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Friday, 01 July 2016 02:56

Walking Into It - The Importance of Being Observant As a Writer

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It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining and the white cedar trees that line the drive of our rural property were all in bloom, scenting the air with their delicate fragrance.

‘Ah, smell that,’ I said to my husband as we set off for our morning walk. ‘Isn’t it lovely.’

In typical fashion Michael grunted. ‘Hunh. I don’t smell anything.’

I stifled a sigh.

One thing I’ve noticed since becoming a writer is that it changes the way you experience life. The majority of people, men in particular, walk through their days with blinders on, never appreciating what’s around them.

But we writers are different, a separate breed. Constantly taking in the little things, those resonant details that others miss, storing them away to use in our stories.

Poor Michael, I thought. If only he’d train himself as I have. To be more observant. To be more aware. Maybe I could show him all he was missing.

‘Wait here,’ I said, and turned to stride over to the nearest tree.

I reached up, snagged the lowest branch and broke off a cluster of flowers. Clutching the posy, I marched back and thrust it beneath his nose. ‘There. Can you smell it now?’

He seemed bemused. An odd sort of smile on his lips as he stood gazing down at me. Finally he answered. ‘Yeah. I guess.’

I stood triumphant for all of two seconds. Until I noticed my knee felt wet. A sensation rapidly spreading down my leg and into my shoe.

This eagle-eyed writer had failed to notice her husband had paused, not to anticipate her return, but to relieve himself against the nearest tree.

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