#writingcraft: Listening to My Heart

image by canonim @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/canad/

Everyone has an in-built guide. It’s a voice, a knowing, a nudge that guides you from danger.

Some people have developed it and some haven’t, but everyone has it.

Listen to your heart. In every issue, listen to your heart. It may save your life.

~ Madam Ova Sabi

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I recently started following the blog of Madam Ova Sabi. I like her no-nonsense approach to philosophy and how she applies it to everyday life. The timing of finding her blog was a little uncanny. I was wrestling with so many parts of my writing that I was seriously thinking about relinquishing all thoughts and hopes of writing anything worthwhile ever again. I felt I had lost the ability to write the way I want to somewhere along the way.

The quote above saved me from dumping all my notebooks into the trash and deleting all digital file having anything to do with the writing craft. My heart and soul were in those pages no matter how badly they had been written. Who I am and what my essence is, is woven in those words, although maybe hidden well.

I had been pushing myself incessantly with this idea of writing for several years now without any sign of substantial success. It started out all right. I even got a first draft completed. Yet, trying to even attempt to do any revisions had me questioning every letter of the alphabet I had used and my motives for even undertaking such a project.

I put the project aside and started another one, thinking I just needed that first one to rest a little longer. I struggled with that second project as well. The encounter was something I had not come across in the first project. I was not as sure of how I wanted to write this second story. Should I stay a little back from the characters or should I get deeply into them? Which part of the story should be the plot and which part should be the subplot? By the time I was past the first part of the tale I was thoroughly confused and had to shelf the whole thing.

Looking back, I do think my heart was in the project but I was unable to let go of what I was hearing from others.

Once again, I went for a new project, hoping I could find something that would unleash my passion. With the third attempt, I went for making a colossal switch in genres, going backward in time. My objective was to use what the great classics had to offer in a way to make my own story. I mistakenly assumed it would make the process easier. Maybe it would have been easier if I lived next door to, or even in the library. Without transportation though, I was stuck using the internet, which does not have someone like a librarian to help you find what you are looking for. My struggles with facts became too much after just five chapters.

There is a possibility that I was ignoring my inner voice with this third attempt.

That was when I found Madam Ova Sabi’s blog and read her post on “Listening to Your Heart.” What I like to write is about those things in everyday life, those moments that sometimes are missed so easily. True, they do not always make for a book but it is writing, nevertheless. Questions about commonplace events enter my mind frequently, and if I give them a chance, I can find plausible answers too.

As I stated though, writing about these questions and answers may not make a book. However, there are magazines and newspapers that might think my dribble is worthwhile. All of it would be coming from my heart, which I would think would be so much easier to follow than the cerebral mess I have upstairs.

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Do you listen to your heart?

“Believe in Your Heart

Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

 

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20 Replies to “#writingcraft: Listening to My Heart”

  1. It sounds frustrating, to start something and not finish it. Like you, I don’t bin the writing I’ve written or the photos I’ve taken, good or bad. Who knows, one day you may be able to come back and rework it. I do listen to my heart more and more these days. We’re all individuals and we all deserve to be happy by doing what we want to do.

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    1. It is more than frustrating sometimes, Mabel. It gets to the point where it is infuriating and yet, I have nothing but myself to blame it on. Summer here in the US brings a little equanimity to my life somehow and I am hoping will spark my imagination into gear.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know more than a handful of people who consider their writing goal to be working on a novel, or finishing one (setting it aside and moving on). There’s a lot to enjoy about the writing. I don’t know if that counts for ‘listening to me heart’!

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    1. My opinion: It does not really say someone is following their heart. After all, I could profess to be getting back into web graphics just because I know how to do it and change the layout of my blog periodically. It does not mean I am a web graphic artist though. I would think listening to one’s heart requires follow-through.

      I think many people follow the words of others. I know that has been my hangup. Learning to trust my own judgment is hard for me.

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  3. I do listen to my heart. I figure, that way, even if lots of people don’t like what I’ve written, I still will. An author friend of mine always seems to be able to find facts that about things where I have inserted a comment like “I wish I knew more about this…” He searches Googles ‘Books’ area. You might give that a try.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When you see your search results, there should be line that has options like “All” “Videos” “Images” “News” etc. Sometimes you will see “Books” on that line. If not, look for “More” – open that menu and you will see “Books”

        All that does is filter the results to books, but it presents items that may otherwise be 10s of pages down in your result stream. Plus, if Google has scanned the book, you may be able to read relevant portions on line.

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  4. I believe I do listen to my heart, and it speaks to me of my past, my present, and my future and the people who have impacted them. It speaks to me of the beauty and wonder of nature and the seasons and of lessons I’ve learned by living. So that is what I write about. Those unrelated bits first became newspaper columns and then i collected them, organized them around a theme, wrote new material to supplement them, and they became a book. Perhaps if you write about the “Questions about commonplace events enter my mind frequently, and if I give them a chance, I can find plausible answers too.” you will someday discover you, too, have enough bits to become a book.

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