Ok, so sit down right now and ask yourself when the last time was that you read a book or watched a movie or TV show that made you sit up and think about something you saw within those texts. You actually had to re-think it and process it – whether it was a scene, a piece of dialogue, a series of shots within any given piece of filmed entertainment – whatever it was.
That was a moment of wonderment (or “mow.”)
My last “mow” was when I was watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower on a random weekend afternoon with friends. We all knew that this was a movie based on a popular YA novel and that it was one of Hermione/Emma Watson’s first “grown-up” movie roles. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was a “mow” that appears in the movie. It went like this; the main character, Sam, asks this question of one of his teachers (played by Paul Rudd):
“Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we’re nothing?”
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
Within the movie this exchange of dialogue goes by in a few seconds, however, this answer sparked a number of thoughts and feelings in me and it has remained ever since. The movie continued to illustrate how folks accept the love they think they deserve and overall, it is a brilliant film. I think this is an excellent example of a moment of wonderment.
How do audiences experience moments of wonderment?
I would not have experienced that exchange if I hadn’t viewed the movie, yet, I know that in my own life this statement is oh-so-true – so very, very true. From watching this film, I have re-evaluated a number of past and present relationships-romantic and platonic and yes, this is the case, there is no doubt.
The author sparked something within my soul – and from the popularity of this book and this movie it seems that he has successfully connected with a lot of people. His work resonates on a collective consciousness level.
Be aware of this as you continue to consume pieces of popular culture and I know that you’ve experienced this sometime in your life – perhaps as you watched Disney movies growing up or your favorite TV show in high school or college. We all gravitate towards some pieces of pop culture and it is because we are all part of the same cloth.
As a writer be aware that you’re writing within this precious collective place. What you have to say is important and will probably resonate to others on some level. Often I find that writers who are writing for the greed of being in the business lack this type of thought, these nuggets of wisdom that touch our souls with magic.
To be a writer is to be a mirror of the society/community you live within.
You have a platform to change people’s thoughts, to assist them in being more human. Use it.
See if you can produce more “mows” – more moments of wonderment in your work. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, you will.
I invite you to share some of your thoughts with me. I always welcome hearing about “mows”!