A Writer’s Task is Simple: Observe Everything
Today while waiting at a traffic light, I watched a man on crutches labor across the intersection — headed to a 7–11 convenience store.
These were not the temporary crutches of a broken leg. These were the permanent crutches of a man long familiar with disability.
I suspected he was struggling, so I studied his face.
I was surprised.
His face did not register pain.
It didn’t seem to register anything — not determination, not concentration.
He was just walking. His form of walking.
What looked to me like an awkward, uncomfortable gait —only because I compared it to my own — was, in fact, his norm. And it worked for him.
Sitting in my car, in that spot, gave me an opportunity to observe every step, every facial expression. An outsider would’ve said I was staring.
I’m a writer. I find that I want to stare at everyone and everything.
So I can study them.
Because writers observe life and then write about it.
What Makes Writing Honest?
If you’re going to convey honesty and authenticity in your writing, then you need to observe every little thing about people — and about yourself.
And don’t forget the really deep stuff…
These things make writing and storytelling rich.
To me, honesty in writing is when the author captures real human behavior and emotions. When the author bares the soul of the character.
Great writing is when the reader is unaware that it even happened. It just feels natural.
So that’s what I strive for.
And, thus, I observe everything.
Sometimes You Need a Little Creativity Boost
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