Sunday, February 18, 2018


What are your experiences with looking at situations from different perspectives? Is it something you value?

As I've gotten older, seeking alternative viewpoints of different conflicts or problems is a character trait I increasingly strive to make a habit because I believe it guides me to making better decisions. And in writing, it also allows me to come back to a manuscript with fresh eyes that makes my time rewriting and editing more meaningful and worthwhile. Let me to share an analogy.

A couple weeks ago we had a super moon and I viewed it as I drove back into Logan one night. Coming down from from Sardine Canyon, the moon was spectacular in its fullness as it hung above the mountains on the opposite side of the valley. It was definitely one of the brightest things I'd seen in a long time. I assumed that as I got closer, it would only become more beautiful, and I was excited to see how it would change as I approached.

However, as I dropped in elevation across the valley and neared my home I lost sight of the moon altogether as it dipped behind the mountains above Millville. I was so disappointed. I wondered how long I would need to wait before the moon rose back up above the ridge. I thought that would be long after I went to bed. I was tired, and was quickly losing stamina to stay awake. So I decided  I would simply be happy with my memory of the moon's image. That memory was good enough.

Yet, once more I was wrong. And as I pulled into my neighborhood, the moon was back, although perhaps not as full as it had appeared from the other side of the valley. Nevertheless, it was still spectacular. 

This experience reminded me of the idea of "perspective" in the act of writing. 

As writers we work on stories that excite us, stories that compel us forward as the characters develop and sort out their conflicts. When we finish, we love to share our accomplishment with our closest confidants, only to find out that our masterpiece is not as beautiful as we had thought. Closer examination from others with different outlooks and experiences brings certain trouble spots or rough patches to light. These suggestions often come with insight on how to fix them. 

And so we take another look at our manuscript, apply our changes, and make our improvements with the hope that what we end up with on the other side is just as beautiful. And often, it is. Not only that, the story in more tangible and more accessible for our readers than ever. In the same way our Super Moon was viewed and enjoyed by so many and in so many different perspectives.