Some people think writing about everyday occurrences is uninteresting. But I like to believe that the everyday is what connects writers with readers, as human beings who share a common or not-so-common world.
What is it about the everyday—the small details, the routines and rituals—that resonates so deeply?
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Everyone has an “everyday” perspective.
We don’t have to go on a fabulous and exotic trip. We don’t have to endure a major life change or crisis. The everyday, by definition, exists in each of our lives, and it provides endless fodder for our writing. We could describe something that happens every day or once in a while—or we could write about something that happens only once but is an extremely ordinary or common experience.
The everyday grounds readers who can identify and understand your world.
Writing about everyday things builds connections with readers. They are able to imagine what you’re describing, perhaps even place themselves into the scene, because they too have experienced that moment in some way. Relating to the story pulls them in and creates emotion, ties in memories, and enriches the imagery.
What’s everyday in one person’s life may be completely foreign to someone else’s.
On the other hand, each of us lives a different life and has a unique background and perspective. Something that seems everyday to you may be even more interesting to others because it’s nothing like what they experience. The places you go, the food you eat, the people you interact with could very well stand in total contrast to another person’s lifestyle.
Writing about the everyday in a fresh way is a wonderful challenge.
Because everyday moments happen often or are common to many, it’s not always easy to write about them in a fresh way. We often have to look closely to see the true beauty that exists around us, those constants we sometimes take for granted, and then work hard to elevate them in our writing. Choosing to write about the everyday requires a filter. We must ask ourselves: what’s most meaningful? How does this moment or object contribute to the story? And how can I describe it in a way that is both familiar and totally new?
How do you write about the everyday? How do you make it captivating?
Write about an everyday moment, ritual, or object for fifteen minutes.
When you’re finished, please share your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please respond to some of the other comments too!