Some people are picture people.
In my day job, I work with quite a few people like that. Some of them are graphic artists and others work in other areas of design. Their minds seem to always work in pictures. Whatever the concept, they always seem to be able to translate it into a visual form, often turning ideas into amazing pieces of what I could only describe as art.
I’m frequently in awe of what these people are able to achieve. It’s one aspect of my job that I actually quite enjoy – working with people who have this skill, and seeing what the results of their work are able to achieve.
Because I have to admit I’m not like that. I don’t have that capacity to express myself with visuals. And I definitely don’t have the capacity to convert complex ideas into wonderful images. I can’t help but be envious of people who can do these things that I cannot.
Not that I’m completely un-visual. I like to feel that my mind actually has quite a good capacity for capturing images. I often feel that I sense the world best and make the most sense of it when I’m able to capture some sort of internal visualisation. It’s just that when I need to communicate that visualisation, I fall short. I don’t have the ability, or the set of tools, both mental and physical, to convert those inner pictures into actual, real-world images.
But luckily, I do have another skill. Even a super-power if you like.
Like I said, I can conjure up pictures in my head, but I can’t translate them into a visual form that can be viewed by anyone else. But I can turn them into words.
That’s kind of how I work as a writer. I begin by visualising my story. I can see the places. I can see the characters. I can watch the events as they unfold in my head. Sure it’s a little bit hazy and a little bit wobbly. I suppose it’s like watching a television where the antenna is a bit crooked so the reception is a bit wonky.
I then take those images out of my head by turning them into words on the page. That’s really the process in a nutshell. Trying to reproduce the images in my head through the careful use of words. Painting with words if you like – or using my mind as a super-powered picture-to-words translator.
Many people have described me as a highly visual writer. They’ve often said how they can see the story as they’re reading it. I take this as amongst the highest compliments possible.
So I’m not really one of those picture people. But in other ways I am.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as