Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Write from your heart.  Even if two people in your critique group say your book isn’t commercial.  So what?  There are plenty of uncommercial books out there that are getting good reviews and winning awards and finding their way into children’s hands. 

Write from your heart.  Even if your husband isn’t sure who the audience will be for your story.  Who made him an authority?  Write the story that matters most to you.  The one you couldn’t imagine not telling.  Write recklessly, ravenously from your heart. 

Protect your story as you would your own child.  Never let anyone harm it.  Never let anyone dishonor it or dishonor you for having the courage to come from your heart.  Draw your story from your deepest well.  Drop a bucket into your soul.  Even if you have to do it one thousand times.  Drop a bucket into your soul and pull, pull with all your might.  Use every last bit of strength that you have as an artist, as a teller of the truth.

Never waver from the conviction that the story you want to tell is the one you should be telling.  Not to say it can’t be improved, not to you say you’re not open to suggestions.  You know it’s not perfect.  You know it still needs work.  And you’re willing to do the work.  There’s nothing you love more that improving the story that you were born to tell, the one you can’t stop thinking about, can’t stop creating, you know, the one that comes from your heart.


  1. Brilliant, James! Tell the story only you can tell.

  2. So good. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to think: will this sell? What is it's marketability? Great reminder of why we do what we do.

  3. A manifesto every writer should read. Thank you, James.

  4. Wonderful, James! Especially since I have 2 first draft documents open on my computer right now languishing with many of the insecurities you list above. Thank you for posting!


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!