Water Everywhere

Water does strange things to my creative brain. I tend to problem solve when I’m in the shower or let my brain chew over tricky writing dilemas. The first story I wrote in years popped into my head while I was grabbing a quick Sunday morning shower. I was so excited that I stopped mid-shower to dash to my desk to scribble down my idea.

Yesterday I was working on a writing sample to send to a special interest website looking for new contributors. I admit, it was not going well and the words were not coming. This morning, as I stumbled to the shower, a flash of inspiration popped into my head. Huzzah, I had reached my Great Conclusion and quickly scribbled down notes before I returned to my ablutions. 

I am definitely not alone in this. In a previous writing class, I took along a story to workshop that used water as a running theme (apologies for the bad pun). Another classmate was asked to share their work which featured water as a key element of the story. Although our stories featured our own unique voices, it was still a little odd to hear our different takes on using water as inspiration to write a story. 

You never know where inspiration is going to come from. As I learn more about writing, I realise it is not the case of sitting around and waiting for ideas to come to you. This quote, one of many on this topic, really hit home for me: 

I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.

~ Peter De Vries

Of course spontaneous inspiration still happens, with the most famous example being J.K. Rowling’s description that Harry Potter literally popped into her head on a long train journey. That is how I wrote when I was younger, with little planning. Back then, I wrote most days after school when I should have been doing homework. 

In the meantime, I’m going to invest in one of these waterproof notepads and show up each morning to be inspired. 

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First post nerves

Any writer who says they are not intimated by a blank page is a liar. I have not always felt this way. When I was a tweenager, I revelled in the challenge. My first stories were typed on an ancient Mac and stored on floppy discs. Most of them were cheap knock off attempts at fan fiction. One spiralling epic tale revolved around travelling with the Second Doctor Who and his apprentices, Zoe and Jamie.

Sadly I didn’t learn one of the first rules of writing in the digital age: back up and migrate your work. The first ten years of my writing life have been lost to the mists of time, and good riddance to most of it. However I do sometimes miss my unfinished YA novel, modelled on gang culture and competitive sport (not too dissimilar to The Hunger Games) and strange moralist tales about drug use and redemption – probably modelled on reading far too many ‘real life’ magazines at my gran’s house on Saturday afternoons.

This blog is about putting the past behind me. It is not a place for me to mourn past writing failures or about dips in my writing mojo. This blog is my attempt to hold myself accountable, to make sure I plant my bottom in a comfy chair, pick up a pen and do what I’m meant to do: write.