5 TRUTHS/CHALLENGES YOU MUST CONFRONT TO WRITE FROM YOUR HEART
by Ivy Logan
Writing is easy. Take a paper, jot down that elusive story that has been floating at the back of your mind and hurrah you are done….
How lovely would it be if that were all it took to write. Writing is an exciting voyage with its share of ups and downs and the initial step is the all-important one. For without a beginning how can there be an end?
The journey from thought to publishing is significant. Multiple platforms offer sage advice on the topic. I bow to the brilliance and the degree of sharing out there. It is much needed. This article explores the challenge of writing from your heart.
CHALLENGE I) SELF DOUBT
Self-doubt plagues most writers. If you don’t suffer from this incongruity, then hats off to you.
o Will people want to read my story?
o Will they like my writing?
o Have I been fooling myself?
o What if the story I want to tell bores them?
o Who will buy my book?
No one wants to be a doubting Thomas but it does happen. Writing is probably your dream, but someone wise once said doubts kill more dreams than failure ever will.
CHALLENGE II) DON’T BE A ME TOO
Despite the self-depreciation, the most important thing is to let the story flow from your heart. What does this entail? In simple words the inspiration for your writing should be driven from your own thoughts, desires, likes or even dislikes. I am very must against the school of thought that says hey it is Vampire books which seem to be the order of the day so that’s what I will write about or Contemporary romance is what is really popular, so that’s the way to go.
CHALLENGE III) LET YOUR STORY CHOOSE YOU
I believe there are many stories out there in the universe, our memories and observations, in our own lives and above all in our imagination waiting to be told.
Why spoil all of that just because you want to go by the adage- this is what the customer has been buying so this is what I will give them. How about serving up something new, unique to you?
CHALLENGE IV) CREATIVITY AND BEING DISORGANIZED ARE NOT THE SAME THING
After you know what you will be writing about then go ahead and be as scientific as you can in your planning and meticulous in your working. Writing from your heart and being disorganized do not go hand in hand (as many like to believe and preach.) There are numerous tools like scrivener etc. to help you organize your writing. Use them once you get some help in getting over your I-don’t-understand- technology handicap. You might surprise yourself. Similarly there are various methods to take that idea you have and turn it into a book. I offer a glimpse into a few approaches that work for me. You find yours. There are many. You need to choose the one that is best suited to your style of working rather than what works for someone else.
1) Stream of Consciousness – It is not necessary that your story is going to be meticulously organized in your head, as it will eventually be in your book. So I suggest just being open to it in the first case. So pick up a pen or a pencil and a blank piece of paper and write as the thoughts flow. There need not be structure, no defined beginning or middle or end but you aim to get down everything, just enough to give you a good start.
2) The Jotting Notebook – carry this little black book around with you everywhere you go and even keep it by your side when you sleep. When an idea , thought comes up, you jot it down in here. You already have the genesis of the story in your head so be forewarned that ideas on the plot’s journey are going to be popping up at random intervals so it is best to be armed and ready.
3) The Synopsis– Before you get down to writing your entire story, remember that is going to be at least a 30,000 to 60,000-word journey so why not take a few baby steps. Nothing better than a one to two pager synopsis to give you clarity on where you will start and where you want your story to go.
4) Chapter Outline– Outlining the main plot of each chapter, minus dialogue but with the crux of the chapter being clearly defined will give you ample clarity on what your chapter is about and how it should flow into the next chapter.
CHALLENGE V) THE BOOK IS YOUR BABY.. SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY
The truth is… Your story is your baby. A baby will always be the most beautiful baby in the world in its parent’s eyes, no matter the flaws. How do parents develop, improve their children? They share the responsibility of preparing their little one for the world with tutors, teachers, coaches, grand parents and many others but that doesn’t stop them from being the best parents they can be. Similarly, I would say the same applies for your book. Once you accept that writing does not have to be a lonely journey it becomes easier to move on to the next step.
1) BETA READERS
Who are they? They are Readers who you trust, who will read your writing and share their feedback with you. They will be frank, say what needs to be said with ruthless clarity and may break your heart. Choose a beta reader as you would a coach or a mentor for your child (because that is what a beta reader is to your book), someone who has the wherewithal to do what needs to be done. Why? Because sometimes as parents just as we are blind to the faults of our kids, as authors you might not be as prompt as you should be in zeroing on the kinks in your plot. It takes some more pairs of eyes to spot the flaws.
2) THE EDITOR AND PROOF READER – THE FINAL CHECK
Before your book is ready to be introduced to the readers you also need an editor. She will pick on your work with a magnifying glass. Probably require you to re think a lot of stuff. Having an editor gives the freedom to write from your heart in the first place. I am not saying to just blindly accept feedback but do keep a really open mind.
I conclude with this thought… Writing is sharing with others. The best kind of sharing is always a heart to heart. Write from your heart so that it goes straight to the heart of your reader.
About the Author
Ivy Logan’s debut novel, Broken, will be coming out this December. The novel is a coming of age, fantasy romance where once girl discovers the hero within, and that sometimes dragons must not be slain but loved. Broken is the first book in the series: The Breach Chronicles. Book II is titled Metamorphosis. Also look for the free prequel Origins– The Legend of Ava, which will be out this month.
Ivy always writes about strong women, who might live in fantasy worlds but always find their strength in self- belief, family and friends. She weaves the dreams from her imagination into her writing.
She hopes to find kindred souls who look for magic and beauty in life, mixed with a slice of reality. For those are her readers.