Listening … and writing.

There are different kinds of listening. We know this. There’s listening to understand and we should all do more of that, and then there are those people who aren’t really listening, they’re waiting for space to speak. Sometimes they don’t even wait, they just talk right over people. Don’t be them!
Sometimes people appear to be listening but in fact, they are not. They are nodding and agreeing but didn’t hear a word. Don’t be them either. 🙂

Try this, next time someone speaks to you, put your phone down and look at them. See the person in front of you and hear what they are saying.
People are interesting. They have lives that you know nothing about. Questions we brush off or ask on the run like, “How was your day?” could be switched for “What does your day look today?” or “What did your day look like today?” or even “What plans do you have for the day?” … then take a hot minute and listen to the reply. LISTEN. 🙂
Chances are the reply will spark another question. And before you know it, you are actually having a proper conversation. And you are getting to know that person. Human connections are important to us humans. COVID sure highlighted that for us! It’s not just touch that’s important, it’s connecting with others in all ways, it’s being able to share real thoughts and feelings and to be accepted. Communication is vital. We all need to be better communicators.

How does this equate to writing? Well, ya see, research is all about listening, and reading, and watching. It’s grasping new concepts and working to understand them. The very best way (for me) to research something new is to listen. I’ll listen to podcasts and take notes. (That taking notes bit is vital to help cement the information.) Then, if I’m lucky, there is a follow up conversation where I can share what I took from the podcast and learn more about the topic from the expert. Some topics take a lot more effort than others, sometimes I need to listen to several experts and read all the articles and have many conversations (cryptocurrency springs to mind!).
But, when it comes to the writing and the story … the reader doesn’t see all that work. They don’t get a shit tonne of information dropped on them from a great height … sometimes it boils down to a couple of sentences scattered throughout a body of work. BUT, the thing is, I KNOW what I’m talking about in those few sentences or in the scene where ‘whatever’ happens. Because I KNOW, the reader grasps the concept and understands that the character knows what the hell is up.
Never underestimate the power of research.
Always listen. Pay attention. Ask questions. Take notes. Be nice!

You don’t know, unless you take the time to find out, who around you has information or does something that fascinates you, or even does something that fits with something you’re working on. People have stories. People have life experience. And nine times out of ten, people like to talk about what they do or what they know. 🙂

And the thing I always find quite odd is that if you’re a writer people like to know how you do it. It never ceases to amaze me that people are interested in how I work or how my very complicated stories comes together. It’s just work, right? But, if it’s not something they’re familiar with, it’s interesting. 🙂

Here’s a linky link to the Byte Series.

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