Since I have been writing, I have learned several important lessons. I won’t say I have improved as a writer; that, my dear readers can judge and report back to me. But, I have found that I walk in the world differently, now.
Fiction writing has changed how I see my surroundings. As a day progresses, my mind goes to the words of my editor, ‘What do you hear, what do you smell, what catches your attention?’ So, I open my senses and give more attention to what my senses bring to me.
Also, as I meet and interact with the people around me, I try to think about the intentions and motivations of these characters around me. Maybe I’m becoming too analytical. I find myself wondering about the consequences of others’ planned actions. While I know many actions come about unplanned, I want to relate acts to outcomes, when I can. Surely, the actors have hopes and dreams entangled in each of their actions?
An adage I like to keep in mind when writing fiction is, the villain is the hero of her own story. It helps me in the real world, when I am resentful about something that someone does or says, I can remind myself, that perhaps that person comes from such a different perspective, that what their actions mean something different to them.
And most important of all, I find the world is similar to my early writing. People are opaque. I don’t know what people are thinking. I don’t understand what people mean, and I assume people don’t know what is going on with me. So, I must try each day to express myself more clearly. I want people to know what is going on for me. People will in general behave decently, if you get to know them. Many people will help you if they understand what your needs are.
I wonder if other writers have experienced changes in how they view the world, because of what they have learned in writing. Please share your thoughts with me, whether you consider yourself a writer or not. Have you had any experiences like this.