While visiting one of my favourite blogs one Thursday back in November 2011 — Susan Atole’s Just… a Moment — I was intrigued by the unusual perspective in her featured photos. I learned she had been challenged by someone to lay on her back for taking photo shots, and I decided to try it, too.
This unusual perspective offered design and reflections, glimmers of colours and shapes not previously noticed. The ordinary became extraordinary.
There’s something to be said for lifting our eyes beyond the obvious. If we always look at things from the same perspective, we’re going to keep seeing the same things in the same way. It’s true in life, and it’s true in writing.
I’ve been doing some editing for a friend, and am appalled at how often I’ve found an error in sections already line edited several times. “How could I possibly have missed that?” Every time I read through a chapter on the computer my brain insisted on reading what it expected to find, not necessarily what my eyes were seeing. It wasn’t until I printed the manuscript and read it in the new format that more errors popped out at me. For the final proofing I printed it again, but in a different font, and found still more.
A new perspective provides fresh inspiration when we’re bogged down writing a scene, too. Where do we go when our only idea keeps leading us to a proverbial brick wall? Sometimes we need to take the story on the road … write in a different environment, use different tools, maybe give the scene to a different character.
A different perspective tricks the brain into shifting its thinking. And that new viewpoint may be all that’s needed to stimulate the mind and send it off in a fresh direction.
Besides laying on your back, how might you achieve a new perspective for an existing project? Has a new perspective ever helped you out of a dilemma?
The day this was originally posted (in 2011) I was also talking about Dealing with Transitions over at The Pastor’s Wife Speaks Blog. Please consider clicking on over there if you’d like to read what I said on that topic. [The Pastor’s Wife Speaks blog was discontinued at the end of November 2011, so it was my final post there.]
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