To write honestly, to write emotionally and profoundly, you must be a good listener. You can only create multi-dimensional characters if you understand the multitude of dimensions human beings are made of. If you’ve seen below the surface. Heard their most personal stories and witnessed their private thought processes.
I don’t share people’s secrets in my writing. But, I harness their experiences in my own way, taking the emotions and consequent actions I’ve witnessed and recreating new characters and situations to apply them to, helping me create more genuine, more relatable stories.
I’ve been blessed with an extraordinary life. In my thirty-plus years, I’ve experienced more than most. Much of which has been heartache. Loss. And abuse. I’ve witnessed first-hand the damage of addictions and mental illness. I’ve become familiar with death and grief. I’ve been practicing since childhood. But, I’ve also traveled the world. I’ve driven across this country many, many times. I have been exposed to people of all cultures and beliefs. Have eaten foods in the countries they originated. I’m fluent in two languages and can muddle my way through more in a pinch. Lived in nearly every terrain. Been at home slinging drinks in the city of Las Vegas and felt completely in my element living life on a ranch riding and training horses day in and day out. I’ve been blessed. I can write about A LOT of stuff. BUT, I don’t only want to write about me. My thoughts. My feelings. Diverse as they may be, they’re still only mine.
So, the next time you encounter someone who wants to share, vent, cry – listen. Really listen. Become a judgment-free zone where secrets are treasured and trust is valued. And know that those parts they share of themselves stay with you. They become a part of your human experience, twine in with your thoughts, your heart and your passion. Your writing. And you won’t just become a better writer for it. You’ll become a better, more compassionate, wiser human.
I craft stories by nature. I create from my heart. And what others put there, comes out in a new form, with new life. I’ll always be a listener. A watcher. An observer.
But I’ll always be a writer, too.