Tag Archives: work in progress

Write with your heart

Image by Kev Howlett
Image by Kev Howlett

Why do we like to read other people’s stories? Because we want to know how other people tick. We want to know that they have flaws, just like us, and that these flaws don’t make them (or us) any less human or likeable. Aren’t the most flawed characters the ones we like after all? This is true for fiction as well as biography because even in fiction the characters need to be true to life. Otherwise, who cares?

For a lot of writers, there is reluctance to go deeper, to expose the person behind the words. This usually stems from fear. Fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of failure.

What usually happens though, is that the deeper, more authentic the writing, the more it resonates with the reader. This results in a greater connection and the reader applauding the writer for their work.

So how do you go deeper? How do you access that part of you that will expose your true self? It’s a bit like peeling an onion. Each of us is multi layered, multi dimensional.

So where do you start? Write without thinking about it too much. Just get your story out. Get out of your head and into your heart. Don’t think about what anyone thinks or if there are issues with spelling or grammar. All of those issues can be dealt with later. Don’t skim over things, get to the heart of them. Don’t write ‘I was devastated’, tell the reader what that devastation felt like. Did it make you (or the character) physically ill, pained in the stomach, unable to sleep? Don’t write, ‘he was angry’, tell the reader what that person did to convey anger. Was he red in the face, was he aggressive, did he raise his voice? Don’t worry if some of this comes out as clichés. This is normal and if you worry about it too much, you will lose the flow. Grammar, cliché, spelling and details can all be fixed in the rewrite.

Essentially, to get to the heart of the story, you need to ask yourself, ‘how does it make you feel?’ If you’re truthful about this in your writing, the rest will fall into place.

Blaise

Setting up a blog

Image by Blaise van Hecke
Image by Blaise van Hecke.

What is your blog about?
In order to be able to write a lot of great content, you need to care about what you’re writing about. You also need to write about topics that interest people. Think about your own values and the kind of books you write (or intend to write). If your book is fiction, what are some of the themes through it? Is it a book about relationships, domestic violence, love or fitting in? They are all topics that you could talk about. Or are you writing a self-help book about parenting. Your blog could be about all things parenting and children. It’s worth having two or three main focus points so that you can mix things up a bit. This will be less boring for you to write and more interesting for your readers. As an example, my blogs tend to be about reading, writing and creativity.

Pick a name for your blog
You can write under your own name, and this is a good idea if you are aiming for recognition as a writer. But if you don’t feel comfortable with this, or if your name is common, you could come up with a name that encapsulates what you aim to write about. No matter what, keep it simple, as this will help people remember it. Ideally the name will have keywords in it that will help with Google searches. Register this name as your URL if you are not using an existing website.

Choose a blogging platform
Some of you may already have a website, with a page dedicated to your blog. But if you aren’t ready for a full website, you can set up a blog on a free platform such as blogger, weebly, eHost and Bluehost. Even a simple wordpress site is free and has templates.

Get writing!
It’s no use having a blog unless you contribute to it consistently so treat it like a business. Decide whether you will blog daily, weekly or monthly (or anywhere in between). Just remember that if you decide to do it daily you need to come up with a lot of content. Try to post a blog at a similar time each time you put it up. So if you decide it’s a weekly blog, choose a day, like Wednesday and post at the same time each week.

Blaise, the book chick