Things are all go here in my world – when are they ever not? Things dropped off in January and February, giving me a much needed break. But I think I was also lulled into somewhat of a calm before the storm. I’ve kidded myself I can spend my evenings playing Horizon Zero Dawn (which, by the way, is absolutely gorgeous. If you only buy it for one thing… buy it for the soundtrack. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.). But that’s by the by, really, and as I approach the final stretch of my degree, well heck, do I feel, frankly… stretched.
It doesn’t help matters that I’ve got a birthday and a wedding to attend to (the former the 21st of my fiancée, and the latter his mother and soon-to-be-step-father, no less), several important events, and social catch up time with the family to attend to. Why doesn’t life have a pause button yet, or maybe just a slow lane?
Anyway, enough of my whinging about things! I actually kind of enjoy the rush, the never-ending adrenaline frenzy which is my day-to-day. Hopefully I’ll be able to take my foot off the accelerator once May rolls around, but for now – gangway!
I’m making significant progress on my final third year piece. Trouble is, I’ve got so many ideas! Inspiration seems to come in bursts, but I’m glad it comes more frequently than it used to.
I’ve never had trouble gaining ideas from dreams, but sometimes they don’t always translate well when I’m at the stage of hashing out characters and scenes. Other than that, sometimes I have been inspired by what I’m reading, watching, playing… I like to harken to other works which I’ve really enjoyed in my writing.
But the best thing over the last three years is the significant increase in inspiration I’ve noticed. I’m unsure whether this is due to reading a lot more genres than I would usually read (including different mediums too – listening to short radio plays, reading poetry, Shakespeare, etc), but it’s certainly not done me any harm.
I’m more inspired by conversations I have, too. Being around like-minded individuals who have similar interests, goals and motivations really aids the creative mind. Talking about writing with people who also like to talk about and generally surround themselves with the literary and creative world has a certain significant impact on my creative juice being ripe for milking (… I definitely am going to scan over the fact that sounds slightly questionable…).
One of the biggest things which has helped is learning that everything is material. You don’t really realise it when you’ve just started out, or you’ve been doing it for years already. But at the point when you become aware of the fact your writing really reflects that time when, or when this happened, or when so and so said this… you sit back in your chair and stare at the wall blankly with a bit of a smile on your face, thinking to yourself “everything is material“. It’s incredible.
Learning to find the inspiration in the every day, the story angle on everything, is a challenge. I’m not going to sugar-coat that, because it’s not the type of challenge which is frustrating. It’s the type of challenge which is fun. You’re sat waiting for a train? People watch. Make up stories for the people you see. Why is that girl stood there wearing that particular scarf today? It’s not cold out. Does she like the way it smells, did she borrow it from her sister, did her SO buy it for her? Why did he/she buy it for her? Why did she borrow it from her sister? Does she get on with her sister? Why/why not? Does her sister live a long way away and it’s a reminder of her? Why does she live so far away?
Once you question everything, you see that everything is and has a narrative. And that’s where the fun really begins.
Image above (c) Chris Gray.