U is for Understand
We write to decipher the mysteries of the universe. We write to understand our world. We write to understand others. We write so that others may understand us.
But at our most basic level, we write to understand ourselves.
In a world with 7.4 billion people, we often focus on our differences. Yet in many ways, we are all the same. So in understanding others, the world, and the universe, we are actually understanding ourselves.
Writers observe. They watch everything around them, and then either use it or squirrel it away for later. One of the most basic description exercises is doing just that: placing yourself in a busy cafe and writing down everything that you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste around you. It is part of the discovery. If you haven't done this before, do it now. Don't wait. Try it a few times, in other locations. Then do it in nature, or in a subway, or some other place that is completely different. Note the differences. Record them. Embrace them. Use them to deepen your writing practice. Become a person on whom "nothing is lost."
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
― C.G. Jung
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
― Ernest Hemingway
“Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost." - Henry James,