Thursday, September 17, 2015

Write From Your Heart

Heart Graphic clipartI have a coaster on my computer desk that says a lot in a few words. Words are the voice of the heart. I bought it several years ago while browsing in a gift shop. When I spotted it, I stopped to contemplate the saying and it moved me, so, of course, I bought it.

I keep it where I see it every day for a reminder of one of the reasons I write, and many of you, as well. I write what I feel and what I believe in. Our best writing comes from our heart. If you're only pounding out letters that become words that become sentences that have no heart behind them, you are less likely to have that work published.

If writing a memoir piece and all you do is report what happened, your memoir is not likely to win a contest or be published. Not will it move readers.

When we write from the heart, connecting with readers is much more likely. If we put some emotion into what we offer to readers, there is a better chance they they will also react with emotion. If our writing comes from the heart and shows feelings--note the show not tell--we're far more apt to get into quality publications.

I think readers love reading words that come from the heart, words that make them laugh or cry or feel warm and cozy. People read to be informed and to be entertained but they also like experiencing the emotions of the characters in fiction or the ones in memoirs or personal essays. When I read a book that appeals to my emotions, I usually remember the book for a long time. Sometimes forever!

In the newspaper world, writers must stick to the facts. They are to report an event, a crime, or a financial crisis without putting their own emotions into the story. The stories I enjoy most in the newspapers are the ones that are more akin to a personal essay where the reporter can write from the heart and include feelings. There was a great sports writer who worked for the Kansas City Star who could write a story about a player or a game or a series that appealed to the personal side of sports fans. Joe Posnanski let other sports writers give the facts of the game while he appealed to the human side. I don't remember those other sports writers but ones like this who write from the heart stay with me.

There is one small problem with writing from your heart. It's not always easy to bare our soul to others. As writers, we need to get around that. We must be able to dig deep into our emotional piggy bank and spend some of it by incorporating our feelings into our writing. The more we write this way, the easier it will become.


  1. HI Nancy! Thank you so much for this post. One of my main goals for writing is to "write from my heart". I jotted down several notes from this post to remind me that it is good to write what I feel and what I believe in. I so appreciate this encouragement to keep writing from my heart...I am growing my voice to do just that. (Pages From Joan)

    1. Joan--when we write from our heart, it definitely shows. Glad this post spoke to you.

  2. Wholeheartedly agree! All my heartfelt writing hasn't made my name a household word yet, but who knows what the future will bring?