Thursday, October 04, 2007

Point of View

I was invited to lunch by a friend last week. She said, "You're always so positive and uplifting ... and I've been a little down of late. My book seems stalled, and blah-blah-blah. I need a Shelley boost." Not being one to turn down an opportunity for a free meal or to bask in a little praise, I accepted with enthusiasm.

As we enjoyed our meal alfresco at a downtown sidewalk cafe, my friend remarked that she admired my focus and positive outlook. "You always seem so sure of yourself and what you're doing." In comparison, she said, she was frequently distracted from her writing and discouraged by some recent contest disappointments and difficulty completing a chapter.

I admit to being pleased that I project such a favorable image. But here's the kicker: When I look at my friend, I see a woman writer whose byline keeps popping up in print and Internet columns. In addition, her fiction and nonfiction work has been selected on several occasions in just the last year as a contest winner or runner up--and for some significant cash awards as well! In my estimation, she is a prolific writer and producer of fine quality writing. In fact, in recent months I've envied her continued output while I've been distracted from my personal work.

Point of view is more than just the voice of a character in a work of fiction. It also means having a distinct perspective based on where you stand. I guess I've learned that when I don't like the view from where I'm standing, I move. I turn the pages in my mind until I find a scenario that suits me better.

Hey, we're writers. That means we create our own reality as well as fantasy. So, focus your perspective on a vision of yourself that suits you. And stop examining yourself in a 5X magnifying mirror--learn to overlook your perceived flaws and focus on your talent and your purpose.

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