While listening to an author being interviewed on NPR, I heard her say, “It’s a writer’s job to pay attention.”
Whoa. Yeah. That’s it, exactly. Writers write to get you to see things you might not otherwise see. That goes for reporters, novelists, poets, and bloggers. That concept, in a nutshell, is why this blog exists.
I began this blog when I did for two reasons. First of all, I was no longer with my ex, who is also a writer, so I felt free to write without raining on his parade. I never wanted him to feel as if it were a competition of some sort, and I didn’t want to discourage him in any way, because writing is something he loves to do. Everyone should be given the space to do what they love to do.
Second, I had an epiphany one day that as a bridgetender, I spent a lot of time looking out the same exact window, and I therefore knew every aspect of that view on a level a lot more intimate than the average window-gazer. I could tell you exactly where the sun came up at various points during the year. I knew when joggers would pass by, and who had what dog, and when various animals would migrate and have babies. I even knew which transformer was most likely to get hit in a thunderstorm. And while gazing, I had a lot of time to think. All of this is blog fodder.
Paying attention takes practice. Sometimes when my introverted self gets overstimulated, I absolutely have to bury my head in the sand to maintain my sanity. I hole up, take a nap or dive into a book, want complete silence, and don’t care about the shenanigans of the wider world. Sometimes I just play repetitive game apps on my phone for hours on end simply to shut off my brain. And that’s okay, in moderation. But if you stay in that mode for too long you risk wasting your life.
Whether you’re a writer or not, it’s important to look up every once in a while. Lift your head up from your smart phone. Stop gazing at your navel. Smell the roses. Wake up. Face a different direction for a change. Look further off in the distance than you usually do. Have experiences. Listen. Get involved. Act up. Educate yourself. Get political. Ask questions. Get answers. Be curious. Turn left instead of right for a change. Have a creative impact on your world.
If you feel like you’re in a rut, go sideways. See what’s over there. There’s so much to see and do in this amazing world of ours. There’s a veritable smorgasbord of observation just waiting for you. Pay attention!
Check this out, y’all. I wrote a book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5