I know I promised to return to the dislikes of agents—and that will happen tomorrow. For today, I’m focused on a different matter.
Whether we realize it or not, each of us selectively listen to a conversation. I’m most conscious of this fact when I’m trying to write down material from an interview or record notes from a speech, then use those notes to write something at a later date. I can’t write fast enough to capture everything so while I’m making notes, I’m missing something.
Since college, I’ve been composing my words at the typewriter or keyboard. It’s the common way that people write these days but in the 1970s, it was an unusual method. It’s helped my production and writing that I gained this skill many years ago and have been consistently using it ever since I learned it.
When I read the newspaper, I always make a point to read the comic page. The only exception is when I read a newspaper like The New York Times or USA Today which doesn’t have a comic page. Today I loved the comic For Better or Worse. If you don’t follow this particular comic, Michael, the son has become a writer. His wife is trying to get his attention yet he is listening selectively. I’d encourage you take a look at this permanent link for this comic. I showed it to my wife and she wanted to save it (highly unusual for her). Consider how selective listening plays into your own writing life. It certainly rang true for me.