Put Your Heart Into It

**And who doesn’t do this more than the men and women who serve our country…Thank you for all you do!**

And now applying our heart to the written word…and beyond.

Put heart into everything you write.

Is that the same as writing from your heart? According to James Scott Bell, it means finding what your passionate about and directing that passion to serve the purpose of the novel.

Heart = Passion + Purpose

So what is the purpose? Bell defines it as what we want readers to feel when they finish reading. Hadn’t thought of it like that before. I love being swept away on a grand adventure and relishing the story and the characters. In my writing, I want to do the same for others. Just not sure about picking a feeling I’d like people to a walk with…we all bring our worldview and unique experiences to the story we read. We have different responses to the same novels. It could get kind of muddled. Still, I’m sure there are universal feelings like love and all its various shades, loyalty, hope, honor, betrayal, fear…depending what type of book we’re reading.

Passion. The word carries different connotations. Bell calls it, “strength of feeling”. How do we put passion, our passion into the story? I think…derailing here a bit…it means we must strip away all the veils, tear down the walls, peel away the layers we use to protect us from the world, and then we can pour our heart into our writing. I’ve not been able to create dynamic characters in my book because I was unable to fully realize my feelings. I could’ve been the classic case of the “stuffer”. When we strip down, we are vulnerable, we are real and this is where growth happens.  What’s funny is this applies to writing, to relationships, to becoming a healthier person all around. Crazy, huh? Who knew writing a book would help us improve mentally and emotionally? Of course…that might not have been your experience.

Can you pinpoint your passion? If not, Bell suggests we make some lists. I love lists, usually. But I don’t know about this method. Doesn’t list making seem formulaic and void of passion? Here are his suggestions:

  1. Start by making a list of all the things you believe most strongly.
  2. Now make a list of your all-time favorite books and movies, and describe how each one of them made you feel at the end.
  3. When you start looking for that next novel idea, select one item from each list and brainstorm on  how you might combine them in a story. Determine never to write another novel you don’t have your heart in.

That is, if you write for that reason…I might just try it. Especially number two. 🙂

So what say you? Do you agree, disagree? What are your favorite movies/books and why? What are you passionate about?

Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day!


3 thoughts on “Put Your Heart Into It

  1. laurenwaters says:

    I completely agree. What a fantastic way to pinpoint your passions. I’m going to try this exercise tonight 🙂

    • J. L. Mbewe says:

      very cool! I’m going to attempt it…but it will take me some time to get my brain over the instant cramp it gets when it comes to self-evaluation. 🙂

  2. […] in May, we discussed putting our passion into our writing. I believe it is important to be vulnerable in order for our passion to become transparent, but it […]

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