Since it’s Valentine’s month, it seems fitting to focus this month’s posts on writing what we love.
What does that look like exactly?
If I am passionate about a subject, I want to dig in order to find the truth. I seek out those with more experience. I research, interview, read, and watch. If I am enthralled by a story, even an imaginary one, I pour myself into the characters, putting myself into their skin so that the emotions I conjure seem real. I get to know them on a deep, personal level and, therefore, can write in a way that embodies authenticity.
We all have different interests and passions and I’m grateful for that. We need every genre and style to make a well-rounded whole. Literary fiction isn’t better than romance; nonfiction doesn’t trump fantasy. We need them all and I’m thankful for each writer out there who is following their instincts.
In fact, “write what you love” should be expanded to “write from a sense of calling.” We might not love all the things God has called us to write, especially if they are difficult or emotional topics, but it’s up to us as writers to be obedient.
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius advises his son Laertes, “To thine own self be true.” I think this can be applied to us as writers. If we aren’t writing what we feel called to write, we aren’t honouring God.
Writing what I feel called to write means not writing to fit someone else’s mould or in a genre that is currently selling well. Trends come and go and we can easily find ourselves writing to please the marketplace instead of writing to please God. I believe one of the biggest traps we can fall into is comparing ourselves to other writers. You know … that deadly comparison game we so often like to play. Allowing envy to rise up when we look at someone else’s “success”; feeling like a failure because we don’t have as many likes, follows, or reviews—this is rarely productive and, quite frankly, is a lie from the enemy himself!
God is the master of infinite variety, and He has made each one of us unique, with different passions, expertise, and influence. Embrace the one-of-a-kind voice He’s given you and then pursue it with unapologetic abandon.
That is what writing what you love comes down to.
Tracy Krauss has more than 20 books and plays in print and has successfully launched several titles onto Amazon’s bestseller lists for sustainable periods of time. She has taught seminars using this model and hopes that what little insight she has gained can be used by others. Website: tracykrauss.com