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Mining for XP.

November 1, 2012

Happy Belated Halloween (For those who observe it.)

I was driving to work this morning and Taylor Swift was on the radio and she got me thinking about Experience. I have talked about experiences  informing you as a writer. I believe that it expands the boundaries of the ‘write what you know’ adage. My thought this morning about Ms. Swift was: Is she depriving herself of life experiences based on the career path she has taken?

I mean obviously she has time to date. But does she? How can you invest in a deep relationship when you aren’t available the majority of the time?

She travels all around the world, but does she get a chance to have immersive experiences? It seems to me that she would hit a city, do a publicity blitz, play the show and head out again immediately after.

Please do not think that I am trying to detract from Ms. Swift. I confess, I do like what I have heard on the radio from her. I think she projects a fairly decent persona for her fans and she is obviously pretty successful at what she does. However, is she cocooned in the music industry, and therefore unable to explore other experiences?

As writers (song, novel) part of the deal is to be observers. We ought to be studying the people, places and things (nouns generally) around us. It helps us build characters, create scenes vivid enough to transport the reader there, create drama and tension so palpable you can cut it with a knife and mainly keep the reader flippin’ pages until the reach the end.

It can be argued certainly that the sheer volume of people washing in and out of Ms. Swift’s daily life can offer a plethora of potential, but yet it is still limited. Of course there are experiences that she will have that none of us will go through, that is just the difference of people and their lives. Each one is unique, each one has its own set of experiences.

Was there a point here? I suppose if there was, it is that last sentence in the paragraph above. Everyone’s got to live their life, experience the things that come to them.  Ultimately, your stories will come out of your experiences. They will be yours and what you do with them, whether that is to simply savor them, write about them, express them in some other fashion will be as good as you decide.

Thanks for reading everyone. I’d also like to take a moment and extend a hearty WELCOME! to all the new people following along.



From → Writing

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