A Writer at Heart

If it is true that a writer writes what she knows, then it is important to know thyself. Finding your passion is the first step in authoring a book. You have to look inward to discover your passion. Intentionally direct yourself inward to discover the far-reaching roots of your thoughts and passions. Then you can more closely understand yourself, and if fact, become a better writer…writing from the heart.

Writers are passionate people, and we write about topics close to our hearts and about things that are on our minds. We use the written word to express ideas that originate within ourselves and have shaped our unique perspectives we write about. Hopefully, our words can inspire others and offer some form of entertainment or educative experience for the reader.

I abide by my four stages of writing a book:

1. Passion
2. Research
3. Editing
4. Refinement

Writing is a form of sharing yourself. Honor your vulnerabilities and sensitivities by coloring the page with your words driven from your passion. I find that if you know your heart, you will be a better writer. If you are in touch with your thoughts and passions, you will undoubtedly express yourself on the written page more eloquently. One who does not know themselves, or have interest in finding themselves will have a blank page.

Think of the computer screen in front of you like a mirror. What will it reveal? At first, perhaps you will dictate to yourself, an unorganized stream of consciousness. That’s okay. The more you follow that spiral inward to your inner thoughts and perspectives about all of the things you love to write about, the more organized and concise your verse will become. Think of a chapter in your book like a sculpture. At first you have an unformed mass of clay. It needs to be chiseled to reveal its intention.

Research is critical. It is important to research your topic in depth, so you are qualified to write about it from a credible perspective. So, once you know why you are drawn to a certain topic, whatever that may be, you can embark on the beautiful journey of studying more deeply, what is close to your heart.

The research phase of writing should be abundantly pleasurable, filled with insights, gained knowledge, and a desire to continue researching the very topic you are studying. I never write according to an outline. I allow the outline to develop organically as I write. Concern yourself with chapter organization later. Get it all out on the page first. Your passion merged with research forms a sculpture of a manuscript.

Now…you chisel. This is the editing stage, where you decide which sentences are superfluous stream of consciousness, or altogether irrelevant, and omit them. It is important to read your manuscript in its entirely, in order to recognize and embrace your point. Your point of view, or thesis, ought to resonate throughout your book. Anything off of that point should be deleted. Editing can mean adding or elaborating on certain areas, as well. This is a lengthy process, yet thoroughly enjoyable.

Once you are happy with your book as a whole, I advise (from one writer to another) taking a closer look. This is the refinement stage, where you soften the rough edges and create clarity throughout. Refining involves imaging who your audience is and crafting your writing to engage them.

Refinement can also be considered a mini-editing process. At this point, you should be pleased with the content, and refining the form. Typographical and grammatical errors can be corrected in this stage. You can also focus on sentence structure to make sure that you are communicating your point of view in a clear and cohesive way.

Lastly, press Save As. ☺

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