beingness of you) – what would it be?

Drop your question in the field below.

This book is being created because the best of me and the best of you knows that we are seeking answers to the burning questions we have about our true selves. Isn’t it wonderful to know that your soul is ready to gift you the answers that you seek? So don’t be shy. If you have a question – ask it!

Thanks again for reading! If you like the post – don’t forget to hit like, comment, and subscribe.

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As Artists, Are We Responsible For The Way Others View Our Content?

Off Limits

Okay, where do I begin with this topic?

The other day I was reading a review for one of my books (Hooked On The Jones). The female who posted the review seemed very pleased with the book and I wanted to thank her – let’s call her Rachel.

So I go to Rachel’s twitter profile, just to check her out and see who she is, and thank her for the glowing review, and I swear to you – this girl couldn’t have been any older than 15 years old.

Now I don’t know her exact age but she looked very young, and anyone who has a care bear as one of their main photos, cannot be older than 15…

So I took a deep breath because I was at a lost for words. My book Hooked On The Jones is a rather steamy novel, and I didn’t feel right about someone that young reading it or liking it!

Once I browsed through some more of her photos, I saw that she was quite the “romance novel” addict.

I didn’t know how to handle the situation. I mean it’s none of my business really what people spend their money on, but something about it just bothered me. I do not want to be one of the reasons some 15 year old girl is in her kitchen explaining to her parents that she is pregnant.

Not to say that that’s the result of reading my book, but I mean… come on – you can see where that’s leading.

Okay, so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but where do we as artists draw the line? Or is there a line at all? 

I am in my early thirties, and I know that I was highly aroused writing the book. So I can only imagine what some young teen – who is being pressured by her friends to fit in, and going through all these hormonal changes is going through.

I started to try to find her mother on her page and write to her. I would have said, “you need to watch what your daughter is reading before you end up with a surprise.” I am only joking. I would NEVER do such a thing, but it just disturbed me a little bit.

Should we as artists worry about what we put out or are we well within our rights to express ourselves how we see fit? I would never put out anything too gruesome, offensive, or off-putting, but I am a grown woman, and I feel that I should be able to express myself as such.

Just seeing that young girl and her addiction to “soft porn” {joking} – bothered me.

I could be completely overreacting and/or completely wrong. That girl might not even be a teenager, but she sure looks like one.

So what do you think? I would love to hear if issues like this play a factor in what you create?

Thanks for reading! If you like this post, don’t forget to hit like, comment, and subscribe.

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A Sneak Peek @ What I’m Working On

Soul Guidance

Excerpt From The New Book I Am Writing – {Soul Guidance – Finding Your Way Home}

For years, I could never quite figure out who I was or why I was put on this earth. I felt deep inside that I never quite fit into society’s ideas of me. A hard-worker, a good student, a team leader, an employee, a misfit, and a failure (to some) – all of those things were valid about me, to some extent. They didn’t however, describe what my soul knew about me.

I felt inside that there had to be more to life than just a 9 to 5. There had to be more to life than just being called a “good employee”. There had to be more to life than getting good grades just to save my ass. I never really learned anything in the classroom anyway. I memorized everything, repeated it over and over, and held a mental picture in my mind of the answers the night before most tests. I was never interested in the subjects that we studied. My motivation for getting good grades was for one reason and one reason only, to be seen as a good student in the eyes of my grandmother, my peers, and my teachers. That’s it.

Life’s burning questions were never answered in a classroom – for me – ever.

I went through the motions of participating in work and school because they were “the things I had to do” rather than “the things that stirred my soul”. For me, those things were never burning desires of mine. I wanted a paycheck – that’s why I went to work. I didn’t want to be seen as a failure – that’s why I stayed at my job way past its season. I wanted to make my grandmother proud – that’s why I got good grades in school.

There was something eating away at me. All of those years, doing all of those things, that I never really loved to do. Doing things that I could care less about just for the sake of paying the bills and getting recognition. Participating in acts of kindness because I thought God would favor me more and possibly relieve me from some of the pain that I was experiencing. Saying yes to things that I never really wanted to do, and giving people attention that didn’t deserve even a second of my time. All of those things, just to fit in.

Just recently, I found out that my soul has a different opinion of me. I was not meant to be a people pleaser, a person who fit in, a person who abided by all the rules, a person whose identity was wrapped in a job title, a person whose yes ma’ams and no ma’ams weren’t spoken out of respect, but out of fear of being reprimanded or seen as rude.

I was meant to be free. I was meant to do my own thing. To dig, probe, and search until I found what felt right for me.

I didn’t fit into society’s titles of me because I was on my way to becoming something I never thought of. I was on my way to becoming a soul writer – a writer who writes from the depths of their soul. But to do that, I had to let go of all of my preconceived notions about myself. I had to stop seeing myself as a failure because I didn’t go the same route as everyone else. I had to let go of everything that I thought defined me (a job, money, status, and family approval).

I had to stand naked and vulnerable in the mirror, with everything stripped away, and realize that none of those things were me. I had to stop seeing myself as less than, worthless, and useless. I had to stop comparing myself to other writers and measuring myself against their accomplishments. I had to know – I had everything I needed inside of me.

It all resides inside. There is nothing outside of you that you need to move forward. There is nothing outside of you that you need to bring your deepest desires to the surface. There is nothing outside of you that you need to meet your own soul. The discovery is mind-blowing, and for me – I have just started to scratch the surface.

My soul has tried to reach me through many different avenues, but I shied away afraid of what it would reveal to me. I thought that my soul would be like the others. The ones who told me that I needed to be responsible in life. And by responsible I mean follow a certain path to security. I thought my soul would chew me out for simply wanting to work from home. I thought my soul would reprimand me for wanting to work alone and for not wanting to be part of a group, but my soul said none of those things.

My soul said, “I know you deeply and intimately. I know your burning desires, and I know the person that you don’t know. I know the person that is able to find her own way. I know the person that is able to carve her own path out of life. I know the person who stands confidently in her own, and doesn’t give a damn about another person’s opinion. I know her. Would you like to meet her? If so, just breathe, calm down, center yourself, and I will guide you to her.”

Through writing this book and following my intuition I am opening up to new levels of myself. It feels so good to feel things fall into place – to feel my soul tell me “you’re hired” after years of feeling “unemployed”. I am hired to write this book. To allow the unfolding of this new piece in a way that is beneficial to me and all others that will come in contact with this work.

I am hired to say how I really feel and to feel no qualms or embarrassment about it. I am hired to open my heart to all who will listen, to speak my soul, and to find my way to the easiness of my life.

I am hired and what a joy it is!

My soul reminds me that easy and steady is the way. So there is no time limit to this new piece of work. When I am inspired I will write. Whether it be at 4:00 am or in the middle of me doing the dishes – either way when my soul calls – I will write.

I am being divinely guided and inspired and that is what I would like to feel everyday for the rest of my life.

To write words that have never been written…

To touch the heart in a way it has never been touched…

To penetrate to the core of all who read my work…

That is my mission.

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Soul Whispers

Soul Whispers

Soul whispers is a term I use when my heart and soul whispers something to me. It can be a poem, a story, a blurb, or anything that inspires. I would like to share with you – the soul whisper that I received today.

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Photo in the background of the quote is from Carolyn Cochrane’s Etsy shop.

Why Writing Journey Through Sattara Scared The Hell Out Of Me

Black Panther

Let me start off by saying that when I felt the call to start writing Journey Through Sattara I was so excited.

It felt exciting to receive sudden flashes of inspiration and to wonder where the story was going to go.

The characters hadn’t been developed yet, and I didn’t know what their motivations were, their faults were, their failures were or anything like that. I just knew that I had sudden flashes of insight that I needed to translate into words.

Chapter after chapter came together and I found myself sometimes as excited as the reader to find out what was going to happen next. It was as if the chapters were only revealed to me once I sat down to write.

As I got deeper and deeper into the story I realized that all the characters in the story were me. I realized that I was creating a world where there were injustices that needed to be resolved, feuds that needed to be ended, and internal struggles that needed to be faced and erased.

Once I realized that all the characters were me, parts of my real life story, or parts of my own soul – my stomach started to turn.

Everyday after I finished writing the book I thought to myself,

This book is bigger than me. This book is bigger than me. This book is bigger than me.

That gives you an idea of the repetitive thought pattern that was running through my mind at the time.

But it wasn’t that the book was bigger than me. It’s that the book had parts of me that I was afraid to express. There were injustices that I was afraid to address in my life that I had projected onto the characters in my book.

It’s so funny how we can’t write about something that we do not know. There’s a scene in Journey Through Sattara that hits close to home for me. When I was younger there were times when I would get beatings from my guardian for things that were so small.

I mean can you imagine spilling a glass of water and being immediately popped in the face. Or bringing home a “C” in one of your most difficult subjects and getting beat so bad that you literally were ashamed to even exist.

When I created the scene of Su’Ma returning to his village after he betrayed his family, I had to put feelings and emotions from my real life experience into the heart and soul of that character.

When I wrote that scene I was in Su’Ma’s shoes the whole time and Su’Ma’s father was the guardian that use to beat me.

So when Su’Ma’s father whipped him, I felt the pain of Su’Ma inside. I also had to be the villain. I had to transform myself into the abuser as well. I had to get inside the mind of Su’Ma’s father and become evil, ruthless, and merciless.

Trust me, it’s not an easy thing to do. Especially when you know that through your writing you are facing that monster. You are facing that character that you didn’t have the courage to confront that often in real life. So when Su’Ma had the nerve to stand up to his father that was me acknowledging the fact that I belonged in the world, and my dreams and will needed to be heard. Now don’t get me wrong, standing up for what you believe in doesn’t come without consequences.

Here is a small snippet from the book. 

Su’Ma’s father was there when Su’Ma woke up. Su’Ma was moaning underneath the cloth that covered his face.
“All the years I took care of you, watched after you, taught you, and you make a fool out of me like this,” his father said.
Su’Ma’s father’s face had lost all sympathy. He sharpened the knife he had in his hand furiously. He placed the blade on the edge of a piece of wood and sliced it to make sure it was sharp enough. His father grabbed his arms and sat Su’Ma up on his knees. His eyes scanned the healed branding in the center of his back and the one running down his spine. His father removed the cloth from Su’Ma’s bloody face, grabbed hold of his locks, and bent his head back.
“That symbol on your back is a Ya’Tu symbol? You allowed another tribe to brand you?”
Su’Ma moaned and groaned and his father gripped his hair tighter.
“Answer me,” his father said going ballistic.
“Yes,” Su’Ma said barely able to catch his breath.
Su’Ma struggled through each breath and then went silent.
“So you would deny your entire heritage, your entire lineage, the people you grew up around and who taught you all you know, for a few people that you just met?”
“Yes,” he said panting through his breaths.
“How dishonorable.”
^^Excerpt From Journey Through Sattara^^

I am going to stop right there. I just wanted you to see how intense the scene got. You must read the beginning of the book before you indulge in the rest of that scene. For you to understand and really feel the true emotion of that scene you will have to go back to the beginning of the story. You have to get a feel of who Su’Ma is, what his tribe is like, and what his reasons for denying his lineage were.

The scene is brutally honest and heartbreaking. By that scene you will have fell in love with Su’Ma and to see him go through the pain that he is going to go through is heart-wrenching.

Why The Hell Should You Care To Read What I Write?

I chose to share my novel Journey Through Sattara with the world because I believe there are lessons in the book that will not only shape the way one thinks, but will also reach into your heart and demand sympathy, love, and respect towards the world around you.

So to answer your question… why the hell should you care to read what I write – the answers are simple.

I’m no different than you. I’m someone that has a dream of becoming a writer. Someone who pours her heart and soul out into her books. Someone who wants to make sense of the world. Someone who wants to change it. Someone who envisions a better life for herself and those around her. Someone who believes that there are countless stories to be told and not everyone can relay information in the same way.

Journey Through Sattara is a work of fiction, but it is more real than you think. There isn’t a page written in that book that I didn’t bare all of myself. The good, that bad, and the ugly.

The story is not just about me. The story is about life. It’s about overcoming obstacles, breaking through barriers, and standing up for what you believe in. It’s a tumultuous journey that shapes the characters of two unforgettable individuals.

I guess I would say that you should read the book – simply because I had the courage to write it.

A lot of ideas never even get off the ground. A lot of people doubt themselves before they even try. All I can say about me is that I did have doubt and fear, but regardless of all of that I still put pen to paper and bled.

I believe in my writing. I don’t have any fancy degrees or big name publishers, but I do have a voice and I do have many stories to tell. The only thing that I can promise you is that when you read my novel you will feel the rawness and genuine-ness from which it was written.

Thank you for reading!

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To order your e-copy of Journey Through Sattara click here.

For Author Support page click here.

The Path

Path

long and arduous

or stop and stare

 

filled with joy

or bouts of despair

 

look up it’s heaven

or the devil’s down there

 

savoring every moment

or engulfed by fear

 

tiptoeing as if the grass were asleep

and twirling around with the wind as it speaks

 

gloom & doom as depression creeps

or move along with my heart at peace

 

is this right

or is this wrong

 

am i weak

or am i strong

 

am I powerful

am i divine

 

or am I cursed

and running out of time

 

along the path, the path i go

where i’ll end up, no one knows

 

:::written by renee brooks:::