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A Writer’s Super Power: Shift in Perspective

By May 7, 2019 June 24th, 2019 tips

The ability to manifest a shift in perspective is a super power. Since you’re capable of watching a science fiction movie and accepting what’s going on, why not create a a vision for the world you want to live in? Come take a look. Let’s go for a walk.

One man who is a landscaper notices all the greenery planted in and around the sidewalks. He notices how the trees have been trimmed. He’s enjoying the plants as he walks along the sidewalk. Some of these plants are root bound, he thinks, as he notices a lineup of large potted plants along the walkway. He’d rather be walking in the woods, but he appreciates the greenery he sees. Did the writer give you a good picture of the scene of this ancient side street in Athens?

shift in perspective landscaper plants writer
Do you feel like you’re root bound and need to escape to a bigger space?

The next man is a car dealer. This character notices virtually nothing in and around the sidewalks. But he sees the cars and trucks passing by. He’s imagining himself parking that Tesla in his garage or taking that Jeep for a ride in the mountains. He would much rather be driving than walking. Did the writer give you enough details to let you know that it’s night time in San Francisco?

shift in perspective cars headlights photography writing night driving san francisco
Are you in need of a vehicle to help you get where you want to go?

A woman notices her reflection in a storefront window. This third character is an artist. She notices spiderwebs glistening in the corners of the bars that protect the window. Her eye has been trained to notice interesting details that inspire art. Did the writer give you enough details to let you know that you’re walking down the streets of New Orleans in the evening?

Do you feel like you’re on the outside looking in at what you wish you could have?

“Heel,” a woman says to her dog. This character notices all the other dog owners walking by. She hears a bark from another dog that notices her dog. The dog is wagging its tail, so she’s not too concerned. She notices the usual spots where her dog likes to mark his territory. She sees another dog owner ahead in the distance with two dogs on a leash. She begins to anticipate how her dog might react to these dogs. Did the writer give you enough background to let you know you’re at San Jose’s Rose White and Blue parade on the Fourth of July?

woman walking dog street
How do you feel about dogs? Why?

“God loves you,” says a man wearing baggy dirty jeans and a soiled jacket. The blanket he’s carrying a blanket over his shoulder drags on the sidewalk as he shuffles down the street with a smile on his face. He appears to be homeless and in distress, yet he also appears to be the happiest one walking down the street, greeting everyone who passes by. Despite the fact that most ignore him, he repeats short blessings, “God is with you,” and “God bless you.” When you’re in charge of bringing this character to life, you can choose to have him see and say whatever you want.

What’s most important to see here is that it’s your choice to decide what you want to focus on. You too have a habit of noticing certain things. If you were to talk down this sidewalk, you would be in your own automated character, noticing a few things in particular, while missing out on most of the experience.

How can it be that all of these people are walking down the same street and seeing completely different worlds? If you ask the landscaper about which types of dog breeds he passed along the way, he won’t know. If you ask the dog lover which types of trees and shrubs she passed along the way, she won’t know. If you ask the car dealer about the businesses he just passed, he won’t know. If you ask the homeless man who just passed by, he’ll mention a woman with a dog, a man looking at the plants and another man watching cars pass by. He will also tell you that the women who gave him a dollar had paint brushes and a sketch pad next to the wallet in her handbag.

Your super power as a writer is that you can be anyone you choose to be. You can have a shift in perspective and get in the mind of each of these people. It’s not that you’ll need to live a lifetime through any of these characters, although this too is possible in this fictitious world.

A shift in perspective is a super power. To the extent that you master this, you can learn to notice people and to relate to them more as you become curious about how they see their world. You can put this super power into practice by moving into this world where you interact with unsuspecting characters to find out what’s going on in their mind. This is a stretch for you and a gift to them. How delightful it is when someone decides to join you on your journey and get curious about what’s on your mind. Attention is uplifting and enlightening to both.

shift in perception woman writer walking

This ability to adopt a temporary shift in perspective is your talent as a writer. Practice a shift in perspective out of your mind and go join with others at will. The more you write, the better you become at this skill of capturing the world through the eyes of others.

You can practice a shift in perspective any time. It’s a path to greater awareness. You can do this mental pushup right now. You can shift into and through anyone. By knowing that you have this skill, why not focus on what you want most of the world? Why not see the world as you would have it? What does a happy world look like to you?

Acceptance is a giant leap toward happiness. By accepting what you see around you, you can set your mind at peace knowing that you are where you need to be. It’s a joy to accept that there are no accidents and you are always in the right place at the right time for what you need to do next.

You’re free to see whatever you want. You’re free to notice in the world your way or through the eyes of your life companions. You are welcome to smirk at the people around you and feel that snarky attitude come back at you. And you are free to approach the world with open arms and experience the welcoming reception in return. It’s time for a shift in perspective. Are you ready to accept this gift?

open arms open mind writer perspective beach sunset

A shift in perspective can change the course of your day and the course of your life. It’s your choice how you want to handle the world you see. Anytime you catch yourself going into a dark hole, know that it takes only a simple shift in perspective. Do a U-turn and find your way out.

People marvel at writers who are able to create characters with depth and realism. The greater the believability, the greater the chance that readers will connect with the characters. You have an opportunity to build on your character as a writer. What role do you want to play out?

Writers have the ability to work their way into characters. Prolific writers gain the ability to jump around on demand.

If you’ve been stuck in a perspective that’s holding you back, you can write your way out. Join the community of Prolific Writers and practice the power of a shift in perspective.

Prolific Writers Life writing perspective logo

Lorraine is the Founder of Prolific Writers.

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