How to see like a writer

photo by José Manuel Ríos Valiente

I see people walking around all the time with headphones on, sunglasses dark like shutters, hunched over, not catching anyone’s eye. They live in a little sonic bubble, and are going purposefully in the direction they are going with the minimum of contact with other humans.

These people are not writers.

How do I know? Because writers engage with humanity. They listen, they talk, they observe. I read a fascinating piece in an NLP book the other day about how we colour our observations. Someone might raise their eyebrow when they read something because they are surprised by the content. They might be disgusted and covering it well. They might also be not reading it at all and remembering something else entirely, and just pretending to react to cover for the fact they are really not interested. It might also be a facial tic they have to make them look more interesting and cultured.

Learn to tell the difference between observation of reality and interpretation. Try to figure out what people really mean by their body language, facial expressions and gestures. Get under their skin a little bit.

You’ll learn a lot about people and you’ll end up with a ton of material for your writing.


If you like this blog please comment and subscribe. It make it seems a bit less lonely in here. 🙂


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