Yesterday at work I made a connection that hadn’t been obvious before. I was stocking a shelf when a customer asked for an item. I told them where it was and offered to show them.
Of course, with my boot, everyone insist that they can find it and I don’t need to show them. I get so much sympathy with my boot on.
Well, this customer came back and couldn’t find it so I had to show them where it was. Sadly, the item was out of stock so no one could actually find it. I went back to stocking and laughed at myself because in my mind I was chanting “It’s better to show than to tell.”
I was always taught in retail that if someone is looking for something it is better to take them there and show them what they are looking for. It’s just good practice and customers appreciate it more. In writing we are told to show instead of tell. While it may be a little tougher to show rather than tell in writing, I still find the correlation amusing. Who knew that my every day job could bring me back to writing.
Of course, that is a silly thought as well because I am constantly writing in my head while I am at work. I can take some of the most simple occurrences and turn it into something sci-fi or fantasy related.
But this happened to be a learning experience for me. As a writer, my readers are my customers. It is my job to grab them by the hand and show them through the thoughts that rage in my mind. It is my job to make sure they never get lost and never wonder around for too long before finding what they are looking for. In this case, they are looking for resolve, and ending that makes sense.
For so long I have thought of writing as a completely different world. Something on the side of reality. Yesterday, the connection of “Show rather than tell” has brought a whole new light to my writing world. Writing is just another form of retail, but instead of selling products I am selling new worlds, new realities, new people, and a steady stream of dreams.
Believe it or not this actually helped me further understand the concept of showing my reader what is going on. It was a total epiphany moment for me.
Have you had a moment in life that brought new light to writing? Please share it with me!