Observing allows an aspiring writer to witness a tiny piece of real life as it unfolds before one’s eyes or consciousness. This is in contrast with reading that could offer a wealth of knowledge and open up a world full of second-hand experiences.
Observing life, in this context, is paying attention – dispassionately, as opposed to being nosy or gossipy – to what goes on in one’s environs and in other people’s situations.
To cite a couple of examples of detached observation:
(1.a) You’re in a fast-food restaurant on a weekend afternoon. You see families with young children happily and boisterously eating.
(1.b) You’re in a posh restaurant on a weekend evening. You see couples, maybe families with children as they dine.
Notice the differences, if any, between the demeanours of the family members while eating?
(2) You live well outside the city centre, travel time is an hour, and you take the number 143 bus to work every morning.
When you board the bus, you see that the same young woman (office worker who likes fast fashion), a regular co-passenger to the City, is already on the seat across you.
After several blocks, a nice, smartly-dressed mature man (a new passenger of bus number 143) boards the bus.
He takes the seat next to the young woman. There are several vacant seats in the bus. This went on – the new passenger taking the seat beside the young woman – for many, many weeks.
Notice how, in the beginning, the young woman seemed frosty towards the man but thawed over several weeks of bus rides?
Notice when this came about?
Notice also when the young woman ceased wearing trendy clothes in exchange for conservative but smart clothing?
Writers are accustomed to being keen observers of life, and aspiring writers should make it a part of their routine.
Just be consistent in your conscious and unbiased observation, and then tuck away those observations in your memory bank. You will find those useful when you start your journey as a writer.