No this isn’t a post about food. Though I could definitely do that. Today though, I decided to talk about the one thing that I’ve slacked on lately. Feeding the writer is a bit of a necessity. Why and how are likely questions you have at this juncture. Well my own opinion on the matter is simple. To breed creative works, you must view the world differently. You must view it through the ‘what if’ glasses to take a simple thing and let it blossom into something great.
The avenues I choose to take when feeding my writing soul are by no means a one size fits all approach. However, there are three distinct things I turn to for creative fuel.
Reading ~ when I delve into a book, be it an awesome NYT Bestseller that I can’t put down or a crappy book no one’s ever heard of, there is inspiration and knowledge to be gleaned from those glorious pages. From the character development to the plot, you can learn a lot about what works (or doesn’t) for a particular story. Even better, a book can light a fire under my arse if I’ve been slacking on getting my words on paper.
Movies & Television ~ Stories acted out for a viewer can be a great source of creative fodder. Everything is visual. So depending on what your eye is attracted to, you can see what works or doesn’t work in a story. Sometimes, the characters might not stand out to you as ‘the evil doer’ because of the way the screen/script writer drafted the character. They make the character blend. On the other hand, you have characters that are so in your face that you can’t forget them even if you tried. Settings are another big thing. When you read a book, everything is left to your imagination. If the author did a good job, then your mind can recreate the scene effortlessly. Television and movies leave little to the imagination in that arena, but from an author’s perspective, you can pick apart the setting and try to describe the pieces that really set the scene.
Life ~ Nothing sparks the ‘what if’ game more to me than life itself. For example, let’s say you were on a road trip. Everyone else in the car is sleeping. You’re tired. So you start playing the game to entertain yourself. Here you are, driving down the road, late at night, a long drive. Darkness surrounding you. Two jails set back from the highway. A sign that states hitchhiking prohibited. Tell me that doesn’t just set the minds wheels into motion. Go on I dare you.
It’s always easy to blame the ‘muse’ when it seems the creative well has run dry. Honestly though, she can only work with what we give her. So if I’m not feeding my creative self, then she’s got zilch to go on. There’s only one way to keep her working for me and not against me. I’ve got to feed her with more than just Guinness (though that definitely doesn’t hurt). So tell me what are your tricks to feeding your creative self, or share what book or movie really stood out to you because the story was well told. Better yet, what are you reading now? Me? I’m reading Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore and so far, enjoying it. Sláinte!