It’s early. The sun is not up yet. The only sound is the gentle clacking of my keyboard and my dog snoring in the next room.
As usual I’m using the quiet hours to write. It’s my favourite, most precious time of the day.
Like many people, I have the tendency to write in the past tense. Then I go back and edit it into the present.
The present is where we live. Life is vivid in the present. Where we can actually smell the smells and feel the feelings.
That’s why most writing and speaking experts agree that it holds your audience’s attention more to write and speak in the present tense. It’s called vivid writing or vivid speaking. For example, a simple story
“Sorry I’m late. I was in my car and a dog ran out causing a truck in front of my to swerve, hitting a mailbox!” can be changed to:
“Sorry I’m late. I’m in my car and a dog runs out. The truck in front of me swerves and hits a mailbox!”
The present is more engaging. We are in it, not observing it. So today’s challenge is simply that. For the next week, live vividly.
1. Notice whenever you’re speaking in the past tense and change it to present tense.
2. Notice whenever you’re writing in past tense and edit it back to the present.
3. Notice when your past experience is creating assumptions in the present. Practice taking each new moment as a whole new experience.