Welcome back to our series, 31 Days of Writing Tips. I’ve written the posts in this series in five minutes flat, in conjunction with the 31-Day Writing Challenge taking place in October. Today is Day 6, and our prompt is: NOTICE
I’m terrible at noticing. It’s embarrassing, really. Ask my husband and kids . . . I have to make an intentional effort to notice the details of my surroundings. But it’s something I want to improve. I go through phases where I remember to notice for a while . . . And then I forget.
But I definitely notice the writers who know how to pay attention. I love to savor the efforts of those who incorporate detail into their work, and I want my own writing to have the same effect on readers. But before I can do that, I have to start noticing. I have to look around. I have to pay attention. I have to take it all in. And I have to remember.
One way I’m hoping to practice noticing more is by keeping a notebook in my purse and jotting down notes, words, or phrases when I’m struck by a particular experience.
Sometimes I feel as if I have to wait until I’m back home with the “perfect” environment — seated at my computer with no noise or distractions — before I can write. But if I wait for that moment, it will rarely happen. Besides, by the time that moment comes, I will have forgotten what it was I wanted to write.
So instead, I’m hoping the notebook in my purse will remind me to notice more often, to learn how to notice well, and to capture those details that otherwise will be lost if not written down in the moment.
What about you? Are you good at noticing? What has helped you to notice better as a writer?
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“Take in the sound of the season, the sound of the color coming in through the windows. Listen to the past, future, and present right where you are. Listen with your whole body, not only with your ears, but with your hands, your face, and the back of your neck.” ~ Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones