How Does Close Observation Cause Us to See Things in a Different Light?

Before writing “Charlotte’s Web,” E.B. White watched a barn spider spinning a web. He seemed mesmerized by the activity.

White wasn’t merely distracted by this hard-working spider ... he began to think about it in a different way. What if he wrote a story featuring a web-spinning spider?

Closely observing the web-spinning spider, White saw it in a different light. It wasn’t just some annoying spider to ignore or eliminate. He even gave the spider a name.

Does close observation—of an event, of a person, of an animal or an insect—cause us to view things in a different light? How does that happen?

If White hadn’t watched the web-spinning spider so closely, do you think he would have made it the subject of a major story? Why, or why not?

Does staring intently at something cause us to start daydreaming about it? Has that ever happened to you? If so ... do you think that daydreaming helps us to get rid of distractions that might interfere with our creative ideas? How would that work?

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