For many — most of us at one point or another — we want to please or make ourselves acceptable to someone else by causing them to feel a certain way. It’s not an emotionally healthy mindset if that’s the way one chooses to live, and it is the way many choose. To be honest, I was one of those, and in some ways I probably always will be. I’m getting better, which means I am growing as a human being and an author.
And writing makes a number of authors susceptible to that mindset. They try to make people feel a certain way, which creates a superficial relationship. In my opinion, the great authors communicate what they want, who they are or who they want their characters to be, and they do this without guessing how the readers are going to react to or feel about their words, i.e., they imbue their characters with real personalities, real emotions, and it’s up to the reader to determine their own responses and relationships to them. Good authors don’t change characters to elicit specific emotions from readers.
These thoughts were spurred this morning from my own Heart as we fellowshipped. Many times, in fact every morning now, Heart writes to me directly in my personal pages. Yes, my physical hand is moving, but the words seem to be directly sourced from Heart without going through my mind-soul processing, kind of a direct connection to Spirit. (I believe this could occur in many ways depending on one’s co-created Purpose.)
This morning I got this from Heart: “Be You, not Them, not anyone else.” Don’t try to fulfill the emotional needs of anyone else, whether in everyday relationships or for readers. We should each be determining and creating our own emotional choices. I don’t want to be dependent on others to fulfill me, only to enhance who I am, and hopefully, that would be mutual in a relationship of any sort.
Thinking about these ideas of emotions this morning, choosing to feel a sense of achievement today, as I did yesterday, I read a post from someone on Instagram that had the idea of writing twenty secrets about each character if the author wonders how to proceed. It wasn’t a new idea, but it was timely. I delighted in it, so I took the thought into meditation with me this morning.
I came out of that time with ideas that I liked, at least for today! And I thought that if I am writing the words of Eric and Anne Lafarnge in The Fellowship of the Heart, words or actions that give glimpses of their personalities and are part of their unrevealed secrets, then I shouldn’t have them speak or act out of character. I say this because for awhile I have been stuck in the same section of the novel, worried about how readers will feel about their current situation. I don’t care, as long as Eric and Anne are true to themselves.
Here’s part of what I wrote today. Anne speaks to begin with, and then they get into the physical and emotional positions to speak to their Hearts. The beginning of Eric’s account is given first.
“Yeah, I know, kind of weird in a way. I think it’s just because we haven’t been honest with that true self. So, are you ready?”
“I am. I have done this. I admit, though, I’ve been superstitious. I know my heart and our conversations were real. I just…It really doesn’t matter. I’m so glad we can do this together. Seems more real. I think…”
Anne whispered. “Shhh. Let’s do this, Eric.” Her eyes moved from him to the view out the window, devouring the sun glinting off the blue of the pond in the distance. Crows circled above it, cawing loudly, excitedly. Anne sighed, pulled her feet up into the chair and crossed them as she closed her eyes.
Eric sat back in his chair. Just before his eyes closed, he spied the dresser drawer where he had placed the journal in which he had written. He sat with eyes open for a few seconds, but then he heard Anne’s steady, rhythmic breathing. His eyes closed.
Here I am, Heart!
Yes, you are. It’s been awhile. You said you were ready to move forward weeks and weeks ago.
Yes, but you know me. You know I need to think through things, try them out. Like applying my discovery of my past and you to my work.
I know. But I know there is more to it than that, and so do you.
From their own fellowship with their Hearts, they will engage in a new phase of their relationship in the fellowship of the Heart. (I wrote a post a while back about the difference, and I discuss it in my upcoming ebook.)
I can impart emotions and responses to the characters, but I have no idea how readers will react. That’s not my responsibility to tailor characters to readers. However, my Heart is that the experiences and emotions revealed in the work will key others to tune into their own Heart.
I hope we will each know the joy of creating through choosing and living our own emotions.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!