This is my latest installment on the link-up On Being a Writer based on the book by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. Head over to Kate Motaung‘s page to join or read this link-up.
Today’s topic is Notice.
Why is it so hard to take the time to notice the beauty and inspiration around us? This is the hardest part about writing for me. I can generally get words flowing pretty quickly once I have a topic, but noticing the details in life that can become those topics is so difficult.
I struggle with this practice not only in my writing, but in everyday life. We all go through seasons where things get busy and hectic. We forget to slow down and appreciate every aspect of creation. That’s me right now. I’m hoping for story ideas or writing prompts to appear, but I’m not taking the time to slow down and notice the beauty and creativity around me. A sunset could lead to a poem. A toddler tantrum could lead to a blog post. A conversation with a friend could lead to a creative, Biblical piece of writing.
When we get so busy we miss out on a lot. We neglect to see the possibilities in our writing because we aren’t looking. If you ever feel like me and struggle with what to write take a step back and notice the world around you. Write down what you see. And go from there. Writing is so much more than words on a page. Writing is about seeing the potential in everything, big or small, to make an impact on the world around you. It’s about harnessing those ideas and giving them life. Take some time today to NOTICE.
8 thoughts on “On Being a Writer: Notice”
It’s so hard to *notice* in the midst of motherhood. You read about my struggle in the book.
A simple idea is to take five minutes or less as you are lying in bed and write just a sentence or two, maybe three (not too long or you’ll stop doing it because it takes too long) that captures the one story from the day that made that day stand out from the rest–a story you’d tell if you were sitting around the table with friends and wanted to engage them for about five minutes. That’s a simple way to both chronicle your days and to capture at least one usable story. I tell about it in this gigantic collection of methods for idea-generation: http://annkroeker.com/2015/08/19/how-to-generate-ideas-for-writing/
Also, you’re at a stage where you might appreciate some of what I wrote in my book Not So Fast. From Chapter One (I just sent this to Connie, too): “Each child is born with eyes to see so clearly the beauty all around and hear the rhythm in our speech; in their youth, children’s ears aren’t yet deadened to the music all around. They hear the mockingbird serenading them from a telephone pole. They stop to stare at frost patterns on window panes…Their hearts are still open; their minds alert. They would stop. They would linger. They just need *us* to slow down.”
I hope you find tiny windows in your day, your week, to slow down and notice, reflect, and take note, including as many sensory details as possible.
If not, however, don’t despair. God will bring to mind what you need at the time you need it.
Mamas can’t do it all; we have to prioritize. Writing down rich detail from the day ranks lower than getting the kids fed and making sure they aren’t sticking a fork in the electric socket. My heart goes out to you, mama-writer. Your prolific content is impressive as you pull it off in the midst of your challenges.
Thanks so much, Ann. You have no idea how much this post meant to me. You’re such an inspiration to me!
“Writing is about seeing the potential in everything, big or small, to make an impact on the world around you. It’s about harnessing those ideas and giving them life. Take some time today to NOTICE.”
I loved thee words. Thank you for this important reminder. I am your neighbor at Kate’s. 🙂
Thank-you for pointing out that more noticing allows one to see the potential in everything. That is a great thought.
Thanks, Gabriele. I’m with you in the search for potential topics and ideas!
This is a wonderful description! “Writing is so much more than words on a page. Writing is about seeing the potential in everything, big or small, to make an impact on the world around you. It’s about harnessing those ideas and giving them life. Take some time today to NOTICE.” Thank you for sharing!
Thanks so much, Amy. I’m glad that you appreciate the lesson that was just as much intended for me than it was for anyone else. Don’t forget to NOTICE!
LikeLiked by 1 person