9/24/16

Write from your Heart

I don't plan my blog posts.

I know this might seem weird to some of you (especially my fellow bloggers) but it's just how I work. The moment I plan a blog post is the moment the excitement and drive to write it fizzles right out of me into a puddle on my keyboard. It's just like when someone tells me what to do. Even if I was planning on doing it anyway, any desire and drive to do it suddenly leaves and I search for every reason not to do it. It's just the way I am.

If I say, "I'm going to write about [insert random topic] next week," then when next week rolls around ... I find my motivation to write about that topic has drained away (usually. There are sometimes exceptions).

Do you find this happening to you?

Some call it "writers block".

I call it not writing from your heart.




(I'm actually not sorry for all the heart themed posts lately. It's been on my heart. Hehe. He. Ehem.)

Anyway. What happens when your heart is in something?

When you put your heart into something, it comes to life.

Suddenly, they aren't just words on a page. They are words that have been uttered through clenched teeth by the character you created. You can almost hear them being spoken as you read. You can see the setting and you can feel the hurt and anger your characters feel in the sting of a betrayal, or the rush of joy they get when they see an old friend.

But how do you write from your heart? 

Writing just what you "feel" like writing is dangerous sometimes (kind of like how I wait for a feeling to write blog posts. It's not uncommon for Friday to arrive and BOOM I don't know what to write about OOPS).

You want to write from your heart, what you're passionate about ... but in order for it to come truly from your heart it has to mean something to you. It has to be more than just a feeling. It has to mean more than just "Oh, I like this idea! It looks shiny and fun! Let's ditch everything and write this now!"

Those are distractions. They're fun little ideas, but often those need to be given a bit of attention (just enough to lull the bunny to sleep, if you will) so you can focus on your current project.

The one that you're five drafts into.

How? How are you five drafts into this? Heck, how are you half way through a second draft? Because second drafts are hard, guys. Second drafts are ugly. They're messy, and so far they're not really much fun.

So why do we keep writing?

With my WIP, The Thief's Conspiracy (TC), I am slugging through the second draft, which I had to start over again last week. It is hard. It is taking forever. I've been working on this draft for months. Seven months, to be exact. (granted I took almost two months off, but still.)

When I look at it like that, I get really discouraged. I think, "This is taking forever. I just want to write something easy that has no problems."

But I know I never will. Because a) all books have problems, but b) I will never abandon TC. It simply means too much to me.

Because I wrote it straight from my heart. Writing that book was the equivalent of cutting my chest open and bleeding onto the keyboard. My soul went into this project. I cried as I wrote parts of it. I sympathize with all the characters on a deep level.

Because it all came from my heart. It came like all ideas do: new, exciting, intriguing. It captured my attention and I bounded after it. I wrote a few pages of notes for it, then tucked it away for a while. When I decided it was time to move on from my old series and start a whole new project, there it waited.

I'm not sure what drove me to choose that idea from the other files in the idea folder on my computer. But that was the one I picked, and from there, my creativity exploded.

Because I decided to do it. I decided I was going to write it.

And from that moment on, I truly loved my story. That story became a part of my heart, because I chose to make it so.

Do you see what I'm saying here? It's the same concept as love. Love is not a feeling. You love your parents, right? But do you always like them? Do you always want to hug them and gush about how amazing they are?

The same principle applies to your stories. You won't always like them. You'll want to ditch them for something that doesn't give you as much trouble. You'll want to run after pretty new plot bunnies. But you don't. Not if you've made that decision to love your story.

So here are a few tips on how to capture it while you still have that "feeling." Cause, don't get me wrong: the feeling really helps. Wanting to write your book sure makes it a lot easier. Wanting to edit (is that a thing???), wanting to solve the plot issues, having that desire makes everything a lot easier.

So ...

Write it when it comes to you.

When I first get an idea, it is so exciting. I'm sure it's the same way for all of you. It's new, it's fresh, and there are so many possibilities waiting to be explored. Write down the heart of that idea, the beginnings of it. Write it down, before there are any plot holes or character issues or anything. Just write it down.

Then take your time with it. 

If you're a planner, take your time planning! Keep your journal (or document) open at your side, and let the idea of the project fill your mind. Explore it, ask lots of questions, and have fun.

If you're not a planner, take your time with the first draft! If you don't enjoy writing first drafts, then maybe don't take your time with it, but if you love first-drafting, try not writing so fast. Try taking your time, mulling things over, and enjoying the freedom.


Capture the desire while you feel it. 

This kind of goes back to my post on capturing the heart of your story. Capture that initial love for it. The reason you started. The reason you chose this idea. The reason you chose to love it.

You'll feel the benefits.

I make sure I write every blog post from my heart. If I'm not feeling a topic I've chosen, I don't write it. I write something else. I remember one Friday night, at nine or ten o'clock, I had planned a blog post and written half of it earlier that week but I just wasn't feeling it. And so I opened a new doc and poured out a totally new post that I had not planned to write at all. Guess what? It's my most popular post on this blog. 

And you want to know a scandalous little secret? *leans close and whispers* I don't edit my blog posts. *winces as every reader gasps and stares* I KNOW I KNOW IT'S PROBABLY REALLY NAUGHTY THAT I DON'T. I do a liiiiitle bit. (I edited this one a bit, actually.) I will read it once I'm done writing it, and then tweak a few things sometimes. But when I write a post, it's usually something that has been on my mind/heart for a while or at least stewing in the back of my mind. I haven't planned when I'll write it, and I wait for the feeling that I should. And then I do.

I hope some of this helped you, and it wasn't too all over the place XP Hehe now that I say I don't plan blog posts, I'm going to announce that I've actually planned blog posts for all of October! (Well, right now I haven't, but I have vague idea for what I'll do.) Let's just say, it's going to be NanoThemed *mysterious grin* and YOU WILL STILL HOPEFULLY ENJOY IT EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT DOING NANO. but duuuuudes you totes shoullllld.

Do you struggle to write from your heart? What are your tips on doing so? ARE YOU DOING NANO??? (i know i already asked this but I'm not even sorry so get over it.)


<3

21 comments:

  1. *aggressively loves this post* I just can't words. I mean I have no words. Oh... <3 <3 <3

    Writing from my heart is something I struggle with. And not because I don't love my story (like you said, you may love something, but you might not FEEL it sometimes). I do love my story, but there's this big, torturous wall called COMPARISON. It really puts me out when I'm excited about something writing-related and then I'm reminded that those around me have accomplished so much more in that area than I have. It hurts. I feel like my story wouldn't matter anyway. That maybe I should just give up.

    I'm kind of straying away from the point of this post. But yes, comparison is the main thing that steals that urge to write from my heart - or, dampens it, if you will. I've been trying not to compare so much.

    And it's hard, but my story DOES matter. If I want to write and I feel like that's just a part of me (+ I have ideas with potential that I don't want to waste), then I should write! Even if it's hard to write from my heart sometimes. Because God made me want to write, and He put stories on my heart. And even though it's hard to channel those stories write through my heart onto the page, I'm going to keep trying.

    Basically I relate to every one of your posts a lot. They're all so raw and real and personal, and that's what sets your blogging voice apart from others in my mind. Love it. <3

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    1. Ahhhh Emily dear *hugs*

      I am actually planning a nano pep talk and I want to address this issue. I don't know how in depth I'll go, because I wanted to cover some other things too, but you have inspired me to go deeper and write a post about comparison! Thank you lovely ahhh <3 Your comments always make me smile.

      I'm so sorry you struggle with this. Comparison I think is even more of a problem now days since we have so much access to what others are doing and writing and thinking, etc. It's so easy to find stuff that's "better" than ours. But you can't think like that. Someone once told me (in a sculpting class, actually) There is no "better" and "best" art. There is only the best in each one. Remember that, lovely! I hope it might help you. Focus on how you can make your story the best it can be, and not on how amazing other writers' stories are.

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  2. This whole post I was just like yes, yes, YES!!! There is such a huge difference between writing just because and writing something you're passionate about. Thanks so much for writing and posting this! It was an awesome encouragement and reminder to me. :)

    One thing I realized in my own writing was that when you write about a subject that interests you, you will want to write it. As opposed to if you're writing about something you don't really care about, it shows and your work isn't as good. If God's given you a passion for something and He's given you the gift of writing, than that's what you need to write about! (Which is pretty much what you just said with this post. ;))

    And yes, I'm doing NaNo! *screams* I'm always so intimidated of writing so much until we get to November, and than I'm just happy and excited and it's so much fun. ;) So yes, I'm really looking forward to the NaNo posts! :D

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    1. I'm so glad, Jesseca! (can i just say I love how your name is spelled? I love how your name is spelled. XP)

      Yessssss. If YOU don't care about what you're writing about, why will readers care? You can tell when writers are passionate about their stories, and you can tell when they're not. It shows in the overall writing, plot, and even characters. That's why it's so important to listen to our hearts and put on the page what God has given us.

      I'M SO HAPPY YOU'RE DOING NANOWRIMO IT IS MY FAVORITE I HAVEN'T WRITTEN A FIRST DRAFT SINCE LAST YEAR'S NANO AND I AM SO READY FOR THE FREEDOM OF FIRST DRAFTING ASDJFHLAKJSDFHLKSD. #rantover

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  3. *gasp* You don't plan your blog posts?! ME EITHER! *highfive* I write spur-of-the-moment stuff XD. AND I NORMALLY DON'T EDIT EITHER! I write the post, look over it once (and make a change or two if needed) and then that's it :D. AND I LOVE THIS POST. SO MUCH GOODNESS.

    AND you already know I'm doing NaNo BUT STILL. I'M SO TERRIFIED/EXCITED ALL AT THE SAME TIME XD. ACK I CAN'T WAIT! And you're going to have NaNo-themed posts? EEP! *is even more excited*

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. NO PLAN BUDDIES YASSSS *fist bump* I /sometimes/ do, but if I do it usually doesn't work. I HAVE HOPE FOR MY NANOWRIMO POSTS, SINCE I KIND OF NEED THEM AND I ALSO HAVE DONE ALMOST 0 PLANNING ON THEM SO I DON'T THINK I'LL GET BORED XP

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  4. You know what? I can tell your blog posts come straight from your heart. And that's why I really appreciate them. They're genuine, open, honest, like you really mean what you say.

    And this line When you put your heart into something, it comes to life. Yes! It kind of comes back to what you wrote in your last post too; it takes slowing down sometimes to really be able to put your heart into things. Or at least I find that for me. I can't write other things in a rush, let alone what's on my heart.

    So thanks for this post! I enjoyed reading it, and the food for thought it provided. xx

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    1. Awwww you are so sweet!! <3 And that is so true - slowing down to write what's on your heart! For me, I have to take my time planning so that the idea of it fills me and seeps into my thoughts and by the time I'm ready to write it I'm nearly bursting with energy and excitement. It's hard to wait sometimes, though, but patience really does pay off.

      Thank you for reading, and your lovely comment! <3

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  5. I love this post!

    I have seasons where it's easier to write from my heart and times where it is far more difficult. If I'm tired or sick or just burnt out, then it's hard to write from my heart, because my heart feels empty. But sometimes, that's when some of my best ideas are born.

    I'm doing NaNo this year (hopefully)!

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    1. Ugh yes I feel this. That happens when I have to edit and I realize that my ingeniousness story (ha) is not quite as ingenious as I think it is. It has lots of flaws, and that can be discouraging. *sigh* I can't wait for the freedom of NaNo! I hope you do it! It's soooooo fun and amazing and afjsdhflakjsdf.

      Thanks for stopping by! <3

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  6. *posted on Friday and is just now getting da word out* I HAVE TAGGED THREE HANNAHS FOR THE WISTERIA WRITING TAG!
    https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=1944167615167210577#editor/target=post;postID=6683318137958199741;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=1;src=postname

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    1. Aw thank you! Fun! I will do it soon!!! <3

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  7. YAY! NANO THEMED POSTS!XD LOL! This was such an awesome post, I definitely agree with you! I just happen to have a problem knowing if something I'm writing is "from my heart", if you know what I mean.;) Like, I really like it and enjoy writing it, but who knows if it's a story from my heart? I don't really worry too much though, if I like writing it, I write it.;)
    Again, great post!!
    -Emma-

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    1. HMMMM. I think the way to know if it is, is that when things get tough and you feel like giving up ... You don't. That's when you realize the story is more than just a book, it's more than just a fun project. It's a part of you, a part of your heart, and you're going to stick with it to the end. <3

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  8. I don't plan or edit my blog posts either, I thought I was just lazy, but this post makes it seem like a lot more.

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    1. I'm glad! It totally is. Plus, blog posts are small and there are no "plot holes" to worry about XP Stories written from the heart are much different than short blog posts. And, fortunately, blog posts just don't tend to need editing!

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  9. I'm a lot like you. Occasionally I do make a plan and edit and all that good stuff, but most of the time I just write what's on the top of my head, and somehow people relate to it and enjoy it. It's kind of funny, but it works!

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    1. Aw somehow I didn't realize you had a blog! *remedies this immediately* I love your blog title, BTW! Very clever! And I feel the same way! It's always funny if the posts you didn't get all worked up over turn out better than the ones you did XP

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  10. Aww, that's so awesome that you really focus on writing from the heart! I have like a love/hate relationship with doing that. 😂 I mena, it's AWESOME, don't get me wrong or anything, but I often have got little motivation hahah so I kind of have to follow that Jack London quote "you can't wait for inspiration, you have to go out after it with a club". (okay that was very badly mis-quoted.😂) (AND ALSO I PROMISE I'M NOT REALLY TRULY VIOLENT.) So I do force myself to do things like blog about a topic or write a certain novel thing...but I always end up falling in love with it. <3 And if I don't then I don't post it/don't pursue the novel after the first draft hehe. But anyway! I think your post is marvellously solid advice. I do believe we creatives need to be in love with our work, or else our readers are going to tell. ;)

    (Also YAY for NaNo themed-posts!!)

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    1. I LOVE THAT QUOTE HEHE. And that's actually kind of what I meant #oops When I say write from your heart, I mean write the story that you love. So no matter how you feel about it at the moment, you still write it because it's a part of you and you truly love it. Does that make sense?

      Thank you so much for reading! <3

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  11. I couldn't tell that you don't edit your posts. You don't go off-topic. I also don't edit my posts that much, either xD

    Ah, thanks for telling me to write from my heart. It seems hard, but hopefully not too hard for me to achieve <3

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