How to use feelings to become a great writer

Photography by Ilya Shishikhin | Unsplash

Feelings shown through words are in fact one of the super tools of writers! I say one of the super tools because at the end of this read I will introduce you to another tool that makes you, a great writer.

It’s like being in a toolshed looking around at all the tools you have available.

So why on earth would you try to fix you and your feelings when instead, you can use feelings as a jumping point for what you are writing? How? Let me show you a three-step process.

This text is taken from the first episode of my daily podcast series called “For the Love of Storytelling”. Get your daily dose of love for storytelling here:

3 tools for writing with feelings

Unless you are writing a manual for an engine, everyone who writes can benefit from using feelings as a jumping point. It is the essence of storytelling. To have you feel as I did when I experienced something. Or, inviting you to feel something to entertain you as much as it did me when I wrote it. Feelings are an invitation to experience life.

I promised you three tools to turn your feelings in to great writing. This is how you use feelings as a jumping point for your writing.

  1. Acknowledge. It’s like being in a toolshed looking around at all the tools you have available. “Oh look, I have anger in me. Interesting. Is there more? Sadness and frustration. Ok, is there more? No.”

Just because you are not happy, doesn’t mean you have feelings you have to fix. Just get a sense of what is available to you at the moment. What if they were tools for you? Your inspiration expressed through emotions.

By having this attitude you are looking at what’s right about the feelings instead of pushing them away, thinking they are wrong.

That is what we are taught, isn’t it? Those unhappy feelings virtually have you on the verge of depression, should you acknowledge them, and that is why they have become the monsters under our bed. Growing bigger every time we don’t shed a light on them. Which we do, when we look at who are available. Nothing is hidden when you acknowledge what is there. When you fight them, that is when they become the monsters some of you feel trapped by.

2. Write it out. If these feelings belonged to someone else, what would their names be? Not anyone you know, just make a short story out of it. You will be amazed as to how much words you get out when they are powered by feelings.

Maybe you can test out these feelings on a character you have already started writing on? Just don’t overthink this. The whole point is to write out your feelings through someone else so you can observe the feelings and as a bonus, you might get more clarity.

Hidden behind these feelings, who have grown into the size of monsters are gems which are the foundation of your unique writing voice. Being that you choose to write, and maybe even some of you feel like I do, it is not a choice. It is a demand from within me, your words have power and are more effective when written than spoken aloud. Unless it is a manuscript you have written yourself, of course.

3. Establish your aim. So now you know what feelings are available and you have started to write them out. Next step is to write down in a sentence what you are aiming for which should become somewhat clear to you right about now. If not, here are some questions to ask yourself.

a. Is this for a book?

b. Is this for my website?

c. Is this for social media?

d. Is this for later? (If this feels right, create a file called “Later” that you can visit whenever you are unsure of what to create next).

Allowance as a superpower

I have found that my allowance of all my different feelings is the second superpower I have as a writer. Not only as a friend or a mother but actually as a writer.

To do creative lines of work is a weird way of working. If you are in allowance of yourself and what is your ideal way of working it is easier to be productive. Others can work from 9-5, but they tend to have a lot of chat time in between and they have meetings to go to. You work intensely for two-three ours and then you need to listen. In episode 5 I will go deeper into what true listening does for productivity and piece of mind.

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