When a writer is lucky enough to get inspiration he can describe as divine, he’ll sit at his desk and rattle away at his keyboard in the knowledge he is penning something special, something really excellent, maybe even a masterpiece.
But how does a writer find that inspiration? Well, we touched on this subject area earlier in the series, but if you want to read the actual piece, you’ll have to read through them all, because I can’t remember which one it might be. Look upon that task as critical revision for the budding scribe. Always useful.
Extensive research gives us some clues. A lot of writers find going for long walks gets their creative juices flowing, but of course it depends on how good your map reading skills are. Once you realise you’ve been following a fence boundary for half a mile and have arrived in a farmyard with a particularly vicious dog barking in your face, it can be more than a little distracting. Then again, when the nurse is injecting a shot of tetanus into your rear, at least at that point the writer feels cared for.
Other writers find going to the pub for a relaxing beer a way of generating a spark. Avoid the temptation of being drawn into a game of dominoes with the local Afro-Caribbean elders. Those guys will be hard core players and you’ll most likely find yourself wandering home at 2 am feeling very light headed, singing ‘Hits from the Bong’ by Cypress Hill. It’s not useful if you were looking for the right mood to create your tense, post-modern crime thriller, but you might find you’ve made the pub dominoes team, so that would be a bonus.
Inspiration can often be found at sporting events, such as the Olympics. That carbon fibre bend from the pole vault creates a certain kind of tension, it could result in making a writer’s prose snappy. And watching those sweat soaked athletes hauling their bedraggled asses in at the end of the marathon is likely to make a writer realise his own long road isn’t so bad.
As ever, inspiration for the writer is an elusive gust of hot air – there one minute and gone the next. Good luck!