Write The Book Of Your…Gut

Posted by: Emily Shaw on Oct 28 2012, 9:41 am in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So, we’ve all heard the phrase and have been encouraged to Write The Book Of Your Heart. We’ll I’m suggesting you kick that in the pants and write the boot of your gut. Every time I’ve tried to write the book of my heart it always turned out nice and sweet, but no one wanted to buy it.

I wanted to be published! Why wasn’t my book of the heart being accepted and joyously received by the throngs of my as-yet-unfound agent and editor? Cause it was a piece of crap, that’s why! I had many books I really wanted to write, ideas brewed in my brain and my brain decided that that was the one book which was going to get me published.

For me, the idea of writing the book of my heart was great. It was what every pacifist loves. No one will be offended by what I have to say in the book, everyone will love it, we’ll all get along and everyone will be happy reading my little middle-of-the-road-sitting-on-the-fence books and the world will keep spinning the right direction.

Well, that didn’t happen. (extreme sarcasm here)

Every manuscript I adored was rejected. This is a business and sometimes a brutal one. My ego was bruised, and I took a break a couple of times, but I wasn’t ready to quit. So I changed tactics and researched an area I have expertise in and found an editor (luckily) who could work with my manuscript and turn it into something she could sell. That wasn’t my book of the heart, but I had 9 books published. Essentially, it was work for hire because the control and direction of the stories was no my own, which didn’t inspire me to write great stories.

What did?

When I found myself standing in front of the TV yelling at the reporter who was blandly telling us about a woman who had been missing and then found dead a few days later. The trail led right back to a family member who had been stealing her money for drugs.

That’s just not fair! It’s not right! That woman deserves to come back from the dead and kick the ass of the person who killed her.

I paused, mid-yell.

Well, now. Wasn’t that interesting? I’d inadvertently found something I cared deeply about and wanted to put into my stories: justice.

Justice strikes a very deep, emotional and visceral tone within me. Truth. Fairness. Equality. Doing the right thing. These are all things that are very important to me. So I decided to write the book of my gut, the idea that made me stand up and yell at the TV because it wasn’t fair and this woman deserved some sort of universal justice.

That’s when the first book in The Resurrectionist series was created. I wrote that 80,000 story in 30 days working 3-4 hours per day. Of course it needed work, but the framework of it just flew out my fingertips like no other story I’d ever written. I don’t say that to be boastful or arrogant, but to inspire you to find the right story for yourself. Nothing I’d yet written had flowed so well, so I just let ‘er rip. Cuss words. Irreverent humor. Outrageous sex. A kick-ass heroine who had had her own trials, but was in the process of creating a new life for herself when she’d been given no choice.

When I finished it, I knew that this book was special for me. This book was going to help me get me an agent and it did. It also finaled in a contest and as a result, the Sr. Editor bought the book. I’m moving from the writing books that didn’t inspire me all that much to working on stories that come from my gut.

So I’m suggesting that if you’re having trouble discovering the great books within you, dig deep and find out what moves you. Write down the things that are important to you. What makes you stand up and yell at the TV? That’s what you should write about. That is the book of your gut.

So, come on people, let’s hear from you. What gets your visceral value system in an uproar and makes you yell at your TV?


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