Write from the Heart

wdwheartAt the writers’ colloquium I attended last weekend, the one where Haven Kimmel brought the keynote message, I participated in a breakout session entitled “Writing from the Heart.”

The workshop leader, Brent Bill, led us through a couple of simple exercises designed to illustrate that while it’s easier to write from our heads than our hearts…writing from our hearts can make a deeper, more meaningful and lasting impact on readers (and ourselves).

As I went through one of the exercises, I concluded–not surprisingly–that I am very head-oriented. I like thinking, learning, sorting through ideas. In fact, some of the people who have commented on my posts have mentioned that some of the things I’ve talked about have really made them think. I like to write about the things I’m thinking about, and there seems to be no lack of ideas in my noggin.

The key is to tackle the more profound issues of the heart, as well. In fact, Brent said, a convergence of heart and mind is ideal.

If I explore through my writing an issue that I’m both thinking about and turning over in my heart, I will probably produce something with much more power to minister and communicate to others.

After posting about providing regular, meaningful content in order to feed the readers of my blog, I thought this nugget was worth sharing with fellow bloggers.

It may be riskier emotionally, but if we want to touch, connect, impact and/or minister to readers–even entertain them–we should look for the places where our mind and heart converge; where the thing that we’re thinking about is also something we’re dealing with at the heart level.

It might even change us as we write it.Ironically, this post does not illustrate this well. This is a head post. Helpful, hopefully; informative, perhaps. But not really dealing with matters of the heart.

I do hope to write more posts in the future that are even more heart-level, while honoring my commitment to a vibrant mind and lifelong learning.

I see others do it well, admiring their ability to merge storytelling and heart-issues with literary allusions, while tapping into inexhaustible lexicons via their vibrant, vigorous intellects.

To offer readers meaningful content, look for the convergence of mind and heart in your life. Throw in some story, and you have the recipe for nourishing, memorable, linkable, TrackBackable posts.

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  • Comments

    1. Thank you for the timely suggestion. I needed that!


    2. While we may not always write from what is turning in our hearts, our words are not beyond touching the hearts of others. Yes, your post was helpful and informative but best of all it touched my heart. Thanks for that.

    3. You are so right, and it goes along with speaking to people as well. There is nothing like a personal story or illustration to make something memorable and lasting. But I’m also becoming more aware of how informative posts can bring people to a blog. They may only come once to read a “How To _____” that they googled, but then they may stick around for the heartfelt posts.

    4. Thanks for the reminder. I know it’s the heartfelt posts that keep me coming back to others’ blogs.

      (And I’m totally jealous that you got to hear Haven Kimmel speak. I love her books.)

    5. Martie: I’m glad that it was somehow helpful.

      Jen: What a good point…we don’t know how our words will reach into another person’s life and heart. Just faithfully write the next thing, click publish, and let it go.

      Rachel Anne: You know, my “record” day with this blog was the day I wrote an extremely “helpful” post. It did indeed draw a lot of hits. A lot of people are looking for information on the Internet, more than moving stories to stir their hearts. But that’s what makes a richer connection, doesn’t it? The heart thing?

      Alison: I’m trying to get a copy of Haven’s message. I won’t be able to post the text here, of course, but I thought I would pull out some highlights. It was very intellectual. She’s really, really smart. And she talked pretty fast, so it was hard to absorb everything. I think I need to explain the carrot episode to those readers who aren’t familiar with Zippy.

    6. Thanks for the reminder, Ann. This is very timely, with NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow.


    1. […] Contact WFMW: Write from the Heart […]

    2. […] bit later, I shared my experience at a writing workshop called “Writing from the Heart,” where the leader recommended we find the convergence of heart and mind, where what […]

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