Write with the Heart: How to Put Emotion in Your Writing
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Wish you could put more emotion in your writing? If you’re worried you’ll sound unprofessional or you’re just plain uncomfortable showing feelings, here’s some good news: it’s okay to write with the heart. In fact, it can bring life to your writing, engage your readers, and free your spirit. But there is a catch—showing emotion on paper must be done with care in order to work. With Valentine’s Day nearing, why not let it inspire you to take your feelings to the page. These ideas will help you write with the heart:
Remember to Show
You may be tired of hearing the mantra “show don’t tell,” but in order to write with the heart, you have to take those three words to heart. When you let readers tap into the senses by showing rather than telling, they’ll feel what you’re feeling, no explanation necessary. And that makes writing with emotion easier for you and more satisfying to experience for the reader.
Make It Relatable
Exposing your emotions in writing is a lot less intimidating if readers get what you’re saying. Gushing over something that no one but you cares about or can relate to won’t draw readers in and keep them interested. In fact, it might turn them off. When you write with the heart, make sure people connect with your feelings. In other words, always keep your audience in mind.
Be Honest and Real
Emotions in writing can come off as overdone, contrived, or fake if they’re not heartfelt. Whatever it is you’re describing should actually touch or move you. Think of people who feign emotion and feelings in person. It shows. The same thing will happen if you pretend on paper. Be real and true to yourself, and writing with the heart will come easily, naturally, and credibly.
Follow Up with Your Head
When you write with the heart, the initial draft can sound pretty raw. That’s why it’s important to take a second, third, or even fourth look at your work. You might even set your writing aside for a day or two. Then go back and edit with your head—tone down your words, fix sentences so they flow better, and make sure your point or message filters through the emotion.
Don’t be afraid to show your feelings on paper. Done with care, writing with the heart can be highly gratifying and inspiring for you and your readers.