Maybe I wasn't really a writer before. Or I didn't have a writer’s mind? I honestly don’t know. What I know is that I am seeing life differently now. All aspects of life, in everything I do.
I read differently. How does this author introduce a character? Where is the climax of the story? Where is the false conclusion? Does it conclude? How does the author let the characters live off the pages after the cover is closed?
I hear differently. I actually wrote down words my son said the other day because I knew there was gold within what he carelessly threw out there. I knew that somehow, either as a prompt or something a character would say, I would use it again. I have never done that before.
The desire to do it thrilled me.
Was I writer before I started doing these things? Maybe I was, but I have learned much as I try to grow as a writer, which means I experience life differently now.
Maybe I won’t be offended by the woman at Starbucks. Maybe instead I will develop a back story which explains why she cut in front of me at the store. How her daughter was getting married and she only got three hours of sleep the night prior because she was up making alterations to the wedding dress. And that wedding was in two hours. And she needed the coffee to stay awake for such an important day. She had to stay awake. She didn't even see me standing there contemplating which latte I wanted.
Maybe the girl ringing up my order is tired of having customers question her age and experience, and that’s why she comes off a little gruff. She believes attitude must be what people are expecting from her; a coarseness which exudes that she’s been here a while. But I've seen her before on good days when she isn't worried about what we think and she has a sweet smile.
Maybe the woman who let me in front of her because I only had one item had the same done for her when she was getting milk she had forgotten to pick up and needed it for the recipe she had been in the middle of making. Maybe she sees me with my eggs and wonders if I have left a mess on my counter at home as well.
I’m looking for story more. I’m listening for words to hold onto. I’m considering the hearts of those I pass by.
Who is this person in a car beside me? Twelve inches and two doors separate us, but our windows are down. We pretend we don’t see each other, but it’s hard to ignore a person completely. Unless we have practiced it for a time. Unless we have learned it from being taught. But don’t you ever just causally glance at the person beside you at a traffic light or in front of you at the grocery store and wonder… what is their story?
I am learning to see the gold in the day. And this excites me. This tickles me. This makes me feel as if I am overflowing with something I have no control over. And this helps me believe there is gold out there, and the trying? Well, that’s just compost, as this is.
This was written in a Story Sessions Write-In after a prompt about finding gold in our days, and what trying looks like. You should join us.