The energies that fuel our souls as writers, the reasons we write what we do: The topic is much on my mind this morning.

Some writers find their strengths, their reasons-for-being, in the turns of plot. Or in the solving of mysteries. Or in great car chases, or elvish magic. Not me.

I choose the paths of the heart. The landscape of emotions.

I was thrown into the deep end of this thought-pool by two job opportunities this morning, both in cause-related marketing—my absolute favorite thing to write (after books, of course.) I’ve been thinking about that kind of passion a lot lately: the desire, the instinct, the ability to give to the page the deeper parts of me…the countryside through which I am most content to walk. I’ve been wondering why that is.

From earliest memory, I have looked for the emotional common ground among people. Part instinct, part compensation for a dyslexic’s childhood shyness, part pure desire, something in me reaches out to find what we feel in tandem, you and I…what we need, want, understand together. The ways we are One. It’s what makes cause-related writing such a powerful expression for me. And it’s what made writing a novel like The Spiritkeeper such an intense—and intensely wonderful—experience. When the idea is about you and about me, it is about all of us.

We see too much, writers do. Feel too much. Share too much. Think and understand too much. In the landscape of hearts, we come to understand every pebble and footprint and wheel rut and fallen branch in our way. We leave crumbs of ourselves along the path for others to find. We are not content until we have GPSed another person to the parts of us where they can feel what we do.

It’s the neediness we never acknowledge…and the desire to give that no one else ever will. We write ourselves open-hearted. Because there is no other way.