Friday, February 20, 2015

Writing Life Lessons—Write From the Heart

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

There's never been a better time to be a writer.
There’s never been a better time to be a writer.

Newspaper and magazine publishers are closing their doors. Large, traditional book publishers are consolidating, merging, and discontinuing some imprints. Booksellers are going out of business.

Wait! Didn’t I say there’s never been a better time to be a writer?

That’s right. There’s an increasing demand for websites, internet publications, streaming video, and more. In addition, eBooks are steadily taking greater market share, offsetting the decline in print books. Readers are more accepting of independent, self-published authors. This all adds up to more opportunities for writers to be published and earn a living from their craft.

Don't get caught up in the idea of writing for dollars.
With all these positives, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of writing for dollars. Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get paid for our work. And it’s certainly okay if we get paid very well. But when writing for money, we run the risk of producing work that’s just good enough to get that check. There are thousands of people doing this. A cursory scan of the internet confirms this.

I believe one reason for the preponderance of low quality content on the web and between the covers is a shortage of professional writers. Our society pushes math and science, almost ignoring the language arts. As a Sunday school teacher, I see the evidence in my classroom. Our kids can play video games and text-message back and forth on their cell phones, but they struggle to read even a simple passage in the Bible.

Another reason for inferior content is there are many businesses and consumers who aren’t willing to pay for quality work. They’re unwilling to demand or pay for high quality text. So they only attract those who will write for pay, but won’t pay to improve their craft.

Heartfelt writing results in top quality work.
May I suggest our best writing will come from a deeper motive than monetary reward? Heartfelt writing results in top quality work. When we write with passion, we can’t help but choose each word with absolute care. We won’t settle for good enough. It must be perfect. Rarely satisfied, we will often write and rewrite until someone tells us to stop. And even the finished product leaves us wanting to change this word or that.

Our deep sense of wanting to do our best drives us to hone our craft as well. We take classes, attend seminars and conferences, and practice, practice, practice in a never-ending effort to be the consummate writer. No matter how much we know, we always want to know more. And we always want our next manuscript to outshine the last one.

So if you’re looking to earn a living as a writer, strive to be the best you can be. Whether fiction or nonfiction, find a reason to love what you’re writing. Then write from the heart.

Do you find you write best when your passionate about your subject? Let’s keep the conversation going.



Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family,, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.

When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.

“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”


  1. Thanks for the encouraging message, Bruce.

    Write on!

  2. I think it's not just a matter of meeting the minimum requirements to get paid. It's also a cultural stance on part of the public. Nowadays it seem fewer and fewer people are willing to engage with texts that push them a bit out of their comfort zone.

    1. I agree, Peter. I believe the waning emphasis on language arts is a big contributor to this problem.

  3. I lost an 's' in Nowadays it seems... Sorry.... =)

  4. I "spew from the heart," which means that the first draft needs major revisions before I can produce a "workable draft." Many readers do not appreciate heartfelt stories with honest emotions; they want thrills, danger, and violence rather than an exploration of what it means to be human. Still, I must feel passionate about what I'm writing or I wouldn't be able to put a single word on paper. I'm not afraid of hard work or tackling difficult issues. I am afraid, however, that my books will not live up to the expectations of today's readers.

    1. Linda, I understand what you're saying, but encourage you to continue writing from your heart, even when rewriting. If we all start writing for what we perceive the world wants now, we'll soon all become writers of video games and the like.

  5. This is just what I needed today as I slog through revisions on a book. Thanks for the virtual kick in the pants. It is for HIS glory and the children that I write.

    1. Thanks Miriam, I'm happy to be of service. I also believe you are right where passionate writing needs to be reborn, in Children's stories. I think we writers need to do all we can to encourage children to use their imaginations instead of letting the entertainment media "imagine" for them.

  6. Thanks to all who gave me a +1. I encourage you to write from the heart and stimulate the imaginations of our readers.