Penny for my thoughts,
I'll sell 'em for a dollar.
They're worth so much after I'm a goner,
And maybe then you'll hear the words I've been singing
Funny when you're dead how people start listening....
- The Band Perry, If I Die Young
This, to me, captures the essence of peer pressure. How? A song about premature death and peer pressure - how can they be related in any way besides (
sadly) cause and effect?
I don't think they're just related, I think they're two colors in the same painting. Other colors:
Are you confused yet? Here's where I'm coming from - in all those colors, there's one thing in common. Someone paying attention.
Sometimes it's too late, sometimes they're only listening to the words we've been told to say, but the fact is, for a moment, someone's attention is totally, absolutely, directly focused on you.
And it's addictive. You see it in books, in songs, in movies, but how often in real life?
It's not just sight: they're watching you for the smallest signs in your face
It's not just hearing: they're listening for your inflections, your motivations
It's not just conversation: they're trying to figure out your mind, what you're thinking
It's not just entertainment: they're involving you in their own plans, not just as an addition
I know I'm addicted to this, but is it the writer in me, or the human?
If it's the writer, I can understand and use it to relate to other people.
But if it's the human, worlds are opened.
I'll be honest, when I write I don't keep the reader in much importance. I mean, I do in the sense that I try to fill in all plot holes and make the story entertaining, but mostly my work goes into the story, making it the best it can be. I have long believed this to be the best course of action. The writer in me still does.
The human isn't so sure.
Pandering isn't what I'm going for here. But us authors love to talk about how important our stories our, at least to us, how we hope and wish that someone else will love them someday too. And that's good. We pour our souls into the story, we want people to pay attention to them. We want them to listen.
How often do we listen to them?
There's hunger in the world, not just for food, but for something more. Artists - no matter their medium - know and feel it. Try to feed it. No matter the piece of art, I believe that there is someone somewhere who hungers to be told the story (or painting, song, etc). But not because it's was written, they want it because, in a way, it was written for them.
Does that make sense? There's not a solid difference, a 'do this' or a 'don't do this,' but it is a mind-shift. Just an idea.