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Write From the Heart

As my online reading shifts and develops I realise that more and more I’m looking for and responding to writing that comes from the heart, and writing that connects to our hearts.

Here are five bits of writing I’ve enjoyed recently that seem to come from or speak to the heart.

A Step in the Right Direction

for me, taking one step forward
and two steps back
no longer constitutes failure
i simply recognize that
there will be times in my life
when i am going to be invited
to learn a new dance.

Stacy Wills

Poem and lovely mandala - if you pop over to the site you’ll see the beautiful mandalas that Stacy shares at A Magic Mom and her Mandalas

The Story that Haunts

And so I’m left with this scene in my head, which refuses to leave or to be ignored or not to be written, and which haunts me with its potential to become a fully-realised story. A story which would resonate and affect, move and pierce, transport and interrogate; a story which would haunt.

Amy Palko at Less Ordinary shares how it feels to be haunted by a story

How to write (a book). A wee rant

Don’t say you’re a writer if you’re not writing. You’re not a writer, and who cares anyway, if you’re not writing. Even if you’re writing, don’t call yourself a writer. Say, instead, “I write.” It’s the verb that’s important, not the noun.

Wake up call to writing - to life - from Patti Digh

Time to Peel Off the Winter Layers

There’s a pattern here, isn’t there? Well, two actually: one: when I talk about writing, I come to life, even if I am in scary places and situations. And two: I’m coming back into the world.

Brave telling of the story, from Emma Newman at Post Apocalyptic Fiction

How: the missing piece in training

# How do you play the piano? With all my heart.
# How do you give? Cheerfully.
# How do you teach? With concern for the students.
# How do you shoot video? To captivate the hearts of the audience.

Thoughts from Jon Swanson on the bits we tend to leave out from training. Not just about writing, but couldn’t you see ways to apply these questions to writing?

I know I want to be able to answer the question this way:

How do you write?

With all my heart.


  1. Diana says:

    I see you have several writers that I enjoy already. Thanks for the other links too.

    Five years ago, my daughter was helping me choose a name for my fledgling fine art business. She suggested With All My Heart Art. This admittedly sentimental name has worked for me ever since, as I tend to make sentimental art.
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Where does memory live? =-.

  2. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, I wonder if it is this time of year that makes us long to shed the conventions of winter and move away from “all business” to creativity and places and pieces that cultivate inspiration? These are wonderful, thank you so much for sharing them here.
    .-= Karen Swim´s last blog ..Marriage is not a Public Sport =-.

  3. Julie - Inspired to Write says:

    I think ultimately it is easier to write with all your heart. It is “heart-felt” and it is sincere. If you thoughts are only to get others to believe them, even when you don’t believe them yourself (in your heart), it will be obvious in your writing.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    .-= Julie - Inspired to Write´s last blog ..Ten Reasons to Change Your Blog Design =-.

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  6. Conor
    Twitter: ebbstachio

    Hey Joanna,

    Hemingway said to “write the truest sentence you know” and you can’t go wrong. I couldn’t agree more. You don’t have to dig too deep or indulge fantasy to write with sincerity.

    I try always to write and speak sincerely. Then when I write, you can hear me speaking the words with no confusion as to the tone and inflection. Simple. Real.

    Does that make sense? :)


  7. Davina says:

    Writing with heart — that is what is important to me about writing. I think finding that flow is the way around writer’s block. I can appreciate the perspective from “A Step in the Right Direction” being just about learning a new dance — love it!
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..Beyond the Dysfunctional Family =-.

  8. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach says:

    I always sing my own song when writing. It might be business, it might be personal….but if it wasn’t from the heart, it’s not authentic.
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..A Secret Expert Glimpse Into PROFITABLE April Fools Day Postings (ie, how to write one) =-.

  9. J.D. Meier says:

    There’s a beauty that flows from the words, when you write the words, exactly that you want, right in the moment. It’s like the heart speaks.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..The 8 Steps to Wealth =-.

  10. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Diana I think the title is perfect for your work… it doesn’t strike me as sentimental though (perhaps we have a different feeling for the word…) for me it seems whole-hearted. Certainly that’s what the blue egg in the love nest sings to me!

    Karen sometimes I think that’s a shift we need to make not just in one season of a year, but a season of our life times, our generation… how would things be - in business too - if we worked with the whole of our hearts?

    Julie it’s true, those words that are heart-felt will resonate, have a different kind of impact. We the readers can always tell

  11. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Conor yes, I hear you loud and clear :-) I like that Hemingway advice too… it’s a simple way to get back to the core of what’s important to you.

    Davina isn’t the idea of learning a new dance lovely? It makes me a feel a lot more charitable about myself and my meanderings over the last few years. Of course I couldn’t have gone straight from A to Z - nor can any of us… we have to learn new steps. And, as you say, allow ourselves to go with the flow…

    Barbara and those are the sweetest and most compelling songs

    J D that’s right… such a powerful feeling, for both reader and writer.

  12. Diana says:

    I worked in a male dominated work world my whole career. My design work was often criticized as being too feminine (and my work there was NOTHING like my personal work you see on my blog!) I guess that’s how I started splitting work into feminine (sentimental) and the rest of it (that the males could relate to). Don’t mean to insult any of your more advanced male readers here. It’s just that none of the men I worked with in gov’t were writers, if you know what I mean :)

    Working in my own style without regard for critique was essential after I left the cubicle.
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Where does memory live? =-.

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