I have a slight idea what I’m about to write for this blog, so bare with me while I gather my thoughts and put them together.
Today, there was a bit of a gathering at my place, the sort of gathering that involves food, wine and other drinks, and a whole lot of talking and eating, and then talking and eating some more. The point is, I should stop eating just because the food is there. But the main point here is that I had a friend I was having a chat to – very excitedly might I add about my recent publishing venture on Amazon.
We got talking about the act of writing itself, and I, being the writer in residence shed some light on my methods. Eventually, the topic took a right turn into the field of what-inspires-the-story.
What inspires your stories? Events, conversations between friends, family, or even strangers in a public place and you lurking close by and hearing it. Or do you inspire from books you read, or movies you watch, or articles you read?
I’m serious, what inspires the pieces you write? I know in one is my previous blogs I mentioned that sometimes, in fact, most times we have people we know that give birth to a character, but what gives birth to the story.
I don’t know about anyone else, but inspiration for the stories I write could be from anything or anywhere; people walking in courtyards, woman who had her fortune told at a young age, a lock secured on the railings of a bridge, or even prompt words such as ‘German’ and ‘fascism’, an obituary of an old lady who passes away never having travelled, or dreams about magic stones.
These may seem like some of the oddest collection of things that have inspired stories, and on a different person, they may have had different outcomes. Someone once told me that we only get inspired to write stories we are meant to write, and the ones we are not goes to someone else. That all we write comes from a heavenly power whatever/whomever that maybe. Do I believe it? I guess in some sense I do. I’ve had days where some thoughts have entered my mind for no obvious reason and they leave an impression.
Wherever this inspiration comes from, I cannot say I don’t appreciate it. It’s absolutely a moment of high when ideas simply form in my head because I briefly saw something, heard something, read something, or thought something.
At times when the muse is away, I feel a bit uncomfortable that I haven’t written in a while, or written anything good in a while. It’s at these times when I get slightly desperate to hunt down some inspiration. But like all good stuff, you can’t force it. So, my advice?
Be open minded, and always have a small note book, or even a scrap piece of paper, and a pen handy. You will never know when something ordinary may grab your attention extraordinarily. If you are a writer, then you are also the hunter, and sometimes, like a good hunter, you must learn patience and wait in the safety of the grasses… And, you must carry your notebook and pen. No excuses!