Do writers observe or experience? Being in the moment

I once read that writers are never truly present in their lives. That they are too busy storing up each moment as material. I thought it was a pretty cynical point of view, but also immediately tried to see if I could identify with the description to see if it meant I was a writer. I couldn’t really.

Now with two stories published (my novel Find Me and picture book Treasure from the Sea which is part of the Ready to Read series) and second novel Follow Me on the go, I get what they meant a little more. So many of my memories and experiences form the basis of ideas and content in my work, especially the small things, like finding shells and keeping them; like the sensation of wet sand under my bare feet. Or like the hope of being loved, or of being thought beautiful by somebody beautiful. And like the bonds and ties of family and friends.

But as for being detached from life, being an observer simply for material, I’ve found that social media more accurately reflects that phenomenon. The way we sometimes experience aspects of our lives through the filter of how others may see it, sharing it in crafted images and edited phrases. Not unlike writing in some ways.

I am deeply mindful of my feelings and senses, and am present in my life, even though I live a lot of it in the hope of ‘one day’. I consciously acknowledge some of these moments and feelings as potential story material. Does that make me detached? I think it makes me human. And then I write about it. How about you? Happy writing all.

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