“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.”

G. K. Chesterton

Sean Dietrich has become one of my favorite southern writers. I’ve mentioned him before. I love his style, his humor, his honesty.

And I love that he once wrote a column about me, or about someone who looks a lot like me when wearing a red suit. See Large Man on a Mission.

Sean has an amazing ability to take a phrase, any phrase and work it into a column, or a story. It’s a gift. And it’s a talent that he has polished over the years. A talent that I greatly admire.

I may never be as prolific a writer as Sean. It’s his real job by the way and I’m just working mine in between the day job and the Santa visits.

But what I think i can learn is the need to listen. To listen and actually hear.

I’ve begun carrying a notebook and making notes when something strikes me. Sometimes I’ll use it to write a post. Sometimes I’ll just file it away.

Sometimes I’ll tell Siri, and she may or may not get it right.

Yesterday while on I-95, where I’m spending a lot of time these days, and that’s another post, I told Siri to make a note of the phrase “Pursue the things that delight you.”

I’m not sure that’s exactly the right sentiment, but it comes from my lessons learned over the past year that, no, I really don’t have to try to do it all. It’s okay to say no.

But Siri didn’t see it quite that way.

She recorded the reminder as “Pursue the things that the lakeview.”

And I thought, you know a lake view could be delightful.

There are those moments, those events, those phrases, those images what weave themselves through our daily lives.

Sometimes they may seem significant.

As a writer my job is to observe them, make a note of them, and perhaps use them to write the next Great American Novel (™).

Or maybe just to prompt a blog post.

I’m trying to listen.

I hope I’m hearing.

What are you hearing these days?

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