Writing from your Heart

People say I should write about my autistic children, and I have to some extent in my best of year book, Seasons of the Soul. However, there are stories I keep in my heart about them, especially my youngest high-functioning, verbal son. 

I could write a book about the days and nights my husband and I sat on pins and needles not knowing what his behavior would be like. Praise God! He is better and now lives in a group home. We see him twice a week. All is well but I cannot tell you how difficult it is for a mother with a special-needs child to let them go. To tell you the truth, just writing about it here is heartbreaking.

So, when others tell you to write about certain topics, don’t do it if it is not in your heart. I knew if I shared our story (which could help others) opened up our family to the public and the publicity could hurt my disabled son. 

Recently, I heard about an author who wrote teen novels but her heart was not in her work. She now is entering a new genre – one she is comfortable with in pursuing. 

Many years ago I heard this man on the radio. He would advise listeners on business and recommended to callers to not choose a profession based on the money you could earn but, instead, go with your passion. If your love is writing, then write or whatever else interests you. Of course, there are times you need that paycheck but do not forgo your passion.

Author Stephen King was a teacher and pursued his writing in his downtime. He started with short stories before his novels were published, and he became a household word. Nothing comes overnight.

I laugh when I think about my first book. I was so excited and thought everyone in my community would line up around the block for my book signing. I had a good turnout, but it never matched my expectations. 

You have to work for what you get. No one is going to give you anything. I just wish some young people would realize that. Anything done well takes time.

Coming from a journalism background, I had to learn the technique of writing fiction. Think about it. A journalist reports what happens. He does not include emotional reactions, such as her heart raced as she climbed the dark-narrow stairs. A reporter only reports what he sees and hears.

So learning how to write fiction was like going from night and day – two totally different arts. But my education has not stopped, I continue to hone my craft each day. You need to persevere. 

But you also need to be realistic. If you are writing poetry, the odds of becoming a poet laureate are not good. However, what you can become is a poet who reaches someone’s soul or uplifts them. My one sister-in-law writes and makes her own birthday cards. Each line of poetry rhymes, but what is amazing is how she captures that relative’s personality. We look forward to these cards and they warm our hearts. Remember not all value is monetary. Sometimes it inspires others, provides comfort and helps ease their pains. This is what my books, Seasons of the Soul, and Lockets and Lanterns, have done, according to people who purchased my books. 

In closing, remember to write what is in your heart. Nothing is quite as satisfying as to pursue your passion whether on a part-time basis or a full-time effort. God bless. 

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About janetsyasnitsick

Visit blog for writing, marketing tidbits to dazzle your creative endeavors. New book: Courtships and Carriages, a sweet Christian romance, (two proposals but who wins Gwen's heart?). Other works: Ruth Ann Nordin's and Janet Syas Nitsick's anthology, Bride by Arrangement; Janet's five-star, inspiring-historical romance, Lockets and Lanterns; 10th place story, "The Silver Lining;" and Best of Year book, Seasons of the Soul. Background: former journalist and language-arts teacher. www.JanetSyasNitsick.com
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9 Responses to Writing from your Heart

  1. poetry joy says:

    This is sound advice, Janet. To write from the heart and follow our passion, whilst mastering the craft, is a wonderful idea. In time expertise will grow and words will flow. We can spoil the process if our only aim is to be published. As Christians, our primary goal is to write as the Lord inspires and directs and seek to be a blessing and encouragement to others with our particular gifting.

  2. msclear106 says:

    I agree with so many things you said in this article. As a writer you should write in the genre that you are comfortable with if that is your passion. It’s your story and not everyone will understand and embrace it.

  3. Thank you for sharing from your experience Janet.I believe your ideas are valid.

  4. Peggy Kube says:

    Janet, I myself happen to have had the same experience with autistism, except mind was with
    having an autistic brother. Terry was born in 1955. Back then there were not group homes,
    there were institutions. Mom and dad could not handle him at home due to Terry’s temper
    tandrums. So…..after years of test, which proved Terry had the mind of a 4 year old, his
    learning would not advance for his going to school, He was entered into an institution
    in Lynchburg, Virginia. He remained there until he was 51. Only then could I find a group
    home suitable for his type of autistism. That was two hours away from us, but the most
    wonderful mother and daughter owned that group home. We lost Terry at 56 years old.
    I miss going to see him like I don’t think I even missed mom and dad when they passed,
    though that was quite much. He was the most wonderful guy. He was a surviver. They
    told my sister and I that was because Terry loved his family, and he loved those that
    ran the group home. He was happy. That’s what kept him going on.

    I wish you blessings, prayers and the good Lord’s grace. You deserve every little bit
    of courage and strength that the heavens can muster. I know; I’ve been there.

    • You know their love is genuine. I have one who is verbal and high-functioning, and the other is nonverbal and low-functioning. Each tugs at your heart in their own way. The verbal one is in a group home because he became aggressive. However, we see him twice a week. It is good your brother’s last days were in a great environment, and you got to visit him and see him happy. They bring such joy. My first book, Seasons of the Soul, includes a spattering of accounts of my sons. Many of the Lord’s blessings to you.

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