Thursday, September 24, 2009

Think with your heart

I know, I seem to be stuck on those cheesy title lines. I dunno, could be something in the air. Summer is coming in around my side of the world (southern hemisphere actually, my kids would correct me!) and suddenly all's bright and nice and warm and the birds are chirping while the sun is this big golden orb in the spotless deep blue of the sky, with little puffs of fluffy clouds like cotton candy dancing in from time to time... Uh, sorry, got carried away by the light flower-scented breeze that drifts in the wide open windows and terrace doors... Oops, I did it again! (oh bugger, I'm quoting Britney Spears! Yikes!!)

Allright, back to business (not back to black - Amy Winehouse btw - oops again!). I dunno for you but I see a little pattern emerging between my title and the little (okay, long!) paragraph I just wrote above. What is it?

I wrote it with my heart. Summer makes me feel good, and the feelings flow inside me, and then I have no trouble finding ways and means to describe it all in a lyrical and flowing voice (granted, take Britney and Amy out of it, but that too can count as voice, or characterization!)

What I'm getting at is this - if your heart is into something, it shows in what you do. How many times have you dragged your feet to do a chore? Granted, yes, you got the job done, even got it done well, but the fact remains, you had to drag your feet to do it. Now imagine doing something you're all revved up for. You can hardly remain still until you can get to this task, and when you do get to it, you immerse yourself in so much time flies, and when it's over, you're like, that's too soon, I want to hang on to this feeling.

Ask yourself then if your writing is a feet-dragging chore, or an elation-filled endeavour. If it's a chore, I think you need to reassess your position. Is it the writing itself that's drudging, or is it other factors in your life that are impeding upon it?

The fact remains that while writing should be a labour of love, it should also be a task you undertake with all your heart. When this is the case, have no doubt that the story that flows out of your pen (or keyboard) is one that is bound to be strong, solid, and overall a round story that covers all aspects of what constitutes a good story. Why? Because you wrote it with your heart in there, not just to fill a slot of the market demand and to make a quick buck or to get a shoddy credit.

Ask most good writers (the ones we all rave about) what they are after, and they'll most probably tell you that their goal is strong stories that they have invested all their heart and soul in.

Is it that hard to do? No, but you need to sit down and decide what you want. A good story most often brings you all of publishing contract, publishing credit, readership, and some money. Add to it that there's also the elation-filled author satisfaction that can tide you through weeks on end. Take all of these elements apart - contract, credit, money - and without your heart in your work, you may end up with any or all of these, but all of it may not last long - it may not bring you more contracts, credits or money. Whereas a good story, well, it can pave the way for your future career path.

Think with your brain and common sense, think with some logic - find what you want to do, and then think with your heart when you are writing. A story that has author investment and the author's heart and soul into it will shine out of the lot without you needing to do much work, and that, I believe, should be every writer's big goal.

Any questions, just holler!

Aasiyah Qamar - Cultural Romantic Fiction, With a Twist
Coming out October 2 - Light My World - Eirelander Publishing
Nolwynn Ardennes - The Promise of Fulfilment
Coming out January 8, 2010 - Storms in a Shot Glass - Eirelander Publishing
Coming out July 2, 2010 - Walking on the Edge - Eirelander Publishing

Aasiyah Qamar/Nolwynn Ardennes - Romance the world over


Sandy said...

What a great sentiment to write with your heart.

I think the authors who write like this are the ones who care desperately about some issue they portray in their books.

Lovely post, Z.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Thanks Sandy. You're right, it does often resonate a chord inside, with the heart.



Bridget said...

I think you can really tell those authors who put their heart into a story. Chances are, the reader will feel the same.