Hello, everyone! Today I’m really excited to have Micaiah Saldaña of Notebooks and Novels share on Only by Grace 😀 Micaiah is a lovely Christ-daughter who has truly inspired me in blogging and following Jesus. She’s also a wonderful writer with lots of wisdom, some of which she’s sharing with us today 🙂 Over to Micaiah – may her words bless and encourage you!
Last summer, I had the tremendous honor of having my short story “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” published by One Teen Story magazine. In an interview with the editor in chief of the magazine, Patrick Ryan, I was asked what the best bit of writing advice I had ever received was. My answer?
Write the story of your heart.
I strongly believe that if you write the stories of your heart, your stories will be richer, deeper, meaningful, and entertaining. Anyone can write a story. Only a few can write stories that dig down into the reader’s soul and leave a lasting impact. I believe the people who do this are the ones truly writing the stories of their hearts.
If writing the story of your heart is so important… Then how do you discover it?
It can be very hard to discover the story of your heart. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in other stories that it can be hard to find this story. But with a few good questions, and a few good answers, your heart’s story can be found. Here are three questions that will help you discover the story of your heart.
1. What makes your heart hurt?
It may sound surprising, but pain is one of the greatest inspirations for a writer. Take a look at the pain in your life. Think of causes that make your heart hurt. And then pour it onto a page.
One of the things that everyone can relate to is pain of some sort. Pain is what makes our stories relatable. Without pain, there is no conflict. And when it’s pain that you’ve felt, it comes out even more real and heartfelt on a page. It will give your work more depth and meaning. And sometimes, it’s good for us to process the pain we feel through writing. I for one know that writing out pain can help heal it, and maybe even help others heal it as well.
2. What makes your heart sing?
While pain can help us find the story of our heart, so can the things that make our hearts sing. Think of things that bring you joy, that make you want to dance with glee and skip about. Write about those things, and incorporate them into your story. Your readers will be able to feel your passion and joy resonate from the pages because you felt them so deeply.
3. What story do you want to read?
Lastly, what is a story you want to read? If you could think of any book that you would want to find on a bookshelf, what would its characters be like? Its plot, its themes, its setting . . . Write your dream book. Write the story that you want to read, not what you hope others would like to read.
There you have it. Three questions that will help you discover the story of your heart. Now, tell me in the comments, what is a question that I’m missing? =)
About Micaiah: Micaiah Saldaña is, first and foremost, a passionate follower of Jesus. When she isn’t lost in the stories she writes or daydreaming about typewriters, you can find her reading just about anything YA fiction, spending time with her friends and family, and drinking lots of salted caramel hot chocolate. You might be able to catch her rambling on her blog, Notebooks and Novels, at www.notebooksandnovels.com – that is, is she hasn’t made her way to Narnia. Yet.
Yay!! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us, Micaiah 😀 Chat to her in the comments below and be sure to visit her at Notebooks and Novels!