I remember when I first started writing. I read everything I could find about writing. And I mean everything. One of the key pieces of advice given by most every source said “LISTEN” to the conversations around you. Listen to the world around you. Open your ears and that space between them and listen to how people speak. Listen to what they say.
I was so consumed that first year or two with getting words on paper and telling the story in my head I spent little time paying attention to the marvelous world around me. It was all I could do to not think about my book while I worked or cooked or cleaned. Even while driving my brain was in my story. Forget whatever was on the radio, my characters were talking louder and stronger than anything in the real world.
In last couple of years I haven’t logged as many words as I did when I first started writing.But! I think I’m learning to listen and pay attention to the fascinating world around me.The thoughts and beliefs of the other people on this planet are pretty darned amazing. My imagination is sparked by so many of the awesome tales being told around me. I have heard some of the best stories lately from the people in my work family. OMG. My head is swarming with a new cache of bunnies from the life experiences of my friends.
I knew those writing books were right, but I finally fully understand, down to my toes, deep in my soul, what listening really means. Open up those ears. Get the bananas out of them. Shift your focus from that cell phone or tablet and pay attention. Let those words of your fellow humans light a fire to your imagination.