Day 15: Given your aims for your writing, look at the world around you: What images appear? (See description.)
Given your aims for your writing, look at the world around you, at the landscape: What images appear? What likenesses do you see? How, for you, is the world like itself? When you describe it, what comparisons do you make? What verbs do you use? And when you talk about your business, do you talk about the “bottom line”? Are you in a “rat race,” a world of “dog eat dog,”? Or do you talk about “service” and, as Seth Godin famously makes use of, are you gathering a “tribe”? Place yourself, your writing aims, in a world of images, of analogies. For you, for what you want out of writing, write about how the world is like itself.
“The world is your playground.”
These five words succinctly summarize my aims for writing.
I love writing for the same reasons people enjoy series such as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, or movies such as Inception, or books such as Harry Potter. People who enjoy different forms of fiction just enjoy being taken out of their current world and thrust into the world of the author’s choosing. For a moment, they can forget their problems and be sucked into someone else’s reality.
Now, I enjoy movies and TV shows as much as anyone else. However, I elect to be thrust into a world of my own choosing. A world where I attempt to see the world through someone else’s eyes, even if that someone else doesn’t even exist. By writing, I can remove myself, even if but for a moment, from the harsh realities of my day-to-day life and find myself living the harsh realities of a creation of my own imagination.
Putting it that way, it may sound like I’m crazy, but I liken it more to a state of mind than actual believing. By changing the way I think, I change the way I write, and therefore, change the way the text communicates with the reader.
The aims of my writing are mainly to explore the human psyche, as well as explore the reasons people do things. In addition, I would like to encourage the readers to question reality–who do we actually know? Most people in our lives wear very elaborate, elegant masks, that cover up who they really are. The successful man next door with the “perfect marriage” may be knees-deep in debt and having an affair. The man who drives an old used car and lives in a small house on the other side of town might be debt-free and have an impressive investment portfolio. There is always more to a person than he or she letse on. Just because something seems to be true doesn’t necessarily make it true.
To be cliche, never judge a book by its cover. This goes both ways–the book with the best cover may not necessarily be the best book ever, nor may the book with the ugly cover be the absolute worst book. However, despite how cliche that may be, people are always surprised when a person reveals a side that they’ve never shown before. People are rarely binary–we are complex creatures with many emotions and countless ways to justify our actions.
The world is my playground. Now, the world I want to play in may not be the world we live in–in that case, I’ll create my own world to play in. I write so I can have others to play in that playground with. And hopefully, we emerge from that playground as changed people. People who see the world in a different way. People who become more introspective and more appreciative of the world around them.
So, come join me in my playground. I might even push you on the swings :)