The saying "Write what you know" is one of my biggest motivators as a writer. I have it written inside a couple of my notebooks to serve as a reminder when I think I've run out of ideas. I enjoy reading fiction but I've never been a fan of writing it. I was uncomfortable turning in fiction assignments in school and if I had to read it out loud, oh man I would squirm in my seat. I hated making stuff up. I always thought people would assume anything I wrote was fact based, since that's what I preferred to do. I've always chosen to write personal based pieces because I believe that truth is often stranger than fiction. Amazing things happen to us every day and we take it for granted or miss out all together because we're too busy looking for something else. My iPhone has changed my life in a lot of ways but the biggest one is that I've started snapping photos of random things that I encounter throughout my days. Now I know I'm certainly not the only one doing this, and the people I work with and hang out with chuckle at me, but I don't mind. What I'm noticing are these tiny, fleeting moments that might seem uninteresting but when you stop and think about it, there's a cool story attached.
I was recently working a shift in the kitchen of a hotel. I prepare food and put it out for the guests' complimentary dinner. At the end of the dinner service, I bake a tray of chocolate chip cookies to set out at the front desk. It's pretty straight forward, the same type of cookies are made at the same time every evening. It's just one task on the checklist of many for that shift. But I'll tell you something, people appreciate those darn cookies! Those who are regular guests of this particular hotel chain expect those cookies! People can smell them baking and can be practically giddy at the thought of a free warm chocolate chip cookie. When I worked that most recent shift, the cookies looked and smelled perfect when I took them out of the oven. I looked at them and thought "It's pretty cool that I get to bake these cookies and take them out there for people" so I took a picture. I firmly believe that we always have a choice of at least two ways to look at any given situation. I know it's not always easy but I try to find that silver lining because it's always there, even when we choose to ignore it.