I don’t often get choked up when I’m writing unless it’s a personal story about a person/ animal I know and love. I wrote one of those kinds of articles this week and was surprised to find that a great number of people could relate. It’s been one of my most shared articles on Horse Network so far. Many people commented that the article brought them to tears. This wasn’t necessarily my intention, but I did want readers to feel something.
It’s an incredible yet humbling feeling to know that our words and stories have the power to touch people deeply. Of course, I’ve also written blog posts and articles which have resulted in angry comments (usually about barefoot–you might understand if you’re a horse person!) It comes with the territory though. Not everyone will agree with your ideas and beliefs–nor should we expect them to.
But this is one of the reasons people read articles and books. Not only do they want to learn something (in some cases) and be entertained, but they want to feel something. Call it human nature, I guess, but we’re all looking for that one thread we can grasp onto–that thing which unites us all. Sure, we use our brains, but what drives many of our everyday actions are our hearts.
As writers and storytellers, our job is to latch onto this idea. There are many people who can write beautiful, well-crafted sentences. There are others who come up with brilliant story ideas. (I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle of both talents.) But the key to writing something people will tell their friends about is to evoke emotion. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them angry. Make them nostalgic. Or scare the bejeezus out of them. But make them feel something.
Of course, this is easier said than done, but if we keep this in mind while writing, we’ll at least be headed in the right direction.
And who ever said writing was easy, anyway? 😉