Friday, February 17, 2012

Writing with Heart

It's heart month!

I LOVE February!

I LOVE love!

I LOVE hearts!

My love of this month quadrupled upon the birth of my daughter, Annabelle, who was born with only half of her heart in 2010. In 2011, we spent heart month in the hospital, praying for a NEW heart. In 2012, she is doing much better, despite being currently in the hospital ER with RSV. Blah on that. (and thus the reason for my late post today...)

But through the last two years, I've learned something pretty big in my writing.

And it's about hearts too.

It's the the value of WRITING FROM THE HEART!

The heart is the seat of our emotions in our culture today. (Wasn't it the bowels in Bible days or something??? SO SO thankful we use the heart...)

So when we say, "write from the heart" it means that we are digging deep in our souls and splattering that on the pages. In order for us to evoke strong emotion in our readers, we need to pull from strong emotions as we write.

A tepid book is just not very fun to read.

That emotion will vary upon the author, upon the genre, and upon the plot.

The emotion can be fear, happiness, sadness, joy, passion, anger, anxiety, uncertainty, the list goes on and on.

A GOOD book will hit several of these emotions. YOU as an author should experience several of these while you write!

Writing, good writing, is a soul-seeking, bloody process. Even though I write funny romance, I still have to dig deep in me, in my experiences, and put my heart on the pages.

Use your life experiences, the emotions and deep feelings you've had, when you write. You don't have to "write" your experiences, but you write to evoke those emotions.

The last two years have been difficult for me, I'll admit. My family has gone through more than I'd ever wish on anyone. Congenital heart defects are awful, and they kill. (Did you know heart defects kill more children a year than all childhood cancers combined??) Seeing your child laying on a table, their heart beating in an open chest, is life-changing.

My hope is that God can use the things I felt, the things I LEARNED, to helps someone else when they read my books.

My books aren't about "heart" defects.

But they are definitely about the heart.

Discussion: What life experiences have you had that shape how you write? How do you show your emotions on the page?


Susan Anne Mason said...


I know this experience will color the way you view everything in your life from now on. I'm sure God will use you in many ways - your writing will be just one of them!

Praying for your little one!


Unknown said...

Hahaha! I did a triple take the first time I read "bowels" in the Bible, too. I'm with you. Heart is much better!

Lindsay Harrel said...

I think I'm a much better writer today because of things I've experienced in my life. It's really hard to experience difficult times, but those times help us connect emotionally on such a deeper level. And that is where a good book lives.

Praying your daughter gets better soon!

Anonymous said...

Poor little thing - all of you actually! What a trial!

I hope these life changes can bring light to your life in the long run.

Unknown said...

Krista, great post. Glad your daughter is doing better, and I hope she conquers the RSV quickly and gets back home with her family. :)

Some of the life experiences that shape how I write involve getting married in my late 20's when it seemed like everyone else I knew was getting married in their early 20's. Infertility also shapes the way that I write. The emotions and lessons learned during that season of my life impacted me deeply.

Thank for sharing today, Krista!

Casey said...

Writing from the heart is great advice, hard to apply, but a reader can tell when the author does!

Ruth Douthitt said...

Praying your daughter is better. I can't imagine experiencing that!

Yes, my writing changed when I became a mother...I wrote my first book as thought writing "to" my son.

I am a big believer in putting a piece of yourself (experiences) into your writing.

Great post!

Keli Gwyn said...

My heart goes out to you, Krista, every time I think about what you've been through. I trust the Lord to use it for good. I'm sure you're an ace at putting emotion in your stories as a result of your experiences.

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are amazing, Krista.
Through all you went through today you still wrote a beautiful post. What an example you set.
Praying for your little sweetie...and you too.

Angie Dicken said...

Beautiful post, Krista!

Heather Marsten said...

Krista, your daughter is blessed to have you as her Mommy. I am so glad she is doing better and glad to see how much love she has from you.

In my writing I am showing a healing journey from abuse through the occult and therapy to Christ. To show those emotions, I had to get into the memories of me at different ages - so I could explain the abuse in terms a seven year old, eight ... would know.

Have a blessed day.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I think your heart shows even through your blog posts! I love to "hear" you through your writing.