May 7, 2012

Viewing the World as a Writer

One of the things school tried to teach me was to view the world as a writer. I didn't understand that for a long time. However, as my craft grew and I began to see the nuances in writing, I also began to see them all around me.

I remember sitting at a Sting concert one evening. He was playing at the Red Rocks Amphitheater (the best venue in the world) with the London Philharmonic. I actually lost track of the music for a while as I sat pondering the words and their hidden meanings. And then, I started to see how the music presented a mood to go along with those meanings. Of course, it helps that Sting is an intelligent person and writes complex, almost 3-dimensional, music.

After that, I started paying attention to the subtleties and the art of the written word. I saw it in posters and advertisements, in lyrics and speeches, in lectures and well-done movies, and sometimes even in casual conversation.

It also completely changed how I read books and possibly not for the better. Now, I tend to notice a word here or a phrase there and how they change the feeling of the writing. Poorly written books also annoy me more than they used to. Reading as a writer is improving my writing, but I think in some ways it has lessened my pleasure in reading because now I am as much critic and student as I am reader.

1 comment:

  1. I have the same issue when it comes to what I currently enjoy reading. But it can work the other way as well. I recently read The Hunger Games for my bookclub. The story line was not my favorite. I do not enjoy the genre. However, Collins is an excellent writer. I enjoyed the depth she must have had to create in order to develop the story.