I'm still surprised to discover how many beginning writers are dramatically blind to the physical world. They have concerns, issues, memories, and vague feelings about society, but when they write what usually comes out is stale cliche. Typically, they “see” things in one of three ways: "artistically", deliberately, or not at all. Those who see artistically decorate their descriptions, turning them into a kind of poetic prose: the winter trees immediately become “old men with snow on their shoulders,” or the lake looks like a “giant eye.” The ones that see deliberately go on and on describing a brass lamp by the bed with painful exactness. To write because one wants to write is natural, but to learn to see is a blessing, and one has to work at it, which means one has to care about what you're looking at. The art of finding story is the art of marrying the sacred to the world, the invisible to the visible. We see through stories in order to find other stories.