April 14, 2013

The Business of Writing from the Heart and Writing Short

I’ve learned a couple things from writing the live concert review over the years.

          1) Just start.
          2) Keep it short.
It sounds like the perfect sermon.

When I began writing I assumed that before I penned  the first word I needed to do a ton of research to back up my points. I would read for hours, and find all kinds of wonderful and intriguing information. Then I would try to squeeze as much into the article as I could.

But there was a problem with that ‘viewpoint’. Looking back I can see that I was just sharing ‘points’ without my ‘view’. I was dumping knowledge but it probably ended up in the landfill. People aren’t usually impressed by facts.

I feel that people do not read for knowledge as much as they do for affirmation. We read to find ourselves on the page. We are always looking to validate our own unique pilgrimage. Have other people taken similar detours? Have they experienced the same kind of defeats and doubts as we have? If we find ourselves in a story, fiction or non, we feel validated. We find a niche in the spectrum of humanity and so we have hope to continue.

Therefore, when I start an article I pour out my feelings and impressions first. Later, after the first draft, I check my facts and I research to be sure I am credible. Heart first, facts later.

The second thing I’ve learned is to keep it short.  My first human interest story was several pages long in the newspaper. I’m surprised they printed it all! And I’d be even more surprised if anybody actually finished reading the epistle.

I’ve noticed that I like to read really short pieces and if it looks too long I will just skim for key points. Now I aim to treat my readers the same way I want to be treated. Hey, this is starting to sound like a sermon. 

Just get started. And keep it short. 

Pam Mytroen


  1. I feel validated by your article, Pam, because I can identify with it. Sometimes I've let myself get carried away too. You are right in saying we can over-research an article, which waste writing time. It also can overwhelm us with sooo much information that we could write five articles instead of one good, short one.

    I love your suggestion to start with how you feel about the book, play, music, idea. Then do some research to get some facts or check your credibility.

    Well said, and thanks!

    Lovely photos. Family?

  2. This was spot on! You're right - people don't read lengthy articles as much as they used to. this goes for newspaper articles, reviews, or even blog posts. I also really loved the idea of writing from the heart first and then checking what ever facts you needed to later. Smart!

  3. Thanks girls! I feel 'validated'by your comments, too, ha, ha. Sharon, they are friends of ours. Nice to hear from you.


  4. Funny - I used to do exactly what you did when I started a community paper a few years ago - lots of research and information crammed into a feature article. I doubt too many people read it all, unless the subject was one dear to their hearts!

    Thanks for sharing that - I need the reminder about writing from the heart.

  5. I loved your reminder to write from the heart first, and then gather up the needed facts for back up.

    I've learned that the hard way too.

    Thanks for an enjoyable piece.

  6. Thanks for the reminder. I know a lot of writers who want to cram all kinds if facts into their writing. Even in fiction works, this can become a problem.

  7. Pam,
    Exactly. Precise - interesting, informative. People need something that catches their eyes and makes them want to take the TIME to read further.
    Thanks for this,


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