Write about what eats you up, what smoulders in your heart

Are you the sort of writer who writes when you are bursting with emotion and/or spirit, and your feeling pours out through your writing and ends up being part of your own or your characters’ story? And/or, are you the sort of writer who “deep dives” into their topic or story to the point where they become that story, those (fictional or real) experiences, losing all sense of the “outside world” while they are writing?

If so, this blog may ring true to you.

The below represents my views about writing novels, memoir, poetry and creative non-fiction. Some  writers and editors have entirely different views.

The best writing – novels, memoir, poems, creative non-fiction

The best writing of creative content, such as novels, memoir, poems and creative non-fiction, is based on either your own experiences, or your deeply felt understanding of the experiences of other like-minded people.

The best writing comes from a spring that wells up from your heart. Its essence is personal and intellectual – your heart and mind combined.

If you write like this, and engage a good editor, your publication is likely to be highly engaging – that is, the reader won’t be able to put the book down. They are glued to the page, by the “X factor”, which is you, in your writing.

Some writers write novels according to a formula whereby their stories have good plots, but their characters and dialogue are superficial; these sorts of novels don’t seem “real” and they do not make reader feel deeply, or care about the characters or story.  Unless

Some writers, and Chat GPT,  write novels and autobiographies in a certain style and according to a formula,  but their characters, descriptions and voices are superficial. This is because their stories lack substance, that “X factor” that only a person who digs deep inside themselves is able to write.

People who have great interest in those particular topics, and people  who  don’t care what they read, may buy and read those sorts of publications.

But a lot of people – including myself – only enjoy reading books that are  engaging at a deeper level – stories that make them feel and be enlarged. For us, the best writing is writing that comes straight from the heart.

Only you can write from your own heart

By “write from your heart” I mean to write from that very deep and timeless place that we writers-from-the-heart go to, when we write.

No one but you can write from your personal perspective about how things feel for you in your memoir, or for the character in your story.

Only I could have written this article. Only I could have written my poetry. Only I could have written those partly-written manuscripts of novels that I will one day finish writing. All these things are a product of my own lived experience and my very own “X factor” that is mine alone. Someone can try to copy my style or steal my words, but they can’t be me.

Only you can draw out into words your own experiences or understandings that are bound to deep-seated loves, as well as your deepest fears and griefs – the things that really eat you up, or that have lain smouldering within your heart, for years. Dredging up these memories will be painful, but doing so will potentially  produce your best writing, as well as personal catharsis.

As long as you write from your heart when writing the original draft, later on, once your manuscript has been edited, it will speak so clearly and honestly to your readers that they won’t be able to help being captivated by your words.

Because storytelling from the heart is truly a timeless thing, and has always been captivating.

Writers who have the courage and ability to write at this powerful, personal level can, and do, change people’s ways of thinking – and the world.

Image: Thank you to WOCinTechChat for permission to use this image.

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