It must be an amazing experience when you encounter someone that is just like you. Especially when you’ve felt like for so long that you were the only one. Just this past weekend I was with my niece and she doesn’t encounter little girls a lot because my sister hasn’t had her around a lot of children. She’s only one she’ll be two in June.
Any who, we were walking down the street and she saw a little girl that was the same height, and used the same form of “talking” as my niece did. They stared at each other and smiled for about five minutes before talking in “infant” talk to one another. When they first saw each other they ran to each other and just stared and smiled. It was like a light-bulb moment or love at first sight. It was almost as if they were checking each other to make sure they were real.
I thought about moments in my life that were like that. Moments that brought out the smile-of-fascination. I remember reading a book by Toni Morrison called The Bluest Eye, there were times throughout the book that I thought only came from my mind. There were things that I thought only I thought about. I felt like the writer took a piece of me. Knew things about me that I never told anyone about but somehow could pinpoint the exact words to describe my feelings.
I found myself wanting to imitate these writers. I wanted to know how to express myself in the ways that they could. So that the hope one day someone would place a smile-of-fascination on something that I wrote.
My niece and the little girl followed each other. They were in awe on each other’s mannerisms and likeness. In the same ways I think you look up to people that you feel are like you and try to mimic them. I look up to writers like Toni Morrison and Richard Wright because I’m in awe of their writing. My niece respects me and admires me in ways because I’m one person that does fun stuff with her. I allow her to have interactions and experiences a kid should have. So, there are times she mimics me…
I think the ideas of admiration and mimicking are important to writing because it helps develop your writing style more.