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Do You Write From Your Heart ?

In this post Abhijeet Mukherjee from Jeet Blog (where he writes about tech tweaks, blogging tips and productivity hacks) asks ‘do you write from the heart?’

As professional bloggers, freelancers or writers, sometimes we tend to be skeptical about our own content. We tend to think more about external aspects like marketing etc (which we can always do after we complete the article) even before we start writing and consequently the quality of the article dips down.

However most of us fail to understand that the questions which come to our mind, which bother us when we start writing, are completely unnecessary and doing no good to us. Do the following questions bother you?

1: Will readers like my post ?

Why to worry about this when you are writing something. You just need to give your best shot, thats it. And it is important that you are satisfied with your work before somebody else. Remember these words of Swami Vivekananda:

“Each work has to pass through these stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.”

Hence your work will be accepted sooner or later if you put your heart and soul into it.

2: Has someone already written about it?

I’ll start with an example. Look at this post in Mashable.Then here’s a post by Amit. So what do you find?. Both posts have similar information about a similar product. Both are A-list blogs.But there is a difference in presentation of post. And thats what you need to understand. If there is something you discover, just write about it.

When you discover something and feel that it could be useful to your readers, don’t think twice. Nothing gets old on the internet. I have seen topics covered way back in 2006 in some blogs being repeated in A-list blogs after 2 years. What matters is the presentation of the topic and your own, original views so that you are not copying stuff and you are creating value for the readers. So just focus on your presentation. (Like Skellie says here, its not a matter of writing, but how you present things online ).

3: What keywords I should use?

This question could be the most distracting while writing.Yes, you want to optimize your post for search engines but lets think about those humans first who will read your post and about keywords after writing the post.When you write a post, it is not about words..its about thoughts…and your thoughts cannot be the slave of few keywords.

And after you unleash your thoughts, you can always try and check if some keywords might fit in the post.

4: Am I writing in good English?

Hmm… that’s a valid question. Not all of us are language experts.So what to do then? Here’s what Seth Godin said in one of his posts:

“Don’t let the words get in the way. If you’re writing online, forget everything you were tortured by in high school English class. You’re not trying to win any awards or get an A. You’re just trying to be real, to make a point, to write something worth reading.”

So as he puts it… Just Say It!

5: Will I become a successful blogger?

Different people have different definitions for success. However to achieve that you need to work from your heart. In fact you’ll find that the only in the work in which you get absorbed, you are able to apply new techniques and new ideas. So its a myth that heart and mind have separate point of views. They both complement each other.

I would conclude this post with a memorable quote from the movie Jerry Maguire, where Tom Cruise explains the importance of playing from heart to Cuba Gooding ,Jr.

Jerry Maguire- “Alright here’s why you don’t have your ten million yet. Right now, you are a paycheck player. You play with your head, not your heart. In your personal life – (points to chest) Heart. But when you get on that field — it’s all about what you didn’t get, who’s to blame, who underthrew the pass, who’s got the contract you don’t, who’s not giving you your love. Well, that is not what inspires people. That’s not what inspires people. Shut up. Play the game. Play it from your heart. And you know what? I will show you the “kwan.” I’m sorry, but that’s the truth. Can you handle it? “

What Jerry (Tom Cruise) said above is true for every profession in the world till date…. believe me.

So do you write from your heart ?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. SpaceAgeSage says:

    The heart holds the fire and the passion that fuels good writing or any other skill. I once heard the most amazing guitarist play at a nearby university. His skills were off the scale, but I realized he was totally into perfection and flawless technique. He seemed only to care about his relationship with the guitar and not with the audience or the music. He gave nothing of his heart and soul, so the performance came across as mechanical. I admired his skills, but not his playing.

  2. Effigy says:

    I try to, and usually do. But often end up second guessing myself after and wondering if the post is coming off too colloquial and casual. You know those dreams where you end up naked, and back in high school? Yeah, that – as far as feeling exposed sometimes goes, lol.

    “your thoughts cannot be the slave of few keywords.” <-This is made of all kinds of awesome; and I won’t forget it.

    Nice post, Abhijeet. And thanks for relaying it here, Darren.

  3. Thanks Darren for publishing the post and thanks Effigy. I happy from heart :)

  4. Helen B says:

    Great post. I think one of the other most important things to remember is that: no-one else cares as much about what you say as you do.

    Remembering that nobody else gives a damn is a great way of writing from the heart, in my experience!

  5. These are good points. I am not a professional blogger nor do I aspire to be one, but I do want to write a quality blog. I agree that it’s important to write about topics you feel passionate about, do your best and not worry too much about the rest. There’s so much advice out there on how to promote your blog that it sometimes distracts people from what should be their main focus: writing.

  6. Sheamus says:

    None of those questions bother me personally. Additionally, I’d argue that in the case of Problogger, a big reason for its considerable success is that the site reads very professionally, and avoids anything ‘written from the heart’.

    In my limited engagements with him and through what I have read between the lines on here, Darren seems a very personable chap, but as he’s made fairly clear in some of his support literature on here he tends to avoid bringing the real world into this site, and his posts.

    I would suggest that a big reason for Problogger’s popularity is the posts generally come from his head – inasmuch as they are shaped by his experience and learning curve, which he passes on to others – and not from his heart.

    Just to make myself a little clearer; I’m not suggesting in any way that Darren is not a great, heartfelt guy. Just that Problogger itself is not in any way a blog (or a resource) that I would consider was ‘written from the heart’.

    Just my tuppence.

  7. Sheamus, I would leave the answer to Darren but according to my personal opinion Problogger was always written from heart. I won’t disagree with you when you say that it was written from ‘ head ‘ because I have said in the post: ” its a myth that heart and mind have separate point of views. They both complement each other. ” Hence the heart factor was always there too.

    And Darren, I just checked , there are some missing links in the post. I have sent you an email.

  8. Great post Abhijeet. The first question is the one I ask myself again and again when writing. I have a lot of post topics that I would enjoy writing about, but I’m not always sure that my readers would enjoy hearing them, so I pass on them. Have to be ruthless with the answers to these questions. :)

  9. Sheamus says:

    @ Abhijeet – thanks for your response. Fair comment. I’m possibly confusing your usage of ‘heart’ or am slightly too cynical in my old ways. I guess for me a blog ‘written from the heart’ would be packed with more effusives and emotion.

    I think Darren’s contributions are clearly of a good nature and intent and therefore could be seen as being written from a good place – i.e., his heart – but I would argue that this site has a more professional feel than that. Less a journal, and more a guide.

    But I concur that heart and head can mutually co-exist with no loss to the impact from either. :)

  10. Troy Duncan says:

    My first draft is written as natural as possible and from the heart.

    My second and third drafts go through a checklist that includes keywords, spelling, and grammar.

  11. Farfield says:

    Good post. I think readers will always feel if a writer is sincere, and really believes in what he is writing. Rather than just writing something to make money.

    I hope to write that way.

  12. rick says:

    Writing from the heart, what rings true for me, is crucial in my writing.

  13. Excellent post.

    I write from my heart every time. My goal is to share what I know, from my unique perspective.

    Our time is limited on this earth. What legacy do you want to leave? If you knew you only had a few months to live, would you worry about what keywords are in your posts? No – you’d want to communicate from your heart so that others lives improve because you lived.

  14. Luke says:

    Hi Darren,

    I write just about every post from the heart. My opinion is that I think given my content (problem solving and life skill development) you can become too detached and methodical which doesn’t speak to people. That said, I am not certain a ‘heart first’ approach would be good for every blogger. I think as you suggest, it’s content dependent.

    Thanks.

  15. Ben Barden says:

    Good points, but I would dispute the point about good English. Sometimes I find it very difficult to understand the point a person is trying to make because their language is so difficult to understand. That’s not to say I think everyone should write perfectly, but you do at least have to write content that others can interpret. My advice on this point would be to write clearly and avoid unnecessary jargon.

  16. jhay says:

    Writing from the heart has always been the one lesson taught to me by my editors back the good old highschool days.

    So far, it has been working well for me.

  17. Thinkjayant says:

    Certainly put heart above everything else. Like famous cricketer Sachin Tendulkar always quotes, “Stay at the crease, runs will come” similarly focus more on the passion that drives your heart, and fame and publicity will follow suite.

    Abhijeet, I liked your blog very much. Keep up the good work.

  18. Ryan Mac says:

    I try my best to blog from the heart, because I blog about something I am really passionate about…and that is finances.
    Thanks for the post

  19. OldSailor says:

    A thought provoking post to boost the morale of bloggers who are new and in doubt how to proceed further.

  20. Great Post Abhijeet!

    JeetBlog has taken off really well with in a very short period! Good Job.

    I totally agree with you. Many new bloggers fail because they worry too much about the future. They try to count the chickens before they hatch.

    Lord Krishna says in the Geeta, “Do your Duty – But without Concern for the Results”.

    This should be the first lesson for a new blogger who wants to become successful.

    This is one point I wanted to mention in a post that I am still working on. The post is called “101 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers”. This post is published in 5 parts. Today I posted part 1. The post can be found at

    http://www.webspear.com/blogging/101-habits-of-highly-effective-bloggers-part-1/

  21. Thanks Everyone ! I am glad you all liked the post. Aaron, I am surprised that you have read Geeta. Nice.

  22. Good post, but I have to take issue with point number 4. When your writing is riddled with spelling and grammar errors you risk undermining the credibility of your work on the whole. Yes write from the heart; this is essential in developing compelling copy. But then edit your copy ruthlessly before you publish. There are plenty of free online tools to check spelling, grammar and syntax etc so there is no excuse.

  23. Kevin says:

    Really nice post Abhijeet. I think writing only from heart won’t help you at all. There must be a combination of heart (60%) and mind (40%).. % may vary ;) From heart, you will always write something original, something in a different way..however mind will guide you about how to tweak the content to make it more effective. I completely agree with Seth Godin.

  24. I write from both. Some of my blogs are slanted towards the beginners/meta blogging population, so I try to write extremely comprehensive and resource-laden posts.

    Others of my blogs are for interest/niche reasons, and I will jot down the best resources I’ve discovered that day. If I can, I’ll tie them into my daily life to add flavor and voice to the writing.

    And still others of my blogs are where I write my ME posts – what’s going on with my life, my goals, how many new bruises I gathered from my BJJ classes, Camp Ling 2008, etc.etc.etc. For me, those are some of the most fun to write.

    I’ve discovered it really helps to have several blogs so that no matter in what mood I am, I have a concrete outlet at which to write.

    Data points,

    Barbara

  25. suresh says:

    Wonderful and straight from the heart.
    Every blogger has to sit back and think before delivering.

  26. Cookiemouse says:

    Good post. Recently I’ve been thinking more and more to simply write about what I really feel and think. Of course keywords etc. matter, but they should not overshadow the real need to communicate from the heart to the hearts and minds of others.

  27. Mr MultiVar says:

    I post when I have something of value to say that should benefit visitors to my blog and be a natural progression towards the goals of my business.

    Thinking about what others may have written about before or other negative thoughts are not a consideration

    Better to have the confidence in what you are blogging about and just post as though you are teaching something that you are convinced is good for your readers.

  28. Hi Jeet,

    Just as I posted a comment on your blog, this question is practical but mostly ignored by bloggers.

    Do you write from your heart? I am still a new blogger (around 6 months old) and my off-line fiends are wondering where the hell I get my topics and why it seems like a flash that my topics seem to be endless, esp. for my family related issues blog.

    I am just a simple family man, not a child of family psychologist though. However, my experience in life brought me to share wonderful things about families.

    So what’s my point? Using the heart to find something to write and use your mind how you could write it well.

    If you really want to share something without thinking if it will sell or not, the mind will be tired of thinking, but the heart will not stop from feeling.

    Darren,

    I wish a post like this will be allowed here again. Thanks for allowing Jeet.

  29. Aravind says:

    I’ve found myself in a situation where i see ‘the post i was about to write’ published in another blog/site.
    But, then i felt happy that someone else had already said it to the world. I then, don’t blog it (which Abhijeet says “don’t do”).
    I’ve to think over it, thanks Abhijeet for that point.

    And next, I am unable to post many nifty tips or tricks because it doesn’t go well with the other posts i’ve made. I very well know that, I’m losing many of potential posts in this way.
    The Result = Low Number of Posts…

    AND ABOUT BEING SUCCESSFUL
    I Blog. It’s my Passion.
    My primary aim is to share what i know and initiate some healthy discussions.

    I don’t expect huge traffic in these early days of my blog (which is too late!!). But, still, I blog.
    Blogging makes me feel contended. Blogging makes me, ME…lolzz

    @ Abhijeet: Great to see you writing for ProBlogger. WIshes for a great future.

    @ Darren: We love you, we love you…

  30. Ulla says:

    Writing from my heart? A good question! Yes, I think I do it. In my blog I try to present the pictures I like because they reflect a certain mood, or could transfer some information about Berlin, the city I live in. They are important to me, and I hope, they could mean something for other people as well.

  31. It takes time and practice for one to start writing from his heart.

    I must not fail to thank you greatly for providing your fans with such a wonderful article.

  32. David Airey says:

    Hi Abhijeet,

    Great job on guest authoring for Darren. Thought I’d stop by and leave my congratulations, and I hope you get a few new readers because of it.

    All the best.

  33. Thanks all again ! ( Sorry not taking individual names, there are too many :)

  34. Tammy says:

    You must be a mind reader, as a new blogger on the scene I have felt pressure of all of the above. I think to myself what if no one cares or is interested in what I write about. But really I am not in it to impress anyone, I just enjoy blogging. I do not want to be a cookie cutter of other blogs of my type but when I find something that interest me I do sometimes write about about it as well. But that is what makes blogging so great you can take one subject and find 10 different spins on it with most all opinions have something great to contribute to the subject.

    I find it very easy to write from the heart. You just can not worry about what other think, just blog. Just my humble opinion.

    Thanks for bringing the subject to light.

  35. Budzer says:

    Really nice post. I always stuck with all the point mentioned above. So, I ended up staring at my monitor doing nothing.

  36. Metro says:

    My heart bleeds for the “kwan”. Thanks for the inspiration.

  37. Virginia says:

    My heart and head are the same. And I write from that standpoint. In Chinese, the character for mind is made up of one for thinking and one for feeling. when I discovered that character–I felt a big YES! in reply. In writing for people in their 40s,50s,and beyond (but not exclusively…I’d love anyone to read and enjoy my blog) I am encouraging the idea that heart and mind are one. And I am encvouraging people to return to their hearts to rekindle their inner fires, Schooling, notions current in the time folks of these ages were growing up and other forces, worked to make people cut off from their hearts and be head only. Weirdos like me were always out of step with that way of being. It is such a pleasure and joy to be in a new world where heart is valued as well as head.

  38. Caleb says:

    #2 is something some I talk with don’t understand. They sell themselves short with the thinking that “somebody I already wrote about it”.

    It’s the unique viewpoint that matters ;)

  39. zowoco says:

    Yes, I almost always write from the heart. When I want to plug an affiliate product I don’t feel I can do my sales pitch justice unless I have already bought the product for myself and am using it to good effect in my daily online activities.

    When I write about marketing and business strategies in general I always connect to something I have done or am implementing. Then I can write with authority which is experience.

    When I write about self improvement I draw on my general life experience that I pick up along the way. If we don’t write from the heart what is our writing but shallow dross that will fall by the wayside.

    Think of all the great classical writers, poets and playwrights we revere: their work endures because they wrote from the heart. They innovated, did not copy.

    Read more from the heart of online marketing tips at zowoco marketing.

  40. GolfSpy X says:

    So true! Great point.

  41. I must write from the heart. It won’t work any other way. Of course, I don’t write for money either.

  42. Mia says:

    good post and I must say that I sometimes I just blog with my head instead of my heart. I think head and heart must be 2 become 1. Language sometimes do get in the way, like how to spell it in other words.

  43. Avinash says:

    Great post Abhijeet. Terrific blog as well. Keep up the good work.

  44. There is an old saying but probably true, “do what you love and the money will follow”. Meaning not that we will all be rich, but that we can probably make a living out of doing what we love if we try.

  45. Sangesh says:

    Well, I always wrote my articles which I felt from what I feel and what I feel is right. Everything in my blog is straight and straight forward. I do not hurt people’s feelings. About the articles in my blog, I try to write about as much unique article as possible.

  46. Christina says:

    Abhijeet…wow…thank you for echoing all that goes on in my mind and heart, as well! My blog is new, right now I’m getting zero views and no clicks, and while alot of that may be the ‘layout’ etc., I think much of the reason may be my subject matter. But I am writing about what I believe in with deep passion and conviction, and I will not alter that for increased traffic or monetary concerns. Solid encouragement, thank you again.

  47. I think that writing from the heart is great. I have often been told that this is one of my talents. I just write what I feel. Eugenia Renskoff

  48. Dave Hughes says:

    To me, it goes back to one of the most basic pieces of advice a blogger can receive…”blog on a topic you’re passionate about”.

    If you do that, it’s almost impossible to NOT write “from your heart”…heaven knows I let mine bleed all over my MMORPG blog. Why?

    Because I care about the topic I’m writing about.

    I think this was an excellent piece, because if you’re asking yourself ANY of those questions while you’re writing…well, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons in my opinion.

    To me, writing is an activity that something inside you makes you feel you have to do…success is just a potential by-product.

  49. I agree with you Dave and like I posted:

    ” If it doesn’t come from you then where will it come from?
    Will it come from advanced Google searching…
    Will it come from PLR articles…
    Will it come from advanced plageurism…
    Or will it come from your mother…”

    Only that which is original will truly endure the tests of time.

  50. Syed Balkhi says:

    When I am writing a blog post on my blog I don’t consider whether users will like my post because it is my blog and most of the stuff I post is written with full passion. Majority of the times my readers tell me if they don’t like something in the post.

    Which helps me to write better the next time …