Write What You Love

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a red pen on white paper next to a wiggly line with a heart at the end

Oh, hi. Today, we want to take a moment to talk to you about the single most important thing in the world.

Love.

Gif of Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants looking adoringly at someone with pixelated hearts all around

Yeah, yeah, we’re raging hippies hellbent on mobilising the world’s writers and artists into a glorious revolution to save humanity from itself. Don’t act all surprised.

Because after politics and technology and progress and war and all the other stuff that humans seem to think is their ‘real’ work, the only thing that is left is love. Love is, indeed, all around, and love will, in fact, save the day. (Sorry Joy Division, you were wrong on this one).

And love starts with you.

It starts with loving yourself and the creative work you do, not by making some huge declaration but by setting a quiet intention to stop being so goddamn horrible to yourself all the time. And it starts with our fave writing mantra:

WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE

Because what’s better than that, really? What’s better than immersing yourself in a fictional world full of magic and emotion and pain and humanity, and feeling like a GODDESS because you created it? What’s better than seeing your words on the page and watching your fictional characters walking and talking and being real?

Not a lot.

‘Cause sometimes writing isn’t always the ecstatic joyride you wish it could be. Sometimes the words don’t flow and everything feels wrong and you wonder what you’re doing this for.

But all that effort is a million percent worth it if you’re working on something you love. Something you believe in. Something that you feel deep down in your bony bits. Something you can always get excited about, even when it’s tricky.

Glorious writer human Vanessa Gebbie calls this ‘finding your writing theme’:

“I think the things that make us all human are our own preoccupations, our own experiences that lead us to […] be we are at this point in time. That has to inform our writing and so therefore the things that are preoccupying you at the moment — it may not be consciously and [there] may be preoccupations that go on for decades — but they are bound to surface when you are ‘in the zone’, and the sort of writing that you do will circle around those things.”

Find Your Writing Theme — Vanesa Gebbie

On the flipside, if you’re breaking your brain trying to write something because you feel you ought to— something to try to impress people; something trendy; something that just doesn’t feel like you—then chances are you’re gonna run out of steam (and love) pretty quickly.

‘Cause it really all comes down to finding that Fundamental Nugget of Human Truth in your work. What do you WANT to write about? What do you know? What do you feel? What do you have to tell the world? What makes you zing with excitement every time you sit down to write?

Writing what you love means reaching deep into your frickin’ soul and pulling out the wiggly bits. The bits that won’t sit still. The bits that want to be seen by the world and shout “LOOK AT ME! THIS IS WHAT I AM!”

Because we guarantee 100% there’s someone else out there who will look at your soul laid bare and think, “Wow, I thought I was the only one… I’m not alone.”

And surely that’s what it’s all about, right? We write because we’re a part of humanity and we’re interested in why people do the things they do. We revel in all the problematic and glorious complexities of our species. We are anthropologists. So find what it is that YOU know about humans, or life, the universe and everything, and write to your strengths. Someone, somewhere, is out there, waiting to read what you have to say.

Gif of cartoon people holding up letters that spell out 'love is all you need'

WHAT NEXT?

READ THIS: Need an extra boot up the backside to help you find the love again? Try this blog: Get Excited About Your Writing Again and, uh, well, get excited!

DO THIS: Want to discover your writing theme and find out how to write from the heart? Try our Write What You Know course and get truthy with it.

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Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis

Sarah is one half of Writers' HQ. She writes a lot of short bios about herself.
A happy woman sitting on a green sofa with a laptop. Lovely kitchen in the background. I'd be happy too tbh

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