Life Feeds Your Writing
Some people like to keep their writing and their everyday life separate. Work, family and other responsibilities are in a completely different category to the act of writing (which may only be performed in the very early hours of the morning or in the depths of the night).
But living life as a writer means that your life feeds your writing. Once you recognize yourself as a writer and relax into that role, you will find yourself interacting with the world in ways that enhance your writing.
Here are a few examples of how your life can infuse your writing.
As a writer, the world around you acts as your personal database of details. This includes the:
- People you meet,
- Places you visit,
- Words you encounter,
- Emotions you experience,
- Food you taste,
- Textures you touch,
- Sounds you hear, and
- Aromas you smell.
The act of writing is often simply the capturing of a truth and transcribing it onto the page. Every day you encounter the truths in your world – from the words your children mispronounce to the softness of your favourite beach towel. Each of these details is precious and will potentially find its way one day into your writing.
The details you notice will be unique to you. Different writers notice different things. Some focus on place. Others pick up on the nuances of personal interactions. Still others translate the emotions they experience into the food they crave.
Just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you have to describe everything or notice everything, but an awareness of details brings a richness and depth to your work.
It also enables you to have information ready to hand when you sit down to write. The small details stored away in the back of your mind come to life as you describe the smell of a rose or the crunch of ice in your character’s mouth.
Noticing Themes Around You
Part of the reason words may bubble inside you is because you seek to express your feelings on a subject you are passionate about. Perhaps a particular historical era interests you. Maybe you wish to explain the injustices you’ve seen in the world. Or you might wish to provide a voice to a group of people you feel have been misunderstood.
These writing themes can be found all around us as we interact with the world every day. Just being present as a writer and paying attention to your surroundings can give you the opportunity to discover the words you need to bring that subject to the page.
Some themes you might encounter are:
- Human rights
- Cultural differences
The list is as long as you make it. Each of these can drive you to the page in search of a way to express your thoughts and feelings on the matter.
You may be looking for a way to:
- Make sense of the world.
- Explain the other side of the story.
- Envision an alternate history.
- Motivate people to change.
- Share your experiences.
- Provide an escape.
All of these are strong reasons to write – and they will form words within you until you just have to write.
These are just two examples of how your life can feed your writing. You personally may experience many more examples. The point is, by allowing yourself to interact with the world as a writer you open up a vast array of opportunities for words to form within you and begin to bubble.
Tune in next week for more of this chapter.
In the meantime, please add your comment below. How does your life feed your writing?
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