A couple of months ago, I created a logo for this blog. When it came to the idea of a tagline, I paused and thought about the 400-odd posts I’d written in this space.

Across fiction, non-fiction, blogging tips, writing tips, poetry, gratitude posts, the one thing that stuck out was this: I always want to be writing from the heart.

To be honest, that’s not as easy as it sounds.

How do you write from the heart? How do you write freely when every word or sentence or post you write can be dissected, misconstrued or mis-interpreted to mean something totally different from what you intended?

And how do you do it without coming across as either pretentious or overly sentimental?

Here’s the key:

Write without expectations.

I know that sounds trite and condescending in some ways but I assure you I don’t intend it that way. Let me explain.

As 2018 wound down and 2019 began, a change set in. Where I was busy chasing things, people and achievements in 2018, I suddenly stopped, slowed down and stepped back.

I was going about my business, my goals and my life all wrong. I wasn’t supposed to chase things. I was supposed to be working hard at what I enjoyed doing.

What I enjoyed doing was writing and helping people.

Once that shift happened, things began to slowly fall into place.

Books came back into my life almost as if a higher force had summoned them.

As I got back to books with a sense of gratitude, I started looking at my life online as a mere extension of my existence.

It wasn’t the end of the world if someone didn’t read my blog or appreciate my work. It didn’t mean that people didn’t care if they didn’t reach out to check on me.

It just meant that I had to gently lower my expectations to practically zero when it came to anything and anyone.

Not with malice, mind you. But with empathy.

The year 2018 ended with my mom having a nasty fall, fracturing her nose. In that split second when I heard the news, every insignificant thing flew out the window.

Page views, subscribers, online friends and acquaintances or what they thought of me: none of it mattered.

What mattered was my mom.

Two weeks later, as I write this post, the thing that stands out for me is this lesson:

Work with all your heart on the thing that you love. Everything else will follow when the time is right.

Oh and pick yourself up, brush it off and keep going. Maybe even laugh about your misfortunes.

That’s what my mom told me last night. Except that she actually said, ‘You know, I feel like Shahrukh Khan.’

‘Eh? Why?’

‘You recall those movies where he always falls, beaten up by thugs and has blood flowing from every pore on his face? Then he gets up and keeps fighting. That’s what I feel like. So, any time I feel the pain come back I tell myself,’ You’re Shahrukh Khan. You can do this.’

If my mom can compare herself to a Bollywood movie star at the age of 60, pick herself up and keep going, then I have no excuse for all the self pity and visions of grandeur I’ve built for myself in 2018.

The only answer is Grit. Passion and perseverance and doing it with the one thing that you love doing. Whether it’s fiction, poetry, writing tips on this blog or tutorials, blogging tips and parenting posts on the other blogs, one message is loud and clear. Whatever I do, I must do it with one intention.

For me, that’s writing from the heart.

22 thoughts on “Writing from the Heart

  1. You are an inspiration in so many ways, Anu. And I truly mean that. And yes you must always write when you feel like it. Interestingly, even when you write on a schedule, it’s possible to do that. 🙂

  2. Thanks Rachna and thank you for the immediate call to get more details. That made me smile with such warmth that day. Life is so fleeting, is it not?

    And my mom would like you anyway, even without the srk birthday thing. 🙂

  3. Thanks, Sanch. You’re right. The movies haven’t changed much although he did do a couple of off beat movies which I truly liked. 🙂

  4. Doing anything we do with love, that’s precisely what I mean. Thank you so much for putting it into such precise words, Shilpa 🙂

  5. Thanks Mridula. Believe me, it’s not easy to write or do anything without expectations. It’s very human to want validation. But over time I’ve realised that I’m happiest when I’m writing without external praise. I listen to the critics though and work on improving myself. Here’s hoping that helps.

  6. Thanks, Stacie. That is the plan. I find weekends work for me when it comes to creative writing. So will definitely try and link up each week. Time to gte my head back in the writing game. 🙂

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she is better now! And I love her Shahrukh Khan analogy!! It’s a good reminder to get up, dust ourselves off, and keep on doing what makes us happy. At the end of the day, that is what matters most!

  8. Sorry to hear about your mom’s accident. Hope she is getting fine.
    Let me tell you, your words have an impact on every reader. I could resonate with every word in this post. I started this blog very recently, because my reading and writing became dwindled. I started feeling stale. So far, I am almost regular in writing, but as you said, I could understand the priority and impact of matters in life.
    Writing from heart, expecting nothing, is not something everyone can do. I am trying, your post is an inspiration 😀 Love, Mridula.

  9. Again one of your magical posts and short yet so inspiring. Thanks for all the help always and wish your mom a speedy recovery and a great 2019 for you.

  10. I’m sorry about your mom’s fall. Glad she’s got such a positive attitude. It sounds like your goals for this year are sound. The title looks good. 🙂

  11. Shylaja … i am reading this at 4.47 am. Just woke up a little earlier than usial and checked mails and found yours. Coincidentally was thinking yesterday if i should make a schedule to blog at least once a month. Though it sounded disciplined, a question followed
    Will it be from the heart ?
    i always feel it may not be ! For my posts are all those which stirs my soul. And i personally feel that just the no of posts can’t justify it. Wanted to discuss this with you this morning and i see yours.
    Hope mom is fine now . Yes it requires tremendous mental strength to pick uo oneself after a fall, be it physical or mental…i am happy i have done it after 3 physical set backs ..

  12. I hold you in my heart. I know exactly what you mean when you say that an incident like your mum’s accident changed your perspective. For me, the last year sobered me in many ways. My own injury changed me so much as a person. Losing a friend and other losses made me realize that all the little tiffs, ego stuff we hold on to are so futile. And yes, a long conversation with my sister reitetated my belief that no matter what life throws at me, I can handle it because I am strong. Else, I think I was heading towards anxiety and misery. So yes, l know exactly what you feel. It’s minor but a change of perspective is all that matters. That SRK analogy was cute. I share my birthday with him so maybe she will like me more. 😛

    Wish you loads of writing from the heart and happiness!

  13. I love this reflective post on your writing intentions Shy! It’s always good to see you write here. Love your mum’s analogy – I had to laugh at that! I’m assuming Shahrukh movies haven’t changed since I was a teen! 😛

  14. Tell you what, Shy, when I didn’t get in the top five at the Orange Flower Awards, I was so disheartened, but for just some time. And, from the next day onwards, I kept saying to myself that awards didn’t matter, really. What mattered, instead, was that I love what I do–write. And, if people can relate to my feelings, share their feelings through comments and tell me how they found some health post informative and helpful, well, that was the real award! And, since the time I began giving myself this positive self-talk, the Universe seems to be helping me come up with such awesome topics to write about, some really great tips and ideas for my posts and my blog in general…that gives me a feeling that, yes, what I told myself was indeed the correct thing.
    Doing anything you love with all your heart is bound to bring you endless happiness and that is what we humans keep seeking every moment, isn’t it?

    Your mom is indeed an inspiration! A big hug to her…

  15. I will write my comment from the heart too. It is hard for me to accept that you experienced thoughts of self-pity in 2018. From my perspective (as well as others too), you worked very hard in 2018 with helping bloggers with whatever they wanted to achieve, your hardwork paid off too in the process with amazing feedbacks and praises. Yes, I know I missed my feedback on the Pinterest workshop because that was precisely the time I was disintegrating. So, one thing you can safely do away with is self pity. Please do.
    We always gain some and lose some.
    I wish your mother fast recovery. Tulika will be very happy to know about Shah Rukh Khan being the motivation for your mother in fighting pain 🙂

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