A few months ago I heard an amazing speech about observation, sad thing is, it was at a competition and there is no video I can send you to watch. I will try my best though to tell you what was so great about her speech. Her point was that what is different from a common human being and Sherlock Holmes, is that, the famous detective observed the little details that common people seem to dismiss. To prove to us the extent to which we dismissed stuff she described a common act, brushing your teeth. How you put the toothbrush under the water and let a little water drop onto it, only then to squeeze the last bits of toothpaste out of the tube and onto the toothbrush. The way that a small amount of paste falls from your toothbrush to the bathroom sink as the item makes its way to your mouth, and then you brush with a left to right, right to left, up and down, repeatedly. Simple right, a daily task that no one pays attention to because we don’t see it as something worth observing.
That is what sets most people apart from detectives. But, in my mind, if a detective needs observation a hundred percent to do his job, then a writer needs it a thousand percent more, do you know why? Take a guess… Well, here is why! As a writer not only must you observe other people around you, at times common tasks and then write them down on paper, you also have to learn how to observe personalities, reactions, psychologies. To create a story, a piece of work, a character, you must get to know them, observe their realities. Only then can you truly succeed in writing effectively. That is why being a detective is so similar to being a writer. Both have to observe first, if they want to be successful in what they are doing. To some extent, this is what is missing from many novels, people do not observe, they think they can just write a novel without first observing their characters, the way the society they want to create works. That though, is a whole entirely new topic, about the creation of a novel and trust me I am no expert on that, I am only 17 years old, but I know I am attracted to writing and reading. I have always been so, and that is because I love observing what is around me. One of the first times I tried to keep a journal, I started off by writing “This is not going to be a diary. In here I’m going to write what I notice around me.” It seems as though even then I understood that being a writer was about observing, because the world around us is a world of ideas in every tree and cloud, we just have to learn to look at it that way. A few days ago I was walking to the bus stop thinking about what the map of my book would look like, and there it was in the sky shaped by the clouds, right in front of me, I just had to notice it, to observe it.
So yes, if you ask me being a detective and being a writer is almost the same thing. One solves mysteries and the other solves mysteries, the mysteries of life. Both try to make sense of it all. Both observe.
Thank you for reading. I hope this Wednesday post made up for my barely good enough update post on Sunday.
Ps. Saturday movie review- Stuck in love