Friday, July 13, 2012

Life Lessons—The Heart of a Writer

by Reba Hoffman

Writers are a very special breed of human being with an incredible responsibility. Why? They are the keeper of the words and words are the most powerful creatures on the planet. They can change the course of history in an instant. They can change a person’s mind just as they are about to jump off the ledge. They can also start a revolution.

People live and die—emotionally if no other way—by words. And writers are the ones who are gifted at stringing them together. Each time you write a book, story, paragraph or email, you are letting arrows fly into the air. Eventually they will find the heart of another and pierce it.

That is why it is so important that writers like you and me prepare prose when our hearts are right. Have you ever fired of an email in the fit of the moment filled with zingers about just how you feel? Within moments, you wish you could recapture that moment in time and make a different decision.

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And writers speak through their words spilled in ink on the page. When others read them, they are changed… for better or for worse, but they are never the same. That’s why it’s so important that our hearts are pure.

When our words reach others’ eyes, there must be an absence of malice. I admit there have been times when I was so upset at someone, I wrote all manner of evil against them. I made them one of my characters and wrote their life miserable. Ohhhhh the joy… But once I got the emotion out of my system, I deleted the murderous words and was able to continue on my writing journey without the ill feeling in my heart. That’s actually a very good emotionally cleansing exercise. As long as you hit “delete” at the end.

Writers feel emotions at a deeper level. That’s what makes you a writer and draws you to put words on the page. It also causes you to be predisposed to taking out your frustrations and expressing your pain in your prose. If you know this, you can easily set up checkpoints to make sure your heart shows up pure on your page.

There’s no greater feeling than to know you touched someone’s heart by words that issued out of your own. Make a positive difference!

In what ways has the outpouring of your words on the page impacted others? Share it here!

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching (  She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman


  1. Edie, thanks for introducing us to Reba! Reba, thank you for the reminder of the power of our words. May we use them for His glory!

  2. Kristi, thanks for stopping by! I knew Reba would be a good fit for all of us here on my blog. Blessings, E

  3. Ah, Reba, so true, so true. Our words carry so much power. Thank you for reminding me.

  4. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Reba. I recently posted something that had a far broader reach than I ever anticipated. It humbled me to hear that a thought-turned-devo from a couple of weeks ago would have such an impact.

    Like I tell people -- cast your bread onto the waters of cyberspace, and trust God to get to the person who needs it. He will do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine!

  5. Thanks for this wonderful reminder to use our words for good, not to get back at others. If I follow my own wait-24-hours rule, I'm usually good. But sometimes, I just don't want to. That's why hanging out here is another good rule. : ) Thanks, Reba and Edie.