Monday, July 16, 2012

A Different Set of Eyes.

photo credit: National Geographic Channel
I don't believe in spiritual journeys. I'm pretty sure I've said this before. I don't believe in going to remote places, that going to the high ends of a mountain or into the darkest edges of the forest can inspire you. Well, maybe they do to some extend, but I'm pretty sure these kinds of journeys aren't for me. What I believe can inspire is the process of getting new understandings about how the world works, which to some people is done through spiritual journeys.

A different set of eyes, that's what I would say. This is because by going through those journeys you learned a little bit more about yourself, you experienced something you have never experienced before. It's like the first time you went camping and you were faced with a bear. At this very moment, you will know how it feels to be (literally) scared to death, to muster all the courage within you for the sake of seeing tomorrow and the way you see life from that moment on will be changed. It's like you get a brand new set of eyes that will allow you to have a different perspective from what you used to believe in.

So maybe camping is a bad example of a spiritual journey, but that's not the point. The point is that it doesn't matter where you go or what you do, what does matter is how your choice of destination and activities there can introduce you to things you have never encountered before. In other words, how far are you going to allow yourself to be adventurous?

We all want our stories to be fearless. We write for the adventure, the ride and the thrill of it all, but how far are you willing to push yourself? Fearless stories come from fearless writers. How fearless are you willing to be in pursuing the experiences you need to reach greater depths for your stories? Because in reality, you can't really capture the heart of a  love story in New York if you've never been to New York and actually fell in love with someone there. Well, probably not 100%, but you'll capture the story better if you've experienced it first-hand.

How many set of eyes are you willing to have, so that you can step into your characters' shoes, again, at greater depths? Because if you want to create 10 great characters, you're going to need 10 different set of eyes, or should I say 10 different perspectives, and putting yourself in the shoes of 10 different people is a hard thing to do. If you hold yourself back and you don't start being fearless, you'll have less experiences which means you have fewer set of eyes that will lead you to weak characters and result in not-so-great stories, proving you're a not-so-great writer. And for me, being not-so-great isn't enough.

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