Adventures in writing – inspiration, a few thoughts.

Wow, I’ve just gone through two little surveys on Facebook, one on how many of the ‘greatest’ films ever made have I seen, ( and how many of the ‘greatest’ thrillers have I read. I did okay with the films, but the thriller one was dreadful. I think I got 24 out of 100. Appalling for a writer, wouldn’t you agree?
This got me thinking, as this sort of thing always does. My last blog I wrote a little about influences, but inspiration is a totally different animal.
We can be inspired by all sorts of things. I often, for example, become inspired when I listen to music. Often, when I’m down or fed-up (I’m loath to use the word ‘depressed’; unhappy, disillusioned, just plain ‘pissed off’, they’re fine as handles, but not depressed…That’s far too heavy and serious to even contemplate! How can I be depressed when I’ve got the best medication there is – writing? Immersing myself in fantasy worlds…now there’s the perfect therapy!) listening to music helps. It transports me to another time in my life when optimism was my by-word. Yesterday, there I was, at my desk in school ,planning out a lesson – yes, I do plan out lessons – and feeling somewhat lost (primarily because I’ve got a story blowing around in the empty streets and highways of my mind) when I slipped on a CD, and an old ‘Genesis’ song came through the speakers. It was 1978 again, a time when life was filled with promise and sunshine. Youth. Ah, that fleeting period when the world is a vibrant and wondrous place, filled with possibilities…And I suddenly thought, ‘what the hell am I doing? I’m actually becoming all the things I hate! When I first heard this song I truly did have optimism and hope and I wanted to do something, create stories filled with real characters doing extraordinary things.’ And, do you know what? My vacant mind became filled with the noise of creativity and imagination. I wrote down ideas and before I knew it I planned out an entire novel, from beginning to end, with plots and sub-plots, twists and turns, scenes and happenings, characters… The whole thing. It took me perhaps ten minutes and I felt so good when it was done.
So, I’m not longer fed up. I have been inspired, by one tiny piece of music from another age when I was another person, living in a different universe. But it helped.
Tomorrow, it might be a film I watch, from that list or maybe not. Or a book I read. Why are there no Harlan Coben, or Elmore Leonard books in that list? I’ve read lots of them. They inspire me, sometimes. Or is that influence. I don’t know, I just feel that now I have been inspired and I’m ready to get writing another book…When I’ve finished the other three I’m already working on that is!
So what inspires you? Beethoven took walks in the forest, maybe you do the same. Is it music, or a painting, a piece of writing, or is it the people around you? Perhaps it is a mix of all of these things. Let me know, it really is a fascinating topic.
My latest book, ‘Varangian’ is available in paperback and for e-readers from Amazon and Smashwords. If it’s a story full of passion, suspense and intrigue you want, please check it out…and enjoy!
Happy reading everyone.



Filed under fiction writing

2 responses to “Adventures in writing – inspiration, a few thoughts.

  1. Like you, Stuart, I’m inspired by a variety of things. Sometimes it’s a snippet of conversation I overhear; other times it’s a refrain from a much-loved song that brings back sweet memories; often it’s seeing someone or hearing about someone who pursued a cherished dream in the face of adversity and attained it. These kinds of things propel me to strive to do my best.

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