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February 20, 2018

It’s really hard to listen…

“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them.”
(Eudora Welty)

 

Most famous writers have this in common: they are insatiably curious about the world around them and what makes people tick. When asked about their craft and how they find the amazing stories they tell, they frequently remark that they just listen for them.

 

The truth is it’s really hard to listen when you’re talking. So, as parents and spouses and co-workers, we might try this little trick: Think of yourself like a writer of a script instead of an actor in a scene. Refuse to dismiss the other person’s fears or arguments as silly. Listen for what’s NOT being said; listen for what’s REALLY going on.

 

Also, don’t ignore your own anxiety or frustration. Listen for why your button got pushed. Be as curious about what makes the other person (and yourself) tick as a writer is with his characters. You might be surprised at the new stories (maybe even happy endings?) you can create.

 

Peace begins with pause,

 

 

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