Tuesday, July 7, 2009

influencing others

I've been musing on a pet theme of mine. One I tried to teach my kids. I firmly believe you have more influence that you'll ever know. And I mean everyone projects influence. Don't think you're waltzing through life not making an impact. You do, every day. If you go around with a frown, someone who's already down might get even downer. But if you smile, even a little, even people you'll never know about will unconsciously get a lift in their spirits. I try to remember that, and while I'm not going around smiling like an idiot all the time, I'm darned sure I don't frown. And I definitely don't make negative statements. (Was that one or not?) Hate negativism in any form.

What set me off on this track was a quote from Tom Clancy. "Every person you meet--and everything you do in life--is an opportunity to learn something. That's important to all of us, but most of all to a writer because a writer can use anything." It immediately led my devious mind to my pet theme of how you influence every person you meet, as well as learn from them. And that led back to how every person influences you. As a writer and as a person.

Do you file away bits and pieces of personalities to draw on, maybe putting some together to form a new character? Or do you draw your protaganists from scratch?
I do a little of both. Sometimes a character will appear full blown and demand to be put on paper, and other times I put together traits from very different people. I love it when a character practically tells me what he wants to say.

Is it any wonder we all like being writers....What an opportunity to get so many things out of our subconcsious and onto the computer where you can examine them. What fun, and we even get paid for it! Well, a little anyway. Wish it were more, but you can't have everything...


Amber Skyze said...

I totally agree with the smile/frown part. My spirits have been lifted from passing by someone who smiled at me. Life is to short not to enjoy everything you possibly can! Great post, Jean.

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks Amber... I always feel a little silly exposing my inner thoughts, so I'm glad I hit a good point with you. Jean

Marianne Stephens said...

Yes, people do influence my writing. For the first few books I attempted to write, I always named the evil female character "Laura", after someone who "pulled a fast one" on me...and was a former business partner. I based all my "Lauras" on the "real" one's personality and selfishness.
We writers "write what/who we know"!

jean hart stewart said...

Fascinating, Marianne. I've got a few names in my head that I could never give to a heroine. Maybe names are a subject for another blog?