I got a new car a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, pretty exciting. My hubby encouraged me to throw practicality to the wind and get what I wanted. So I did. I bought a pretty little mini cooper. His name is Sheldon. Here is his baby pic:
Isn't he cute? I ordered his name tag--it will be here soon.
What does this have to do with writing? Lots, actually.
Since I got Sheldon, the kids and I have been driving around town. Lots. I think I have put almost a thousand miles on him in two weeks. Top down, as much as possible. I've got a fabulous farmer's tan now. And probably some spectacular wrinkles starting!
Back to writing. On the way home from our overnight road trip across the state today, it occurred to me how much Sheldon was helping me with my writing. Sure--I relax when I drive him, and I love blasting Green Day and singing along (my kids have given up trying to feign embarrassment about my Green Day obsession). So all of that stuff is good for my mental health and therefore good for my writing. But what has *really* happened is that I have noticed lots of things I had not BC (before convertible).
For one thing, did you know that if you drive on a road under a bridge at night, you can feel the heat radiating from the underside of the bridge? Not just a little--it is pretty warm--and it feels great to zoom through.
Also, when a big rig passes your car, just before the nose of the truck passes, you get a blast of air. A whopper of a blast. Yes, it happens every time--and it changes if the truck is bigger, or going faster. I realize a lot of this is the nerd in me, but my point is--
How many times have these events happened around me and I have just been oblivious? I know I have probably driven under ten thousand bridges in my life--and been passed by half a million trucks (perhaps that is an exaggeration, perhaps not.). I've never noticed that warmth under a bridge or that current of air just ahead of a speeding truck.
As writers--we must be observant, or else we stagnate--and our writing stagnates. You've all had "stop to smell the roses" drilled into you. I surely did.
It took one major change in perspective to really open the work up around me. As a writer--I am stoked! As a human being--well, I saw some milkweed growing on the side of the road. I know if I keep my eye on those plants, I'll see some monarch butterflies later in the season.
So, writers! Put your virtual top down, grab your favorite sunglasses and music and head out on the road. Shake up your perspective and see if you notice something new and exciting that you haven't ever seen--around your home or close by. I'll bet there are a ton of new experiences just waiting. Put them on paper in your next book so we can all catch a glimpse.
Take another look!