“Be Observant”

“What advice do you have to become a writer?”

I attend lots of author events…lots. Just this year alone, I hosted four authors at my school, attended the National Book Festival, visited bookstores 3 times to meet an author and now join Instagram Live events hosted by generous authors while we all shelter-in-place. At all of these events, this is the one question that is usually asked. And the answer is always the same.

“What helps is being observant.”
Watch.
Notice.
Spot.
Glimpse.
Spy.
Eavesdrop.

In this time of Covid19, I find myself taking at least one walk a day. As I walk, I listen to podcasts. So far, I have listened to Dolly Parton’s America and Boomtown. Both have allowed me to observe a different part of my country. (Both I recommend). As I walk and listen, I also have really noticed the colors around me.

I am not sure if great writing will occur because I am taking a daily walk and observing. But for now, I will keep at it. I will notice the new buds, see the daffodils standing tall, spy on my neighbor’s sidewalk art, eavesdrop via a podcast, and glimpse at the vibrant Spring colors.

What are you observing, writers?!

7 thoughts on ““Be Observant”

  1. mschiubookawrites says:

    This is fantastic advice- “‘What helps is being observant.’
    Watch.
    Notice.
    Spot.
    Glimpse.
    Spy.
    Eavesdrop.”

    Thank you for summarizing what you have learned from your countless author visits. I love how you take this advice to heart and come back full circle using these prompts in your conclusion. Your pictures are so stunning I had to show my son! We love the inspirational rocks best. Thank you for nudging the writers in all of us to observe.

    Like

  2. Elisabeth Ellington says:

    I love this idea for a slice (and might borrow it next week!). Your photos are really beautiful. I observe so carefully when I’m out in nature, but I tend to avoid trying to notice anything walking in town because I think it’s quite ugly. But now you’ve challenged me to try to find some beauty here in town, not just in nature!

    Like

  3. mgminer says:

    I especially like your list of words for observe. Each has just a little different flavor. The photos of colors you observed are exquisite examples to record this season of our lives.

    Like

  4. margaretsmn says:

    Observing the outdoors is one my favorite activities. I love your pictures. Are people around you doing those caring rocks. That looks like a small thing I could manage.

    Like

  5. jarhartz says:

    Great advice, words, and photos. For me. one of the silver-linings of this shelter-in place life is the opportunity to slow down and notice. (Boomtown is on my list and I thoroughly enjoyed Dolly Parton’s America.)

    Like

  6. MegMcCormick says:

    Like you, I have been quite observant of all colors on my daily walks. I enjoyed the way you wrote about the promises to yourself in the sentence, “I will notice the new buds, see the daffodils standing tall, spy on my neighbor’s sidewalk art, eavesdrop via a podcast, and glimpse at the vibrant Spring colors” as that sentence was especially relatable and imaginative!

    Like

  7. johnrereads says:

    each morning
    after I meditate
    I say hello to the trees
    outside my window

    for the first time
    I have slowed down
    and I actually see
    how much the leaves have grown
    since last we chatted

    Like

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