Kris and I Had a Great Discussion About Depth Today…
All because I was getting fitted with nifty, programmed hearing aides. Why that discussion? Because for the first time in a long time, maybe decades, I could hear certain things.
Things I didn’t even know I wasn’t hearing.
And that lead to the discussion about depth in writing in all its forms. Some writers had trouble with it in this last workshop and that was because they didn’t even know they were missing it.
I didn’t know I was missing sounds. I just knew I had trouble hearing at times, not that a massive range of sounds were not available to me in general.
When the doctor started programming the hearing aides to my hearing loss areas, the very first thing I noticed was that I heard my own voice differently. She said I would get used to it and I knew exactly what she meant.
Again, like a writer. We are so used to our own voices, when suddenly we see them or hear them, they sound odd. I was hearing a brand new range in my own voice inside my head.
Next thing I noticed was that I could hear small, higher-pitched sounds, like cellophane crinkling. Or fingernails lightly on a desk. Or a faint sound of music from another room.
And so, so much more.
I know what I am missing with only one eye. But mostly everything remained the same around me when I lost that vision. But today I really understand how much I was missing in the hearing loss from decades ago.
So Kris and I talked about how that is the same with writers and depth in their stories. They think they are putting in the full range of what is needed to relay the story, but in reality, they have no idea what is not there.
You can’t know if you can’t see it.
So I thought I could hear fine, just like many writers think they can relay story fine, but like me not knowing what I was missing, writers can’t see it either without a lot of training and practice.
For example, the doctor took me outside the office, faced me toward a busy intersection, and stood behind me, talking softly and I could hear every word she said. Never in decades could I do that. Before I would not have known someone was even talking behind me.
All this new experiences for me is levels of depth I can now hear, levels I had no concept were even there. Just like in writing. When a writer understands how depth works and starts to practice it in all its forms, suddenly their stories have details in them the writer didn’t even know they weren’t putting in.
And just like writing, this is going to take me some time to get used to. I only wore them for a few hours today and when I took them off, it felt like a blanket of dullness settling over me. So I will practice with them more and more each day for a few weeks, then go back to the doctor to learn more, and keep on learning.
Learning how to once again hear things I didn’t even know I wasn’t hearing.
Just as if I was learning how to add more depth and richness and thickness into my writing.