I’m blogging chapter by chapter through a great book on the art of writing by James Scott Bell. I encourage you to pick up a copy of “The Art Of War For Writers”.
Tip #21 in the “Art of War for Writers” from James Scott Bell is: “Put your heart into everything you write.”
How do you know if you’re putting your heart into your writing? It’s like this, Bell says:
Heart = Passion + Purpose
Passion means heat, and strength of feeling,
Purpose means you know what you want the reader to feel,
Heart means directing passion so that it serves your purpose.
He then gives two examples of authors who did just this: Jack Kerouac, whose book On The Road became a clarion call to the beatnik generation. And Ayn Rand, whose book Atlas Shrugged still shakes and shapes the political landscape to this day. Both books ironically were published in 1957, and both continue to fly off shelves sixty years later.
Because they wrote their books with heart. They believed in what they were writing, and they cared about their craft, Bell concludes.
It’s hard to imagine people would take the time to go about the business of writing if they didn’t believe in what they were doing, but just survey your Flipboard, and look at most of what’s thrown up on the blogosphere and you’ll see that it happens all the time.
Additionally, it’s my thought that blog-writing has become so formulaic that it has almost a gravitational pull that sucks away creativity and passion. (Why, I think I’ll go out now and write a blog: “5 Steps For Recovering Your Passion To Write”.)
Bell has a simpler suggestion. Make out a list of things your passionate about. Then make out a list of your favorite book and movies, reflecting on how they make you feel.
Hang on to that emotion. Now pick up your pen, and write like that.