Observing as defined by Webster is to see, watch, perceive or notice. For me I like to say observing is a hobby. Many people don't understand why I do a lot by myself. Whether it be going to the movies, shopping, eating, getting a drink and so on. "Why would you be alone when you could easily have someone go with you?" I get asked that many times especially when people see me out and about. For me, watching people in their daily life is an inspiration. Not knowing ones story and just watching their movements or reactions to others is interesting to me. I look at others and get a character made up for one of my books. Whether I look at you and want to use your physical traits, or I hear you speak and use that accent, or I watch you move and throw in your attitude.
I use observing as tool when I have writers block. So when I'm out and about and I look like I'm "mad" I'm just concentrating on someone who I can relate my character too. Trying to bring my person I write about in my books to life, by making them human; it's easier to relate to. So when you ask me, "why do I do things alone?" One main reason is because I'm always working even when it seems I'm not, and another reason is at times quiet is best. I work in a very demanding field, and my jobs, writing, school and so on that I have on my plate, always has me interacting with others so I need to be by myself when I can.
I choose to observe, it helps me write and think. It also helps me look at who I am and see my faults. Sometimes we don't see the looks we give people. We are unaware of the tude we give off, when in all honesty we didn't mean to come off that way. Watching how people work and move about, makes me pay attention to my movements. How do I look when I get bumped into by a stranger? What facial expressions am I making that might rub someone the wrong way? What does my body movements say about me when I walk into a room?
You know they say first impressions are everything. Most people don't even know what their impressions are to others before they speak. So if you're board one day, and just walking about in the mall, just observe the people around you. It's a good way to see if you give off a negative vibe like that guy hanging out on the wall, or if you seem as snotty as that group of girls gossiping by Old Navy or if you're genuinely happy like that grandma is walking with her grand-kids for a family day. I love seeing happy people walk around. The young ones in love with each other and the older couples who still giggle as if they were teenagers. You can see some amazing things when you observe.
So that's why, if you see me out by myself and I'm sitting there phone in hand just watching those around me. Just know ya'll are an inspiration to what comes to life in my books. How else am I going to make my characters seem as if they are your mom, uncle or best friend? :)