Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Writing from the Heart

"The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart." Maya Angelou


We all know that feeling - the one that we get when we read a great book or a beautiful piece of poetry and it affects us. For me it's about connection and the ability to generate emotion within me. Sometimes, it's an acute feeling that the writer has experienced what I have experienced and he or she has walked down a similar pathway to mine. The emotions may vary. It might  be that I find myself enjoying a great big belly laugh or that I'm gasping in shock at a turn of events or that I find tears streaming down my cheeks often unexpectedly by a turn of phrase or some wisely chosen words. However, in most of these instances, the reactions created in me are because the author has written from the heart. He or she has shared something that reaches us and touches us and it brings us closer to them if even for a moment. I think that reading is like inviting a friend over for dinner. You get to choose who you invite. If you want excellent story telling and tales of adventure, you are not likely to invite over that timid friend of yours who barely leaves her home. Reading enables you to invite an author to live with you for a while and to bring all their experiences into your life.


Writing from the heart sounds like it's pretty easy doesn't it, but from my own experiences, it isn't always that straight forward. It requires you to go deeper, to tap into your own emotions and to share these with others - not something we always readily want to do.  It also requires you to let go - to tell the editor to take a break for a while so you can scrawl and scribble and release it all on the page. Once it's down, yes invite the editor back, but don't let them take away the rawness or the edge that is going to give you that connectedness I talked about above. I'm certainly no expert in this subject and I like to think that as I write more and more, I'm growing and more willing to go deeper. Sometimes it certainly feels easier to say the words out loud to a friend rather than to write them down. Often, when I write I can't quite find an expression to sum up exactly how it feels and yet in speaking it I can say it over and over until I get my message across. Yet I love the act of writing and so I struggle along with my limited vocabulary and simply try to convey in my stories how it might feel to be that particular character right now, what thoughts might be going on in their head, what physical reactions are happening as a result of the consequences they find themselves in. I know that I can't walk in their shoes, they're made up figments of my imagination after all, but at least I can try.


Many pieces of writing have affected me emotionally over the years, dependent upon my own circumstances and experiences. This year two authors come to mind. The first is Banana Yoshimoto and her book Kitchen and the second is Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch.


I'd love to hear what authors or books you feel passionate about because they connected with you in some way or how you go about writing from the heart yourself to make a connection with your reader.





6 comments:

  1. I find it easier to write ideas thne to talk. My words get all jumbled and stumble over each other.

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    1. I think we all have our strengths and how great that you can write your ideas down.

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  2. I do my best to write from the heart. Fiction is harder than real life though. I've been exploring my feelings on my Caregiving site that is me exposing my most vulnerable parts of my heart and soul. I am doing my best in my fiction though. :)

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

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    1. Just visited your Blog and yes you really are exposing the most vulnerable parts of your heart and soul. I admire you. Wishing you strength for the journey ahead.

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  3. I've liked a lot of books, but I feel a true soul, heart, and mind connection with only a select few writers and poets. I've had that kind of intense awakening and meeting of the minds with writers like Hermann Hesse, Bertolt Brecht, Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Jaroslav Seifert, and Dante Alighieri. It wasn't just about writing with them, but conveying the essence of their amazing minds and deepest emotions.

    When you write from the heart, your readers will feel that same kind of connection. There are some scenes I've written which really choked me up and moved me to tears, and still get me going when I reread them so much time later.

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  4. I love Maya's quote and your post in general. Thanks Angela for sharing and all the best with your writing

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