Standing on the other side of some road does not equate to seeing the world as does someone who lives on that side of the road.
To observe ‘failure to see’ from someone else’s perspective, read your weekend papers – leaders and talking heads of every stripe proving they see only their narrow viewpoints, completely lacking ability to see someone else’s view while shouting outrageously as if they were first and only champion of their own …
Doing a little exercise recently, I was trying to write from someone else’s perspective – bringing back memories of writing a short story about a woman, her as narrator, a few years ago. Sadly not great work, but I enjoyed challenging myself to see through a different lens, someone else’s lens …
I was listening to a Sam Shepard reading – he’d written about himself as if written by his son. It was chillingly frank. That got me thinking, questioning actually, could I write in anyone else’s voice – as someone might see me, write about me, feel about me. I realize this is a self-centered notion, but I wonder if it might reveal things which don’t come out on the page otherwise. I’m quite unsure about it, except for the strong feeling I will try it. Not sure I’ll share it, but I know now that I need to do it.
Have you ever wondered how others see you?
Try writing that down.
I am trying this, in a writing project; so far I’m finding it an illuminating, at times funny, and completely humbling exercise. I’m doing it in a fiction piece – names changed of course. I’ll know.