All writing isn’t created equal.
Language can be detached, loving, or even intentionally manipulative. It’s helpful to discern where the words are coming from.
Writing from the mind
The mind can be outcome-driven, wanting control and certainty. It likes plans and wants things to be clear. It might change camps overnight, flip-flopping between what it believes. Or overly rigid in its rightness.
There’s often an urgency of the mind.
It might start with:
- “I have to, otherwise”
- “I should”
- “I need to”
- “I can’t”
In the body, it might feel detached, scattered, uneasy, or disconnected. Heart-racing, ground-shaking, anxious, gut churning, chest tight.
Writing from the heart
On the other hand, the heart is often understated.
It’s a quiet inner voice and undeniable truth. There’s no shouting. It repeats quietly over time, staying consistent.
In the body, it feels solid in the core. Tingles through the legs. An upward-swelling movement of energy. Flowing around the chest.
Sensing into the difference as a reader
Imagine reading an academic research paper. Since the content is theoretical and unemotional, it might feel detached or mental to read. You might feel your brain working to process the abstract concepts.
On the other hand, imagine a creative person’s love for making their own clothes. Their passion and openheartedness comes through on the page. You find yourself leaning in to drink in their words and the way they express themselves. Even if you’re not really interested in sewing yourself!
It’s not bad to be writing from the mind-space
The mind is great for coming up with many options, for problem-solving, for moving towards a defined outcome, for conducting research, for playing chess. The mind can protect the heart with armor against strong emotions.
Yet the heart is the space we connect from.
We connect from the heart
The heart is where we feel. It’s the way you put your hand over your chest when you experience love, surprise, fear, or anger. Like when your kid or pet does something adorable, and you go “awww.” When you walk into a surprise birthday party you weren’t expecting. When your heart is breaking in grief after loss. Or when someone has said something hurtful. To calm yourself down before making a rash decision.
The resonance of feeling creates connection.
Words written from the heartspace, even if they’re not flashy, urgent, ultra-polished, or attention-grabbing, can go a long way to connecting with your ideal readers.
How to tap into heart-writing
Above all, self-exploration is helpful to become aware of your tendencies. How do you feel when you write? Are you rushed or under pressure? Feeling empty, numb, intrigued, frustrated, or alive with passion?
Let whatever you’re feeling flow through you. The sticky, forced, or loud language will pass, allowing for greater connection to what’s deeper in your heart.
Try to find relaxation with activities that slow your mind down. This can be through meditation, exercise, gardening, etc. Schedule some soothing time before coming into your creative practice.
Write for yourself. Follow the quiet spark. You don’t need to convince anyone about the validity of what lights you up. Feed your muse.
Keep writing, keep creating, and look for recurring themes of things that bring you joy or make you curious. The more you practice, the stronger your discernment will be.
If this concept intrigues you, I invite you to practice writing from the heart during my Story Journeying writing class.
Good luck, and happy writing.