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.