Wednesday, March 6, 2013

IWSG: Have Heart

 
It's the first Wednesday of the month, so you know what that means ... it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting. IWSG was created by the awesome ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can find out the other members of the group here.

Have Heart

Since the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, I haven't been able to get Kathleen Grissom's "What doesn't come from the heart, can't reach the heart" line out of my head. It's had me reevaluated what I write and how I write.

After my critique partners' comments on Act I of Starred, I had to reevaluated the story. The heart is still there, but it needs more. A different starting place, perhaps, and have the characters already know each other. That requires more pondering and simmering. Plus, I still need to solidify the musical I'm writing for it. I hope to get back to this novel in August, unless plans change again.

Then, there is Twelve Days of Foxwick. It's a Fantasy Romance set in my Foxwick world. I was going to write it last year, but I ran out of time. I had planned to start writing it again in April, but every time I think of the story, it makes me feel ill and nervous. I do like the idea of it, but my heart isn't in it. It's not exciting me the way The Loveless Princess does or my short story collections set in Foxwick's world do. So, for now, I'm shelving the idea indefinitely.

Instead, I'm putting my heart in the projects that are calling to me. I hope to have The Loveless Princess finished soon. Well, the first draft, that is. It'll be awhile before it'll be ready for people to read beyond my critique partners. I'm excited to keep working on The Phoenix Prophetess as well as the short stories in Men of Foxwick. I have added Neighbors of Foxwick, a short story collection, to my list of 2013 goals as well, since I may have extra time to start those short stories.

True, it'll mean a bit less to publish this year and will take a few projects longer to be ready, but it'll be worth it. I'd rather take the time to make sure they have heart.

Are you following your heart when it comes to writing?

On a side note, Friday's my birthday, so I'm taking the day off from the blog. So no Friday Flash this week. Also, I'm taking some time off from the day job, so I may be a little slow in commenting. My home internet stinks, so I often don't get online much when I'm at home.

40 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

Oh, yes, you definitely need to put your heart into everything you write. If you can't feel the words, others won't feel them either!

Hope you have a great birthday!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Have a great birthday then!
If your heart and passion aren't in it, it will show. Focus on what moves you now. Better a couple great pieces of work than many average ones, right?

stu said...

I'm trying to, but I have noticed a correlation between the extent to which I love a piece and the difficulties editors have with it.

SA Larsenッ said...

That is a powerful quote. Really makes you think. I guess if you (we all) live our lives by that quote and write by it then we'll make a greater impact in the world. Having 'a heart' or love for the story I'm writing is a must. That's why I can't ghost write. I've been asked, but if the story is not inside of me, coming from some place I consciously ignore but subconsciously wants to be seen/heard, then it just doesn't work for me.

jaybird said...

You are always so prolific in your writing, it will be nice for you to take a moment and give yourself a little break.

Following your heart is great advice. Whether it's in writing, the real world or in general. I am guided by my heart in just about everything I do. Sometimes I think I should give my head a chance, but my heart always wins! LOL

Happy Birthday Cherie!!

L.G. Smith said...

Love that line about heart. It's true I can't write novel-length fiction if my heart isn't in it. I have to feel some emotional tug that I get through the main character to see it to the end. If I can't feel it, how can I ask anyone else to?

Catherine Stine said...

That quote is so true. Not only is it important to write with heart, but each scene must have a core and a heart. I used to force myself to continue a novel that I wasn't necessarily feeling. Not any more.

Catherine Stine said...

Oh, and happy birthday!

Mary Maddox said...

I agree, better to follow the ebb and flow of your creativity than write to a rigid deadline. But then, I'm a slow writer.

Have a great birthday!

Nicole said...

Yes, the heart is a wise guide. ;)

farawayeyes said...

What an absolutely excellent quote. Now I feel better.

M.J. Fifield said...

That heart line is brilliant. I'm certainly trying to follow my heart. I think for the most part, I'm succeeding.

Christine Rains said...

I completely agree! If your heart isn't in it, it isn't going to be your best. Write what you're feeling, and then send me TLP so I can read it! Hehehe. Usually I always try to follow my heart. I've tried to force it sometimes, and it never once worked out for me.

Jeff Hargett said...

I'm a firm believer in 'write what you love' first and foremost. And that can (and should) be applied to all the connotations it implies.

Happy birthday!

Al Diaz said...

So we share the internet pains. You are right. It is very important to make sure our projects have a heart. Otherwise they will lack life.

kmckendry said...

Have a Happy Birthday!!
I seem to have lost heart in some of my projects as well, so I'm trying a few other things for the moment. Good luck with all your projects.

Patricia Lynne said...

Heart is always good to have in your writing. I have a story I've shelved as well because my heart's not in it. No idea if I will ever open it and work on it, but maybe one day.

Happy birthday too! Enjoy your cake. =)

Jai said...

That quote is so true.

Have a wonderful Birthday!!

nutschell said...

Heart is the most important thing in writing. I think you're on the right track.
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Lexa Cain said...

It's wonderful that you know where your heart lies and how to access it. Good luck with Loveless and Phoenix, and I hope you have a terrific birthday! :-)

DL Hammons said...

I love that quote! I'm writing it down right now!! :)

Allison said...

You have to pick the story you're most excited about!

Allison (Geek Banter)

Cathy Keaton said...

Happy Birthday, Cherie, in advance! Taking the day off sounds like a great idea. Time to relax.

I think I'm writing from the heart. That is SUCH a good thing to remember to do. I will have to be sure I'm always doing it. Great post this week! ;)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Have a great birthday Cherie. Hope the coming year sees the fulfillment of all your dreams. Hugs.

damyantiwrites said...

I can't write what I don't love, because the writing won't come. I'm willing to have it reviewed, edited rejected -- as long as I learn and improve. But that first draft has to come from the heart!

Sonnia J. Kemmer said...

Hello from "Blogging from A to Z April Challenge!" Following all fellow writers. I believe I'd learn a lot from them. Have a great day!

Sonnia J. Kemmer

Camille Picott said...

Happy birthday! Hope you have a great few days off.

I think it's great that you're shelving the stories that aren't "speaking" to you. I had to do that last year and I know it was the right thing to do. I am just picking up those pieces now and I can tell they are ready to be front and center.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you have a great day of celebration!

Writing from the heart is the only way to go. I am excited to be getting into Champion in Flight, so I feel like it's the right time, but I do have these lingering Captain Wrath moments . . .so on those days, I take off from CiF and dive into Wrath-mode. It means it will take me a bit longer to get done with CiF, but I'm ok with that at the moment.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I love that Grissom quote and I agree one hundred percent!

Brinda said...

That's one great quote!

I recently attended a class with Margie Lawson (writing coach). It lasted 5 days and was intense. Students take a complete manuscript to deep edit with six other students. I started my manuscript three different places while there. :)

Amy Jarecki said...

Happy Birthday, Cherie! Yes, I am following my writing heart and loving it!

L.G. Keltner said...

Happy birthday!

I agree that you should focus on the projects that are calling to you. The result is always much better that way.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

I definitely follow my heart when it comes to writing. A lot of the time it tells me to stop writing and take a break.

Gwen Gardner said...

Oooh, writing a musical sounds interesting. Wish I could.

Right now, I'm more interested in my novella than editing my second novel. I wrote my novel during BuNoWriMo last June and it's a complete mess. Kind of don't want to edit it, lol!

You've made some hard decisions. That other stuff will be waiting for you should you decide to go back :)

DMS said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you are having a wonderful day!

I love your goal of having heart in your writing. I can see why you keep coming back to those words. Something to think about. Happy writing. :)
~Jess

Julie Flanders said...

That is a really powerful quote. And a good thing for all of us to remember!

Happy, happy birthday to you!! Enjoy your long weekend. :)

Medeia Sharif said...

Happy birthday!

I work on the ideas that I'm most passionate about. I put manuscripts on the back burner if I'm not feeling them.

sjp said...

I always write with my heart, if I don't I just end up hating the words, even if it means I start a new project every month :S

Heather Holden said...

First off: Happy birthday! :D

Secondly, I completely agree about how essential heart is to a story. It's impossible to work on any kind of project unless your heart is in it, I've learned, even when something else seems more logical to work on creatively...

Emilyann Girdner said...

It will be worth it to take time so they have heart. That will make you and readers the most fulfilled. Thanks for mentioning this; it is good for us all to think about :)

P.S. Sorry I am late on this, but Happy Happy Birthday =)