Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Write From The Heart

The quote above by William Wordsworth, poet, says a great deal in a mere nine words. Poets don't have the luxury of the many words of the prose writer. They must say a lot in far fewer words. Wordsworth (don't you love that name for a writer?) lived from the late eighteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth. His writing was done with paper and pen, not the way we write today. 

I find something soothing about writing that way. The Morning Pages exercise can be done with paper and pen while having your first cup of coffee of the day. If you haven't tried this exercise, check it out and give it a whirl.

Today, however, let's talk about Wordsworth's advice. The writing that comes from our hearts is going to appeal to readers far more than the staid, factual writing that some writers produce. If the words come from your heart, they are going to have emotion that filters from writer to reader. There will be passion and truth. 

Writing that comes from your heart can also act as a step in healing for a writer. So many who have survived a tragedy of some kind write about it. They write to help others but also as part of the healing process. Some feel they should protect their own privacy and never write about traumas in their life. Look at the many, though, who have done so. Memoir after memoir of people who have lived through poverty, abuse, serious accidents and more line the bookshelves in our bookshops and libraries. These people have shared their stories and I think they are the ones who heal better and faster. The willingness to share their difficult stories is to be commended as they help others who might relate to same. 

Those breathings of your heart might produce sorrow or joy in readers. When you read a book that you love from first to last page, you've usually experienced emotions throughout. The characters have made you laugh, cry, be angry and more. The authors who can make your emotions surface are the ones who write with heart. 

Think about the books or short stories, memoir pieces or any other creative nonfiction you have written. Step back and look objectively. Did you write from your heart? Did the emotion come through? If not, can you revise it and put your heart into it this time. 

There is one hurdle to get over. Some writers have difficult time releasing all that is in their heart. It's too private for some to be able to share. Try doing it a little at a time. Open the gate and see what happens when you do. Consider how it affects your final product. Like all things, take it a step at a time. The more you can write from your heart, the easier it will become. 

Finally, I cannot finish today's post without telling you how much I love the phrase breathings of your heart. Wordsworth could have said what's in your heart but his poet's heart served him well in the choice of words he made. 

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