Write What Makes Your Heart Sing

If you’re like me, you have a ton of ideas for what to write. Maybe too many ideas. Or maybe you have no ideas at all, and that is making it hard for you to get serious about your writing. In either case, the question becomes “Where do I begin?”

Write what makes your heart sing.

That sounds like a nice cliché, but what does it really mean?

Write What You LOVE To Read

Take a good look at your bookshelf. What titles touch you emotionally? What words do you find yourself returning to again and again? What authors’ new works will you read no matter what? What genres do you enjoy the most?

Especially if you are stuck in terms of what to write, that’s where you start. Write what you love to read, not what you think will be impressive. Write first to entertain or inform yourself (you can edit it for others later).

For example, this summer I am currently reading, ever so slowly, Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. It’s a book I have wanted to get to for a long time, and while I am certainly intrigued by the main characters and the oh so clever writing, I am more looking forward to the day when I can say I have finished. I wish it made my heart sing—I want it to—but it doesn’t.

At the same time, I am currently re-reading another science fiction novel, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, which continues to fascinate and engage me even though I have read it previously. The question I ask myself is this: How can I provide the same kind of enjoyment with something write?

“The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.” ~ Blaise Pascal

Jus' singing my heart out . . by Peter Mulligan
Photo by Peter Mulligan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
  • What kind of writing makes your heart sing?
  • Do you give yourself permission to write what you want to read?

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2 thoughts on “Write What Makes Your Heart Sing

  1. I suppose my inclination (in absence of that darn muse) is to write what I live every day. So, when that’s already been written several times over by others or it’s so eclectic that there’s no set subject, what then?

    • That’s a really good question. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post in this series about blogging, so I’ll throw that question out there to see if anyone responds. Maybe the payback is in working through either the repetition or the eclectic material until we find the answer. I’m still pondering…

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