While watching American Idol the other night I appreciated the advice of the judges. They told the singers to sing from their heart. And, if they didn’t they were just giving a performance. I knew exactly what the judges were saying. I could tell when one of those singers was really feeling what they were crooning. Even if they didn’t have the best vocal range, watching and listening to them was so much more pleasing when they believed the words they were singing.
As writers we would do well to take the advice of the American Idol judges. Write from the heart. I’ve tried putting on paper what I think someone else wants to hear, but the words are all phony and meaningless. More than once after friends have read my work they have told me, “You are all in your books. I can just hear you saying the stuff that you write.” Halleluiah! Of course I want my writing to reflect who I am. I could never be an author of supernatural horror, or fifty shades of smut. There may be a lot of smut in me, but some things are just meant to be kept to one’s self.
A couple of weeks ago a lady called me and asked if I would be interested in mentoring a young lady. The girl wants to write and illustrate a children’s picture book for her senior project. I was told that the young student is an artist and isn’t worried about the pictures but she needs help crafting the story. That young lady and I have spoken on the phone a few times but we have yet to meet. The main thing I want to instill in this young author is to be herself and write what she knows. That doesn’t mean she can’t use imagination because it is “her” imagination. Write what’s in you and people will take notice because it comes from your heart. I can’t wait to work with this young person and watch her grow.
Wouldn’t the world be so much better if everyone would just be their self and not try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? God made each of us from our own unique mold. Some are meant to be writers, others singers and some are crafted to be the best darn cook in the world. I’ve heard people say many times, “I wish things were the way they were when I was growing up.” Those were perhaps simpler days, slower paced, a time when neighbors were not too busy to venture over to the other one’s porch and sit for a spell.
These days most of us think we have to work from daylight to dark, and even on the weekends so we can afford a big, fancy house, a couple of nice vehicles, and a condo at the beach. Do any of these things really make us happy? No. They only complicate our lives. The more we possess, the more headaches we have. Listen to your heart, or conscious or that little person who sits on your shoulder. If we really open our ears I’ll bet we hear: “Whatever you do, let it come from the heart. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Sometimes little is much.”
One of my nieces thanked me the other day for just being me. What a wonderful compliment that was. When I am long gone from this world I hope I’m remembered for being just plain, ole’ simple me. A wife, mama and grandma who loves to write stories and inspire people to live a happier, Spirit filled life.
1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.