Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Seekerville Welcomes Birthday Blogger Joyce Magnin

What The Heart Knows

Here’s the thing, my mother was one of the funniest people I ever experienced, although I don’t think she ever knew it. She had a way of finding puns and sarcasm that would crack me up. Mom had a rather skewed point of view. Yet she never laughed at her jokes and sometimes failed to see the humor in what she had just said. If she laughed, it was in response to our laughter. I’m not saying she was unaware; she had a simple way of knowing. She never considered herself smart, although she was, having to drop out of school in the eighth grade to care for her family. Other than her Bible I don’t think I ever saw her read a book unless it was a story to a child. She could draw and paint and arrange road kill into lovely centerpieces if called upon. My mother could sew wedding dresses and decorate cakes, she could repair pretty much anything, and had a green thumb the size of Nebraska. Yet, I never remember her looking for answers or even following directions. My mother just did it. She told me once that she simply paid attention and followed her heart. Here’s what I learned from mom—the heart knows things.

Writers have rules, many, many rules and most of them are made to be broken, except of course for grammar rules which are sacred. One such writerly rule is, “WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW.” I believe it’s number three, just under Show Don’t Tell in the rule book. But what exactly does that mean? Write what you know. Does it mean if you are say, a cattle rancher in Texas you should never write about the Spanish Inquisition, having of course never participated in an inquisition? Or if you are a mom with four kids you can never write a lovely romance between two neurosurgeons? Or when was the last time anyone actually slew a dragon? Now don’t get me wrong, if you do happen to be a cattle rancher and you want to write about the Spanish Inquisition, you must do research. You have to take the time to learn your subject matter, that’s different from writing what you know. Research is key to a writer’s success and her ability to create verisimilitude in fiction.

I think the Write What You Know axiom is less literal than some take it. Like Mom said, that heart knows things. I may have never lost the World Series but I have lost. I know about grief and so I can write about it—no matter what the setting. Because grief is grief in suburban American in 2011 just like it was in France in 1923. My heart knows joy and sorrow. My heart has instincts that keep me from making terrible decisions or sometimes plunging full steam ahead into an open manhole. Your brain can learn facts and that’s great. But the heart, the heart holds the real truth.

Now, this isn’t to say that it’s sometimes a good idea to write about the things that interest you or speak to your heart. A cattle rancher might be naturally drawn to writing a Western romance and that’s great. A doctor might be drawn to writing medical mysteries because it’s what she’s experienced and knows the subject matter so well. But I suppose what I wanted to express is that Write You Know is not always about what you’ve done, or where you have visited or what you do for a living. Write What You Know goes deeper than that. Consider what your heart knows and bring those truths to your story. If you’ve known grief, don’t be afraid to revisit it and use those emotions and feelings to heighten your work. If a man has known great joy he can write about childbirth. If you’ve known isolation you can probably write about being imprisoned. If your heart has been broken, you can write about many, many things. Write from where the heart has been.



Joyce Magnin is the author of The Bright’s Pond Books from Abingdon Press including The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow which was named one of the top five inspirational books of 2009 by Library Journal. She is also the author of the middle grade novel, Carrying Mason. Joyce writes a column about middle grade fiction for Christian Fiction Online Magazine and is a frequent conference speaker. She teaches writing to pretty much anyone who wants to learn. She lives in suburban Philadelphia with her son their crazy cat Mango who shares in the editing responsibilities.


Today our birthday guest, Joyce Magnin is giving away copies of Bright's Pond, Blame It On The Mistletoe, Griselda Takes Flight and her middle grade book, Carrying Mason. That's four winners.

Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.






Thank you Joyce, for being with us and for your generous spirit!

95 comments :

  1. Hi Joyce! I definitely can say I literally Write What I Know. Even though I'm not a story writer I do blog and I love to write about books I enjoy and occasionally about my other hobbies like football, antiques, my dogs etc. :-)

    I'd love to win any of your books!

    Thank you so much

    XOXO~ RENEE C.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think "Write what you know" is kind of your brand, Your brand is the kind of person you are that somehow shows up on the pages of every one of your stories.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Miss Joyce, from May. Please say HI to Mango for me. I like cats! And we have something in common in that I'm the author and Mom does the editing... It works. BOL (barking out loud)... :)

    Hey Joyce, KC here. LOVE LOVE LOVE this last line: Write from where the heart has been. Wow. I'm so glad to have read that before heading to bed. I think that is just what I needed to read tonite! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have the coffee pot set for 3 a.m.--the super size one.

    Thanks for the upbeat take on this, Joyce.

    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Joyce! You're right. We "know" so much more than what appears on the surface, and it's that deep knowledge that causes emotions to resonate between the writer and the reader.

    It's interesting that you write for two different age groups - do you find that you change your writing at all when you switch your audience?

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Joyce! Back in '97 I shared with my cousin how I wanted to write and her response was "Well, they say write what you know" I walked away from that conversation with my heart broken. Not that she meant to hurt me, but I was a mother of four small children what did I know? It took me almost 10 years to listen to my heart and start writing.

    Thank you for sharing such a great post.

    Christina Renee

    ReplyDelete
  7. Joyce, I've just been introduced to you (here!), and I like you already. :) Your fresh perspective on "write what you know" answers questions I've been pondering.

    When you said, "Consider what your heart knows and bring those truths to your story." it opened up so much for me in my understanding of this writing rule. Thanks so much for posting! I'm going to print this one and refer back to it when I need some encouragement. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Mary C.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, that was powerful! The heart knows... Thank you for that post, and I agree with KC that it was great to read right before bed!
    And Christina, I entered a contest this year with a ms that had a small child in the first few pages. Every single judge mentioned how REAL the little kid seemed. Um, yeah! Because I've got a lot of those around! :) I'm sure you take those hours, days and years of hard mothering work and turn it into beautiful writing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. a wonderful posting...thanks for the chance to read joyce's great novels, too :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Virginia, that's exactly what I thought. Powerful. I have read Joyce's post three times and I hardly know what to say but none less it impacts me and just leaves me thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  12. And WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, JOYCE!!!

    This is Joyce's first visit. Let's make her welcome.

    I think we should bring out the big guns, bagels and cream cheese!! The Asiago ones from Panera.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Joyce, excellent post!!! I think this is something every writer should learn. ;-)

    Please enter me!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hate that you said this better than I ever could, but I love that you said it!

    It's the relativity theory in emotions. And it works beautifully. Joyce, great job!!! Awesome.

    I firmly believe in this, the tap into your emotions and experience to carry over into a story. Thank you so much for being here, and sharing your beautiful story of your mother. Dave's dad left school at 13 too... worked for 45 years at Eastman Kodak and retired from there.

    Helping his family came naturally to him, so I totally get your mother's objectives. Wonderful!

    And quick aside: When life hands a writer a large number of hairnet and nametag jobs, it's amazing how much fodder you gather for when your writing career takes off.

    SEIZE THOSE DAYS. That experience shines through later works!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Consider what your heart knows and bring those truths to your story.


    What a fascinating interpretation of a somewhat stifling rule. Thanks, Joyce. I love this.

    Given what we're writing, aren't those kinds of knowing far more important than facts which can be researched?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great post, Joyce. Very thought provoking. Thanks for taking the time to share with us!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, Joyce here,thanks for all the comments so far, kids. This is going to be a great visit. I'll be in and out today as much as I can.
    Melissa, I like that--what you know is your brand. It's often what we're passionate about. May, Mango says Hi, back and thanks for the touching comment before bed. I'm honored.
    JAN, sometimes I think we are like icebergs. Most of who we are is submerged. That's the joy of writing. It allows us to resurface stuff from time to time. And yes, my writing does change depending on the age group--but I would say, my voice changes most.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Joyce!

    I agree with Virginia this is a powerful post. The heart knows...brought tears to my eyes. When I started writing romance I heard the old "write what you know" and felt crushed. I've never been married or really in any kind of relationship. What do I know? But then I was reminded I've loved before and lost and won... and like you said the heart knows.

    Thank you so much for this post. It inspired me to get going today.

    --Kirsten

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think it's very simple--to write what you know--simple and difficult. It takes courage. And Christina? A mother with four small children knows many, many things. And BTW, it's not always about the present. Jeanne T. Thanks for your comment. Sometimes life is about perspective and writing is about moving debris for a clearer view.
    RUTH, hairnet and name tag jobs, I love that. Sometimes what feels so trivial and unimportant is exactly the most important thing. God has a way of showing up in these things and teaching our heart stuff we didn't know we needed.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, Kirsten, here's the thing, we can all write abut love. It's not simply romantic, is it?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Joyce,

    Thought provoking blog post!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 5, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Great post Joyce! I really like your perspective on Write what your heart knows. Great advice!

    I brought some tea and scones to go with the bagels and coffee!


    fantum2004ATsbcglobalDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello, Joyce!

    Love your picture in the black and white with tinted shoes!

    Your mom sounds a lot like my grandma. A LOT. Except, I’m not sure my grandma is aware that what she says is funny.

    I love this post, Joyce. How many times have we all heard “write what you know”, and it does have merit. You need to know about what you’re writing, but you can do research for that. You don’t have to lose heart if you have an awe-inspired historical in mind, but oh no— you weren’t there! You simply can’t write it.

    Write what you know, and if you don’t know, research.

    Whitney

    ReplyDelete
  24. Joyce, welcome to Seekerville!

    Your insight blows my mind. What The Heart Knows is such loaded subject matter. If I just listened to my heart more, I think I wouldn't get into as much trouble as I do, LOL!

    Your mother sounds like a lovely person and an exceptional role model without recognizing it herself. My grandmother was like that. You're a very fortunate lady for having experienced your mother's inner wisdom.

    Man I wish stuff came that easily for me!!

    I write what I know and I know the western/ranching way of life. Makes sense, I live in Colorado.

    So why do I have this profound emotional attachment to 18th century British gypies?

    What the heart knows can blow your socks off if you just listen, right?

    ReplyDelete
  25. How about crepes and blintzes for breakfast? I'm overflowing with berries of every kind on my kitchen counters so let's put them to good use!

    You can pile them high on the bagels and cream cheese too, Tina!

    Yumbola!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh yeah, I love breaking the rules!

    Linda, your mom sounds awesome. What a blessing she must be.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ah, this is such a sweet article.
    Your mom sounds like a very special lady.

    You explain so well what it means to write what you know. It would be scary if I could write only what I've lived.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anyone have Cranberry Scones? Clotted cream? Not sure what that is, but I like it. Sounds gross. I just made another cup of coffee. I'm loving the comments. Here's the thing, writing what we know to be true in our hearts, our heart of hearts can be dangerous. Sometimes the story we are working on requires us to revisit places we'd rather not. But for me, the only way to write true is to risk.

    ReplyDelete
  29. You're right, Joyce. 99 percent of the time requires us to visit places we don't want to.

    ReplyDelete
  30. revisit that is...ripping that band aid off the wound.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Joyce, Welcome to Seekerville, Great points on the "write what you know" issue. I had to laugh about the dragon slaying.

    But those universal truths you mentioned are what bring our characters alive and help readers relate to them.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  32. So true Joyce! Just what I needed to hear today! Lovely post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I second that Tina, sometimes when I go deep POV it requires me to go places I don't want to go to draw out the pain of the hero.
    Joyce, welcome to Seekerville.
    I'm curious to know how Mango shares in the editing. =)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Joyce, your mother sounds like she could do anything. Just goes to show that an education does not always mean that someone is smart. Shoot, I know people that have a degree in something, but have no common sense at all! Would love to read your books. Welcome to Seekerville Joyce!!

    Helen, 3 a.m. for coffee? I slept through that!

    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  35. Joyce, I'm so glad you came to share today. Your words are inspiring and your mother's wisdom priceless. I love the thought provoking responses you've gotten here. Lots of great truths being shared. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Write what you know is a touchy subject (or can be) can't it? It's a GREAT place to start, but I love the rest of the phrase, learn what you don't. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great post, Joyce! I love how you changed that phrase to "write what your heart knows." Because in spite of varied experiences, what unites us all is the same heart desires and emotions. Your books look charming. Thanks for offering them here. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Joyce, I like your perspective on this subject. Books would be boring if we all just literally "wrote what we know."

    Like you said, how many of us have slain a dragon? Or fought in the Revolutionary War? Or been a supermodel rock star? (OK, or just a rock star?) The stories might all be different, but the emotions are all the same, because we're all people.

    I'd love to win any of your books, so please include me in the drawing.

    ~Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  39. Waving to Joyce!!!! So great to have you here! (Joyce and I were debut novelists together with the launch of Abingdon's fiction line.)

    What an insightful post, Joyce! If I wrote only about what I know, my stories would get boring very quickly. Good thing God gave writers not only lifetimes of personal experience but also hearts and imaginations (and dare I say the Internet???).

    ReplyDelete
  40. Joyce, I really love this post.
    I've always kind of wondered about 'write what you know" because clearly most of us aren't writing about our own lives and research is such a huge part of any book.
    So what does that mean?
    I like your take on it.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Welcome, Joyce! LOVED your post today---thank you so much for sharing with us. Your Mom sounds like she was a very wise woman, and you've learned a lot from her. ~ I'm glad to read that you have a CAT! Please tell Mango that all my kitties send greetings from Georgia. ~ And to help you feel extra-welcome today, I've brought along some Georgia Pecan coffee cake to share (warm from the oven). Blessings, Patti Jo :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Joyce, thank you for sharing about your mother. What a beautiful lesson she passed on to you!
    I don't think anyone can read your post and not come away with a more dimensional meaning from such a literal sounding phrase "write what you know." Our hearts definitely have an IQ of their own.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Talking about your mom made me think of my mother in law.
    She was a farm wife, seven sons. A highschooll education. But she was the most brillaint farm wife I've ever seen. I told her a few times she was brilliant and she'd just shake her head and laugh.
    But that woman knew EVERYTHING and what she didn't know she used common sense to figure out and she was often more RIGHT than a lot of real educ-ma-cated people.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Excellent post, Joyce! Thanks for the beautiful illustration of your mom and sharing what her example taught you. If I write what my heart knows, I have a nearly endless supply of material that could last through a lifetime or more of writing. Now, to go write! :D

    ReplyDelete
  45. An excellent point, that it takes courage to write what you know. You're laying bare emotions, exploring your own philosophies. That's a scary place to go!

    Wonderful post, Joyce, and welcome to Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Happy Birthday~What a great post you should always write what you know, best tip I have ever heard. I am not a writer but this makes since to me. These are some great books here would love any of them.

    lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  47. Now, Joyce, you have to share with us exactly how you get into character?

    You write a lot of humorous stuff. What do you do to get out of the Joyce world and channel your humor? Any tips for emoting?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Second question, is what's a day in the life like for you? What's your schedule like?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Joyce, what a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing with us today.

    I try to do just what you said. Take pain I've experienced and imagine it as I'm writing about something that I haven't actually experienced. I think that is a key to writing emotional fiction!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Joyce, I want to hear about your life, day, too.

    And I'll have some of those scones, but I'm using real farm fresh whipped cream because scones are a mite dry for me.

    And I can't believe I'm agreeing with Mary, but I am. Sometimes the smartest folks are those that have lived. Garth Brooks "Standing Outside the Fire" makes me think of that, people who live so carefully because they fear the burn.

    Burns heal.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Christina Renee, that hurt my heart just to read about the conversation with your cousin! I'm so glad you're back to writing!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Wow with all these goodies being served up here I guess I don't need to bring my double chocolate cake with my mom's cooked icing. ;-) Hehehe.

    XOXO~ RENEE C.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think "Write What You Know" is an excellent rule to break! Except that I know a lot of things in my heart and my imagination that have nothing to do with just plain me...thank goodness! Thanks for sharing with us, Joyce.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Profound words, Joyce. Thanks so much for your post.

    Anita Mae.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Loved your post and look forward to reading your books! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Love your explanation of write what you know Joyce! I couldn't agree more! And your mom sounded like a great woman!

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Joyce,

    Lovely post! Great insight...and so true!

    You've gotten to the heart of the matter. :)

    I didn't write full-length fiction until I had lived life for a number of years. Some might think I was slow, yet I prefer to think I needed those years to expereice life in order to write about life.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Joyce - if I don't win you're going in my Amazon cart! [And if I do win, the rest very well could ;)].

    I write romantic dramedy because it fits. Because it's what I know. Even though I never mail-ordered a bri... er husband off Craigslist.

    I think you're right - writing what you know is more the heart of the issue. Sure. I took 4 kids to the dentist at 8 this morning [followed by YUM! Chick-fil-A for breakfast - sorry Ruthy!] and I'm quite sure that'll work it's way into a book at some point, but those same frustrations etc could be translated to an 1800s trip to the general store [which I've never been to] if I wanted to write historicals.

    I think there was a point there somewhere because 'you hit the nail on the head!' but I forget what it was.

    Here's a big giant Chick-fil-A nugget tray for lunch - assorted sauces galore :).

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks Joyce for your advice:) I've always wondered how literally a writer should take that axiom "write what you know"...thanks for clearing that up. A heart thing...I can relate to that:)
    I would love to be entered to win one of your books:)

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  60. Listen to the heart. What a nice thought, Audra. I think we run out ahead of our hearts sometimes. I guess that's why God says he's written His word on our hearts. It's the Holy Spirit that speaks to our hearts. What a privilege. And Mary (and others) I think research is also vital. I wrote about growing jumbo pumpkins in my third book. Didn't know squat about the subject until I researched it--fascinating stuff. I also had to research Mortuary Sciences in order to write. But here's the thing, even in the writing that is more factual than emotional we bring our heart, our voice.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Ahhh, humor. It makes what the heart knows tolerable sometimes.Maybe I can come back and tell you all the Turkey Story. But yeah, life has been rough for me, but it was humor, turning things on its head that made it tolerable. I have a different point of view about most things and like to see the humor--the unexpected. Because that is after all what humor is--unexpected. For instance, if I told you there was bird in my car, you might chuckle but what if I said, there was duck in my fiat. It's funnier, words are funny, life can be funny, death can be funny. I like to put the curlicue on things.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Who said, Writing is simple. Just open a vein and bleed onto the page.

    And I also heard someone say once, To be a good writer have the worst childhood you can survive.

    This isn't true for me. I had a great childhood and I don't think I'm bleeding onto the page.

    I may be doing it wrong.

    :(

    ReplyDelete
  63. Welcome to Seekerville, Joyce! Thanks for four terrific giveaways!

    I've always been mystified by the "Write what you know" rule. Your definition makes perfect sense. I wasn't alive in the time I set my books--surprise! :-)--so I rely on research to fill in the facts. But the things I've experienced enable me to write the heart of the story.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  64. Mary, whatever you're doing, just keep on doing it, because IT'S WORKING!!!

    You know, this whole childhood thing...I thought mine was pretty good at the time. It was only after I reached my late teens that I really became aware of the problems and struggles, the "differentness" of my childhood, and the many ways God was teaching and preparing me.

    And that makes me very thankful I turned out as well as I did!

    Do I draw heavily on those memories and emotions in my writing? You bet!

    ReplyDelete
  65. This post is wonderful, Joyce! It makes me think of Anne of Green Gables where Gilbert tells Anne to write about the things that are closest to her heart.

    This is very inspiring, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi Joyce...your post makes so much sense to me! It's like one of those "aha!" moments : ). I love writing on my blog...because it's about my family, things I enjoy, etc...and it flows out so easily. Now to translate that to trying to write novels. I think my first WIP was more about what I liked, but now I'm thinking of something new that's closer to what I "know". We'll see what happens. But your post definitely helped me! I loved the story about your Mom, too. I enjoy being around people that have that way about them. They make me feel the freedom to not get so wrapped up in trying to do things by the book. Thanks for sharing!
    God bless~Stacey
    travelingstacey(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  67. Welcome Joyce!

    I love seeing Christmas titles even though it's only October. Gets me in the mood... :)

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe

    ReplyDelete
  68. Nope MAry, you are not doing it wrong. Never apologize for a good life. Flannery O'Connor said that anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for a lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Even Amazon is celebrating!

    Look what I JUST found FREE for Kindle!!!!

    Griselda Takes Flight

    ReplyDelete
  70. I really want the turkey story.

    Griselda on Kindle free. OMG. Thanks Carole!!!


    Tina Radcliffe

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thanks, Carol! Snapped that one up right away and can't wait to read it. :)
    P.S. I took 6 kids to the grocery store earlier. I think I'd much rather the grocery store than the dentist. At 8 AM?? YIKES! What a woman!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I love that Mary is doing it WRONG so successfully.

    And she's a shooter, so I'm glad she doesn't have too much real life experience going on.

    But I think Joyce's view on this is so solid because we can research anything....

    but if you don't tell the story with HEART.... it's flat. It's unleavened bread. It doesn't feel organic.

    And to me that's the difference in an organic story where the emotion guides the words guides the characters, guides the actions, etc. So if the heart guides, the book comes out good.

    Carol, thanks for finding that, girlfriend! Awesome.

    And I want Chick Fil A so bad I can taste it. I'm staring at a cold stove.

    No tuna, even.

    No good hot dogs.

    I might be on the verge of whining.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Joyce, hope you can stop by again before beddy bye. But it was a total treat to have you in Seekerville today!! Thank you.

    Tina Radcliffe

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hey, I'm back. Sorry. I had to go to my other job. I work as a classroom assistant. I had a blast visiting with you guys today. But I do want to clarify something, I'm not saying you shouldn't write about the things that you do, the things you work at, the life you know. I just wanted people to see that the old writer's adage has a double meaning. I just wanted to point out that what you know is sometimes so much more than you think and that sometimes we need to go to where the heart has been, to write from that experience. But hey, someday I'll come back and tell the turkey story.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hello Joyce,
    Your mother sounds very wise and it looks like you are able to bring that into your writing!

    ReplyDelete
  76. This is something I've been struggling with, thanks for sharing today.
    I love your title Blame It On The Mistletoe, very catchy!
    I'd love to win one of your books, and I appreciate what you said.
    Thanks!
    Jackie

    ReplyDelete
  77. Thanks so much for your post. I've never heard it put that way before. Your writing is beautiful. Congratulations on all your success!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Welcome to Seekerville, Joyce! I loved your post! I enjoy doing research about things I've never experienced. Emotions are so universal everyone has experienced them--sorrow, pain, humiliation, joy, anger etc. They don't need research!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Great post, Joyce! I think a book really becomes "real" for a reader when a writer "writes what they know" or at least reseachers very well! We readers can tell right away if it's not genuine! I loved reading your post! I'd love to read your books now so I hope I win one :)
    Valri westernaz@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  80. Count me in! :)

    Ann_Lee_Miller[at]msn[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  81. What an inspiring post!

    I do write what I know!

    I'm the cowboy.
    I'm the Indian.

    I'm the married woman.
    I'm the old maid spinster.

    I'm the poor child.
    I'm the rich kid.

    I've sailed the seven seas.
    I've never travelled a stone's throw from home.

    I am worth millions.
    I'm poor as a church mouse.

    How can this be?

    I am through the magic of books.

    And, as you said so eloquently,

    the heart knows....

    I just love that.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Mary~

    I've read a lot of your stuff. When I find one that's "done wrong" I'll be sure to let you know. So far, they all seem right to me.

    Joyce~

    I love the way you've turned "write what you know" on it's head. I'd say most of us really write what we can imagine with some accuracy. I've never been widowed while waiting for my husband to return from prison, like my heroine. But I've been separated from people I love. I've lost people I love. I can draw conclusions based on my own experience, to make realistic characters. (At least I hope I can. That remains to be seen).

    When applying it to facts, I think I can change what I know, then write about that ;)

    I'd love to win, any of the books.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  83. wow, i love how you shared about your mother and the wisdom of writing from the heart. thank you for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete
  84. WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, JOYCE -- SOOO good to have you here!!

    And please forgive my tardiness -- my brain took a hike today along with memory, I guess, because I am SO late to the party!!

    LOVE what you said: "Write What You Know is not always about what you’ve done, or where you have visited or what you do for a living. Write What You Know goes deeper than that. Consider what your heart knows and bring those truths to your story."

    OH MY GOODNESS, what an incredibly insightful and TRUE statement!!! I cannot tell you how many times I've come up with zero research info for a setting or situation, so I just wing it ... stealing deep into the recesses of my mind and heart and imagining the setting or situation as it would relate to me and my life. Those images/scenes are very often stronger to me than those I uploaded a ton of info into!!

    The heart is a wellspring of truth when God is part of the equation, and a storehouse of experiences that can bring life to the pages of your novel.

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hi,
    Just wanted to say I love your shoes.
    Enjoyed your post and would like to win a book.
    Trinity Rose
    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  86. Wow, I loved this post. I've always heard Write What You Know but it had a whole different meaning. Thank you for sharing, it helps me a lot. Also loved Casey stating the second half "Learn What You Don't".

    I love coming to Seekerville!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  87. The heart knows. Lots of depth in that statement, and some good writing advice that will stay with me.

    Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  88. My daughter is reading Carrying Mason right now and loving it. Hope you write more for this age group. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Profound thoughts from a deep and beautiful person. Thank you, Joyce, for sharing this great truth. And thanks to your precious Mom too. Little does she know how widespread her influence! I count her among the greatest women of all time.

    Blessings,

    MaryAnn

    ReplyDelete
  90. I love your mind! I was especially touched by the way you said if you experienced hurt you could write much. I always thought it hindered me but now I will see it as inspiration, research, and experience. I would love to win your book, I know i will love it! I wish I had met your mom, she sounds wonderful! Is she a main character in one or more ofyour books?

    ReplyDelete
  91. I love this--write what your heart knows, which includes your passions. Definitely good advice.

    Great post!

    crystal.mrsinewaATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  92. THANK YOU, Joyce for this post! You explained well what I've often wondered about.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Great post! Thanks for sharing. Great advice for so much, not just writing.

    ReplyDelete