Writing from ‘Corners’

Sometimes you have to shift the focus, from the limelight to the corners. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Don’t try to write about winners. Too many people have written about them. Write about losers. They’re many and everywhere to see but each has a unique stroy to tell.

That’s what Mitch Albom stated in his talks:

“Go to the corners. The best stories I’ve ever written come out of those corners.”

The best stories are not always about winners or those with gold medals in their necks. Some are even less than that but they actually hide equally touching or even more heart-wrenching and inspiring lessons to let audience know.

Albom discovered one of his best while he was covering Olympics in Barcelona 1992.

He was sitting around and the story came to him unexpectedly. “Sometimes stories come to you when you put yourself in certain places.”

When everyone there seemed to be engrossed with Carl Lewis, the fastest runner at the time, Albom spotted a runner who seemed to fail to make it. This poor runner failed to perform as he wished because his hamstring got injured.

Every spectator thought he was done.

But as a writer, Albom had his instinct to keep an eye on him.

“He was in the lane, lying down on his knees. You can see his agonizing pain. He got up and cried.”

And then Albom saw an unexpected scene afterwards. There was a man running towards the failing runner. He grabbed the runner and lifted him up and persisted to walk the runner along the remaining track. Everyone seeing this cheered them up. In marathon, if you do cross the finsih line, no matter what your time is, you’re entered in the book as one who gets there fastest. So what matters most is that you finish.”

Albom ran towards them and talked to both. As the two men were in tears, he found a fact that the runner is the man’s son.

“That’s what my father taught me how to run when I was a little boy…,” the runner said to Albom.

Writing from ‘corners’ sounds very counterintuitive, I must say. But this is a ¬†worth-trying approach to gain a fresh perspective towards an issue or topic.

When everyone’s attention is absorbed by winners, those who fail sometimes save the best lessons for us writers.

I find this very useful for novices and beginners in writing who assume they have to find a huge and spectacular story to write so that they can be called a great writer.

Some writers are known because of their great and grand themes. Some are not but still they make great success. The second succeed thanks to their instinct of finding the most substantial themes in life among piles of mundane, ordinary and boring things around them. In other words, they write about things most people and new writers ignore or choose to ignore in a greated depth, a fresh angle and a brand new style no author has ever tried or dared before.

What’s your most mundane story? And how can you turn them into captivating stories?¬†(*/)

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