Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Miranda Jane of Thoughts From A Brown Paper Bag Girl.
Heart. The size of your fist. Forever pounding in your chest. Never resting. Keeping you alive. But it also keeps us living. Not living in a “breathe, talk, walk” sense. But, truly living.
What Makes Writing Great?
We write to understand the world. We write to understand ourselves.
I find myself scribbling on pages, looking for myself somewhere in the messy handwriting that forms words, sentences, thoughts.
The idea that a bunch of dabbles of ink on paper can capture our world and examine the essence of the human heart…that’s powerful. That’s what a great writer does—she captures the heart.
Have you ever read a piece of literature and felt that the words were speaking directly to you? Have you ever felt the words sweep you away? Draw you into a dream? Remind you of things long since forgotten? Paint a vivid picture behind your eyes?
This kind of writing is like magic. A connection is weaved between writer and reader through space, time, and culture. This magic happens when the writer writes from the heart. When blood, sweat, and tears aren’t hidden from the pen. When the writer knows their voice.
It’s called writing from your heart.
On Writing From Your Heart
How does a writer write from their heart?
It’s all about being you—both on the page and in life. There are no worn-down, well-trodden pathways to speaking from your heart. There are only forests with brambles and bushes that will reach out and tear at your clothes and skin. Thick roots are waiting to trip you. So you have to make your own trail.
Close your eyes. Put your palm over your heart. Listen. Ba-bump, ba-bump.
You have to want to be you. Speaking from the heart is about courage and love. When you love yourself, sparkly warm light ebbs from within you and shines on the earth around you, scaring shadows away.
Speaking from your heart doesn’t mean you aren’t scared of anything, that you will never have doubts. It means that in the face of a dark path you remember your flashlight. Or when stuck in a deep hole, you remember to stop digging. Or when you trip and fall you get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going. It’s about being okay with making mistakes, and not so terrified of them that you miss opportunities further along the way.
On Living From Your Heart
Living and writing from the heart is a lot like a plot line in a novel you’re writing. The struggles your heroine faces makes her journey beautiful and human. The struggles make the novel (and life) worth it. So when you look into the mirror, point out the parts that you do know, and point out the other beautiful parts of you that are about to bloom.
And let your writing show that too.
Ba-bump, ba-bump. That’s your heart singing. That’s you. Let the noise around you fade, slowly.
I want you to listen to you. Listen to your heart and quiet whisperings. Turn your ears away from the outside world. Because the outside world can never know you like you do.
10 Distinctive Traits of A Writer Who Speaks From Their Heart
- They are aware of the world around them—the sounds, faces, colors, and smells.
- They take joy in simplicity. A hot cup of tea, a sunny morning, or a smile from a stranger.
- They remember that when they feel “blocked” in life or writing that this really is an opportunity to pause and think.
- They know love is the point of it all. If you aren’t doing it for love, why are you doing it in the first place?
- They take baby steps toward speaking from their heart. They know nothing happens overnight.
- They are not afraid to make mistakes when trying to speak from the heart—they know nothing is ever permanent. Life constantly shifts. Writing can be revised and edited.
- They let themselves feel whatever they are feeling and capture it in writing.
- They don’t shy away from the truth, even if it seems black and ugly. They know that the truth can be liberating.
- They use memories as inspiration. They stumble through their past for moments that speak to them.
- They remember that speaking from their heart is brave, that writing is brave, and that they are brave.
Miranda Jane of “Thoughts from a Brown Paper Bag Girl” is an aspiring writer and university student majoring in English. She loves serendipities, chocolate for breakfast, and cowboy boots.
What are some traits that you would add to this list? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments with us below!
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