Just how do you find inspiration in your writing? This question always intrigues me because so many people say ‘I have nothing to write about. ‘
Although I am not a gambler and never will be, I do gamble with words. I will write about anything that pops into my head and see where it takes me. Of course not all of this will make it into my blog or facebook, but it does keep my mind nimble and open.
One way to really fire myself up is looking at photographs of my family’s activities and our garden or nature walks. I find myself floating through the images like some creative sleepwalker walking through dreams. The constant theme here is gardens, and I then think of ‘secret gardens’, my mother’s garden and all the gardens of my childhood. I free word form and move onto colour, dimension, shape and think of every tropical plant I know. What is the symbology of the flowers? The photographs heighten my memory of the visuals of a scene and I can use it like a writing notebook to inspire some words.
Another way to move my mind into a creative space, although sometimes it is just too much to do this when the news is particularly depressing, is to listen to news broadcasts and surf the net. At the moment the hot topics are the apology of the Queen to Ireland and planking. Planking is a craze that is killing people, as they seek a more and more outrageous picture. Planking is making yourself look like a plank, flat and dead and posing in an outrageous place, like a balcony or a fence. It has been becoming more and more deadly. I expect a television show to have a planking incident in it very soon. Maybe someone will write a short story about the day in the life of a planker. The police are not impressed and many want it banned.
For some reason I think of a trip to a gallery where we saw photographs of a man taking his shoes for a walk like a puppy and also his photographs of people’s reactions. Maybe people should take actual planks and place them somewhere and that would be hopefully safer, although perhaps they would find a way to make that dangerous too.
Another way I look for things to write about is to read- internet or physical books on any topic that appeals whether it be poetry, geography, recipes, inspiring and funny quotes. I am idea surfing. I can’t imagine anything more fun than this. I have started to carry around a notebook and jot things down in it. It is another treasure trove. Do you ever have rhyming hour? I do, sometimes I find I can rhyme endlessly or have a beat in my head that won’t quit and I simply have to stop and write when that happens.
Today I found the story of Gauguin caught my eye, and all morning I had been researching, or procrastinating, and something in looking at his paintings sparked a story idea. It began in a simple way and then layers appeared and I knew this was the writing wave I had to hop on for the day.
It was glorious to overcome my writing inertia. To say – yes, you can and must write, but you also have to learn to float, and surf, creative walk and then the words will come to you. Epiphany! These are moments of epiphany.
This week has also been a week of working with the power of the edit. I spent a whole day editing something and lost myself in shaping, pruning and making every word work. Now this is something I don’t really do on my blog – I freely admit it. The blog is free flow, working writers journal, meditation, resource. But what if I took the blog and polished it, shaped it, made a book out of it. I can see that this is well and truly possible.
Ah the gift of the blog. It teaches me to write everyday and that the stories will present themselves if I have the faith to look for them.