Thoughts for Friday – 31st January 2014


This week’s quote comes from Susan Sontag: a well-known writer, filmmaker and political activist. Although her views and opinions might not have been to everyone’s tastes, there is no denying the truth in the quote that I have chosen.

I believe that we as writers see the world differently from other folk. Perhaps it is an ‘art’ thing, in that all people who choose to create something view the world in a slightly different way. I often catch myself watching people passing by on the street and wonder what their story is, where they come from, the people they’ve touched with their presence during their lives.

Sometimes I see an old couple walking along the high street and start imagining their life story and how they’ve survived so many years together. During a thunderstorm a few months ago I was struck by the awesome power of nature and began tossing ideas around for a story, and all because I took the time to actually look at the world around me.

Some people walk through life with their mind centered solely on one aim or goal, having a blinkered view and paying little attention to anything happening on the periphery of their lives. Writers, I feel, see the world in more detail and a clearer focus. Writers are able to pick up on subtle nuances and use them to expand their own stories. Writers view the world in vibrant colors, vivid sounds and evocative fragrances, allowing all of their senses to create a more rounded and fully realised view of the story world that they are trying to create.

Anyone can write a simple sentence, but it is the skill of a writer that evokes the details in a reader’s mind. How can one possibly call themselves a writer if they do not pay attention to the world around them? A writer needs to be able to create a believable world for their reader and to do so they must understand their own world first. It’s a poor writer who goes through life with their eyes closed.



Filed under Thoughts for Friday

16 responses to “Thoughts for Friday – 31st January 2014

  1. SarahClare

    I list ‘people watching’ as one of my hobbies. It proves invaluable when I come to put pen to paper. All that wealth of information from observation!

    Great post!

    • Thank you, I am so glad that you enjoyed my post!

      I guess it is one of those things that writers have in common, we all take a deeper interest in the world around us than others might. Some of my best ideas have come from watching other people ๐Ÿ™‚

      Heather xxx

  2. I think a lot of people are ‘people watchers,’ but I believe it takes the creativity of an artist to translate the watching into something meaningful and insightfully communicated. I agree that all good writers pay attention to the world: they pay attention to the people they see around them, to global events and the impact those events have on lives, the economic conditions, the pulse of popular culture, and a host of all sorts of things that affect all of us. Sontag was an effective writer because she practiced what she preached.

    Wonderful quote, Heather, and some terrific, well-expressed thoughts!

    • Hi Kate,

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comments, I’m glad that you enjoyed this week’s quote!

      I think that, as writers, we do have a slightly different view on the world than others. While writing we have to invoke an image in our reader’s mind, otherwise there is nothing but a blank page where a colorful and vibrant world should be. How can we paint a picture that we do not see ourselves?

      I chose this quote because I think it generates a lot of interesting thoughts when it comes to having what it takes to be a writer.

      Heather xxx

  3. People watching is one of my hobbies imaging the lives people lead keeps me amused for hours.

  4. Great post and great quote. Looking around and taking in the details is something that I think is really important as a writer, or artist in general ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      I think that writers – and all artists – need to be aware of the world around them in order to transfer that to their work. How can one explain a world that they have never seen?

      Heather xxx

  5. I completely agree!
    Sometimes, I will recall a memory or reminisce with a friend and mention a specific detail of the event. I usually get a sideways glance and the question ‘wow, I don’t remember that part!’ or ‘I didn’t even notice that!’ It’s the details of a moment that stick out to me.
    I like to think I’d make a pretty good witness to a crime- at least that would be quite the useful side to such an attribute! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for making me think this morning!

    • Hi there!

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting on my blog post, it is much appreciated.

      I think this quote speaks to me because as a writer I feel that I need to be aware of the finer details of the world around me. I feel that a writer needs to be conscious of the things that other people may need take for granted.

      I remember reading somewhere that no two people ever witness the same event from the same point of view and that when questioned about it they will provide two completely different interpretations as to what happened. Perhaps if one of them were a writer they would be able to recall details much more clearly than a non-writer would. An interesting thought!

      Heather xxx

  6. “There are never any ordinary moments” –The Peaceful Warrior
    Blessings =)

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