I came across a quote from Flannery O’Connor that inspired this post. She said, “The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.”
I don’t think this applies to just writers, but creative people in general. It’s only through close examination that you can get past the surface and figure our what’s really going on inside of anything. This sometimes requires us to look at someone a little bit too long or to pay too much attention to a conversation at the table next to us. We might ask our friends questions that seem too probing or they catch us going through the mail they left out on the table.
Society might judge us rude, but this observation is crucial.
Don’t be ashamed of noticing the world around you. Stare, listen and ask questions. Sometimes you’ll get caught and confronted, but this won’t happen often. Don’t give it a second thought. Drink in the world in loud, gigantic gulps.
Stare proudly. The information you take in is the fuel for what you produce.