This morning I was reading an excerpt of an interview Tim Ferriss did with Paulo Coelho in his book, Tools of Titans.

I haven’t read any of Coelho’s work yet, but I know his book, The Alchemist, has sold over 65 million copies. So he must know a thing or two about writing.

What caught my attention was his answer when Ferriss asked, “Do you have a team, or researchers, who help you?”

Coelho said:

“I don’t have researchers, no. No, no… If you overload your book with a lot of research, you’re going to be very boring to yourself and to your readers.

Books are not here to show how intelligent and cultivated you are. Books are out there to show your heart, to show your soul, and to tell your fans, readers: You are not alone.”

Brilliant!

This stopped me in my tracks. I immediately dropped the book to write this post.

I’m not writing a book. I will one day when it’s time. But I do publish a daily blog here.

And so I’m constantly searching for ways to improve my writing; not just “how” I write but “what” I write about.

Sure, you have to be a good writer but I believe having something “interesting” to say is more important than being a good wordsmith.

That’s the journey I’m on… trying to figure out how to write every day about things that interest and help my readers.

So when I read Coelho’s quote it struck a nerve with me. I created a shorter, alternate version of his quote for blogging, because I believe it applies to bloggers as well as to authors.

“Blogs are not here to show how smart you are. Blogs exist to show your heart and soul. And to tell your fans: You are not alone.”

I have a feeling this will be my new blogging mantra. Perhaps it will be yours too.

How can we stop hiding behind our “intellect” and start sharing our heart with our readers?

I don’t know. But I suspect it starts with becoming more self-aware so we can better discern the thoughts of our heart from the ideas and opinions in our mind.

What happens when we stop trying to impress readers with “how smart we are” and give ourselves to a passionate pursuit of writing?

I have a feeling this is where major breakthrough can happen in a writer’s life. I don’t know because I feel like I’m just on the verge of it myself, like Indiana Jones who has to take that first step of faith over the invisible bridge.

Even though I “know” the bridge is there it still scares me to death!

Does it scare you? To share your heart and soul with the world? If so, why?

Maybe you’re less afraid of what others will discover and more afraid of what you will find. But remember, your heart, just like your mind, can be shaped and molded.

So if you don’t like what you find then do something about it.

“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
– Proverbs 4:23