Writing Tip #5

Write from your heart, not with your head. This week, I posted the following on Twitter: “Writers, listen to what’s in your heart. It will never steer you wrong.” I had thought a bit about using an absolute when writing this — as a journalist, absolutes such as “never” and “always” are a big no-no — but did so anyway. As expected, I received a reply from a tweep challenging me: “Never?” he asked. Sure, in life, it makes sense to do what’s sensible sometimes, perhaps most of the time, but writing — fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction — is the place where the heart rules, and the brain takes a backseat. Some of the best writing I’ve done came after shooing my brain away, my brain who kept warning: What are you doing? Are you crazy? You can’t write that! Oh, yeah, watch me.



5 thoughts on “Writing Tip #5

  1. Hi again :-) It wasn’t so much your use of ‘never’ as it was the notion that the heart would normally overrule the mind. I view it more integrative: the heart and mind ebb and flow, like the beach, sometimes the water is powerful and thrashing, dominating the shore, upsetting the sands. Other times the water is calm, allowing the beach to show off the treasures of the sea.

    Sometimes writing feels like a tug of war for me between reason and emotion and what I like about your philosophy is the freedom to explore the heart while (I might add) telling the brain “it’s my turn now.” The mind tho is still on, perhaps as a spell checker (idea/flow/context checker). I think (and feel) that the heart and mind are an integrated whole.

  2. The only time I get into trouble is when I’m blogging from the heart and hit publish before I think it through. If it’s a hot topic, I’m better off sleeping on it before I send it out to the masses. Like that old phrase, “Think before you speak.”

  3. Pingback: Writing Tip #6 « Making 'Baby Grand,' the Novel: Afterbirth

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