A Short Stistening Diversion

Instead of the normal writing exercise, I'm going to use this post to introduce you to stistening. This is a term that I learned from my Third-Year Writing professor. Essentially, it's staring + listening, and it is a tool that makes any ordinary writer an excellent writer. For example, say you're sitting in an outdoor cafe in Paris, France. People around you are talking, they're walking along the sidewalks, interacting with each other. The point of stistening is to pay attention to anything and everything, to absorb it all using the 5 (or 6, depending on who you are) senses. What do you hear, taste, smell, feel, see? Write it down. Let the words come out. Don't think. Just write.

While I like the idea, I don't like the name. Staring, to me, isn't active. I can stare at something for hours but never actually realize at what I'm looking. I can, however, observe, so my combination would be listen + observe which equals........ Hmm... What does it equal? Obsisten? Lisserve? Let's go with lisserve. I like that one best out of the 2. Anyways, we went and lisserved during class today for 10 minutes, and this is what I came up with:
It's on windy days like this that I wish I had a kite. As the air whips across my face, I smile and close my eyes, enduring the chill for a brief moment in order to envision that kite in my mind's eye; to see it bob up and down, to and fro, side to side in the strong breeze, inhibited only by the thin piece of string that connects it to me. Inspired by a stroke of whimsy, I tilt my mind every so slightly, sending it diving toward the unsuspecting students walking below, but I quickly tilt my hand in the other direction to save them from alarm. Then I realize that it's cold outside, and the kite suddenly freezes, mid-air, which sends it plummetting toward the ground. When it hits, it shatters into a thousand tiny pieces. For a moment, I'm upset, but then I remember it's not real and go back inside.
And that's that. It was a rather enjoyable experience. It's been a while since I've gone out simply to observe, and it was nice to be able to relax outside with no pressure even if it was really cold.

Does anyone else do anything like this? I could see how doing it on a regular basis would really benefit a writer's abilities.

I'm going to double-post today. Aren't you excited?? Well, I ended up scrapping everything I had previously written for my NaNo opening and started from scratch. Ugh. But it's ok. I think I've come up with something that's totally workable. It still has a few bugs to work out, but it's at a point where I'm ready for some constructive criticism, so I'm going to post it later on this evening. Woo!

Well, I had better get to typing that up!

I hope you all had a wonderful day!



Jen said…
What a super fun concept! I think I might lisserve tomorrow! Great blog!!!

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