TT's Ten Rules of Writing #6 (Writing Tip #77)

Thinking is overrated.

It really is.

Here’s why: because the voices begin to multiply and echo and scream and shout.

Soon you start getting a headache.

I like to joke that I can’t believe I have to use my brain this much on a daily basis. That it’s the main tool I use in my job. That’s a scary thought since it’s, you know, my head.

Over the years, I’ve met a lot of smart people who probably are smart enough to write a book. But sometimes I think that their head gets in the way. They’re too analytical or too practical or too careful or too something-or-other.

They think WAY too much.

I feel I use something else just as much on a daily basis.

Okay—this will sound corny, but I’ll just say it.

I use my heart as much as my head.

The head part—the thinking part—that’s what constructs sentences and scenes. The use of nouns and verbs and adjectives and all that. This is what builds and shapes a novel.

But the real true heart of a story is its—er—well, I just said it.

The heart is what matters. (Cue the Celine Dion song)

If you want to go into technical writing, then—then why in the world are you reading my blog? But if you’re into telling stories and writing fiction that moves somebody, you gotta do more than just think. You gotta feel. And you gotta stop thinking so much.

Sometimes I go overboard in making it all about the heart in some way. Yes, I have to use my head and my skills acquired over the years. But still—the heart is what matters.

You can’t go to school for that. It’s either there or it’s not.

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