When asked about writing, I once told my daughter to get up early. Look around the room, out the window. Close your eyes and notice how everything changes. Then open your eyes and just sit there as the sun sneaks into the world, as it assumes the walls or trees. If you were a painter instead of a writer, I told her, you’d notice how the color of the carpet changes, how the shadows slide over the uneven countertop – as a writer you need to notice those same things.
There is green in a white wall, and blue at times. Perhaps it’s only a reflection from the blue vase sitting on the end table, but it’s there, it’s real, and now you’ve seen it. That color will be with you forever. You’ll know that a white wall isn’t always white.
Listen, too. The house has its own sound, unlike any other house. It speaks just as the place it sits speaks, so crack the window and listen. Listen to the loudest sound, and the softest. Different characters you write about will hear differently dependent on their own psychology, mood, personality, job, interests. What do you hear? The birds, the wind, the traffic?
Touch things and taste them. Even the daylight has flavor.
See what I’m doing here, I told her? I’m experiencing everything I can in the moment, using all my senses. Everything, of course, is impossible, but you collect more and more each time you do this exercise – and you could do this exercise every moment of every day if you wished. But then you might not write…and we wouldn’t want that.
Here’s the thing I was trying to get across: you will live better in the long run if you take a moment to be in the moment. And you’ll find that one moment that you can use in your novel, story, or poem. It will allow you to create a line or sentence unlike anyone has ever done before. And now, you’ve done it!
There are more of those sentences, those moments, that you’ll find, and this will become a life, like it has become my life, one that I would never give away, one that I love.
Terry Persun is an award winning author and a #1 Amazon bestseller. He is also a Pushcart nominee. His mainstream novel, “Wolf’s Rite”, was a Star of Washington award winner, a POW! Award winner, and a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalist. His science fiction novel, “Cathedral of Dreams”, was also a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalists. And his historical novel, “Sweet Song”, won a Silver IPPY Award for best regional fiction. His latest novel, “Doublesight”, is book one of his new fantasy series. His latest poetry collection is “And Now This”. Terry writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy.