Tuesday, 19 January 2010

O for a muse of fire

Even Shakespeare prayed for inspiration.
Val mentioned in her comment on my last post that she takes a walk in the woods when she's stuck for ideas. I agree, a change of scene can be very stimulating, and walking in the fresh air is helpful, but I'm not sure I can identify any one location or situation where I feel inspired. I often have ideas after I've gone to bed. Up I get, and scurry over to my little notebook beside the toilet - where I can sit with the light on without waking my husband. In the wee hours (no, not another reference to the toilet!) I sit and scribble furiously.
I wonder how and where other writers find their ideas and inspiration?
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24 comments:

Rick said...

I actually come to your blog to find inspiration.

When I'm not doing that, though, I go to restaurants and eavesdrop on conversations. Sometimes I drive through bad areas of Detroit, sometimes I go to the casinos or talk to disreputable people- then, for balance, I take a little look in the mirror. But I don't do too much of this, because it takes away from my writing time!

Leigh Russell said...

Bad areas of Detroit, casinos, diseputable people, and my blog... Hmmm. And I'm such a respectable person!

Debs said...

Listening to people talking at work. I suppose there's always a positive to sitting in a room with 80 other people. Walking along the beach helps, and strangely enough doing the ironing usually helps me when I'm confused over plot strands, etc.

Mike said...

I like walking on the South Bank. Being from the north side of the river it really is like a different country, and it has that wonderful criminal history that still seems to seep out of the walls of some of the older buildings. Foreign travel broadens the mind and opens the eyes - even if it just means crossing the Thames.

Leigh Russell said...

Oh, please don't mention ironing! It's been a subject of 'discussion' in my house for... 30 years... I find people inspiring, especially when I don't know them. I could watch people endlessly, everyone different, each with his or her unique story...

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Mike, the South Bank is a buzzy place. Lots of interesting people, movement, atmosphere, history - and now lots of food places too. Last summer one of the bookshops had fake grass with deckchairs outside. We sat there watching the world go by.

Akasha Savage. said...

A lot of ideas I get from just people-watching - my favourite hobby - and eavesdropping on the conversations of others. I, also, have ideas pop into my head as I'm dropping of to sleep...but I rarely jot them down: bad I know!
:)

Barry J. Northern said...

Ideas come to me randomly -- the trick is to be prepared for them, to be receptive to those little ideas that everyone has all the time without realising it, to know how to turn them into stories and whether they're worth doing so.

An example? I was in town the other day and I saw a sign posted to a lamppost which read "Lost Cockatiel". An entire short story just popped into my head and I burned to write it, which I did that night.

Who know -- even this comment may spark an idea.

Val said...

When my mind wanders is the best time for getting ideas.

I've had brilliant flashes of inspiration while driving to work. [My commute is rather long ... and not much traffic!]

I know, I shouldn't drive and day dream, but there you go.

Middle Ditch said...

Usually in the bath leigh. A hot tub, a glass of wine, a purring cat beside me and my mind is going into overdrive. Also, as Akasha said, eavesdropping and people watching.

Beyondsight said...

Hi Leigh

I understand about needing to get out the house, i find it easier to write after I've been out for about 30 mins. Even if it means going to the shop and buying a small item and interacting with someone for five minutes... maybe its a reaction to writing being a very internal thing. I let idea's and conversations build up in my head and when i get home I've got to write it down before it leaves me... also my paintings have turned into a chance for more stories to come out.

Rob

Leigh Russell said...

I've not been here for a while - (writing!) -
Thank you for visiting. I'll respond individually, as usual.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Akasha - I often have ideas when I'm about to go to sleep. I can't resist jumping up to scribble them down. I seem to get my best ideas last thing at night, but maybe I'm just too tired by then to realise the ideas aren't really so good...

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Barry - Lost Cockatiel certainly sparks some interest. Will you be posting the story on your blog?

Leigh Russell said...

Val, I'm thinking of buying a little dictaphone or something similar. I often have ideas when I'm driving to work (but won't admit to scribbling when I'm sitting in traffic... that wasn't me!)

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Monique - good to hear from you. I'm afraid I rarely laze in the bath. Showers are so much quicker, and I seem to have so little time! I do have ideas in the shower though. What is it about water? 'Water and meditation are forever wedded' (Melville)

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Rob, interesting that you and Barry both said you sometimes have an idea and have to write it down. I sometimes have that feeling. It can be quite a mental pressure, almost a compulsion, at times.

Jenn said...

I read blogs, and I try to imagine extraordinary people doing ordinary things. What might it be like for a serial killer to be hanging out the washing? A few ponderings like that over a cup of tea and a bag of oranges usually gets me started with something.

Leigh Russell said...

I wonder if your serial killer has managed to wash out all the blood stains, Jenn?!

Jenn said...

haha - maybe I should have said, a supermodel changing the car-oil then, but I always seem to choose the darkest and most sinister of all the available options - hence the way I write, I suppose.

Serial Killers use Vanish, of course.

Leigh Russell said...

Jenn - "Serial Killers use Vanish" ... how do you know!!!??

Jenn said...

If I told you, I'd have to...

never mind. ;)

Pat said...

I'm not allowed to mention it(see Debs)but it's great thinking time for me.

Leigh Russell said...

I hope you're talking about walking along a beach, Pat!