Inspiration to write

I bulk read the last few editions of Writing Magazine recently and it has charged my enthusiasm for writing.  I have singled out a few bits and bobs that I thought I would share.  After all, who doesn’t need a little more inspiration?

Ideas – Top Tips (Adrian Magson)

  • Don’t try forcing an idea into something it’s not.  Allow it to emerge at its own pace
  • Make notes, no matter how vague.  This is the beginning of writing a story

Sometimes the simplest advice is the best.  I think I have been guilty of the first one in the past.  With regards to notes, I know I don’t make enough.  I have placed a notebook in my handbag and I vow to write something, even just one observation every day.  No more ostrich impressions from me.

No time to write?

James McCreet says he hears lots of excuses from his students about why they have no time to write – “Not enough time”, “got to pick kids up from school”, “it was my birthday” etc.

I must admit, I have used the general “not enough time” excuse on more than one occasion.  I have since realised, I just have to get better at managing my time.  I have started planning for my writing using a calendar to schedule my time.  However, when unexpected things pop up and the calendar can’t be strictly adhered to, what then?

James gave the following examples of famous authors who found the time to write, because they had to write.

  • Elmore Leonard got up at 5 a.m and wrote for 2 hours before going to work.
  • George Orwell wrote in hospital until the nurses put his arm in a cast to stop him
  • The Marquis de Sade wrote in prison on a huge piece of toilet roll that he left behind a loose stone.

As I don’t plan on going to prison or hospital any time soon, I think Elmore could become my new role model.

Lastly, my new favourite acronym:

WIBBOW?

Michael Allen mentions Scott William Carter’s WIBBOW test in his column, Grumpy Old Bookman.  WIBBOW encourages the writer to ask the question – Would I Be Better Off Writing?

Will I benefit from watching this TV programme or WIBBOW?

Should I have some alcohol or WIBBOW?

I’m guessing on most occasions from now on, the answer will be yes.

Should I sleep or WIBBOW like Elmore Leonard between 5 a.m and 7 a.m?

Time will tell!

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Finding inspiration wherever you are

I’ve read articles and letter pages before, in which the question – Where do you get your ideas from? – is asked to a published writer. It’s as if people expect that they are able to pluck them from an ideas tree or an idea for a story will drop out of the sky and land at their feet.  The truth is, ideas are everywhere.  I don’t particularly like my job most days but I have found that working in a busy office with a variety of people provides ideas and inspiration for short stories.  Rather than grumbling inwardly about the daily commute, the mind-numbing boredom I feel at doing tedious tasks, the idiotic office politics and wishing that I was at home writing (ok, I still do that), I take the chance to observe whenever I can.  Throughout my time in this job, I have come across people with big personalities.  I have heard some stories that are stranger than fiction too and yes, I have used this as inspiration.  I always take care to change names and situations to protect the guilty.

So, where do you get your ideas from?

Di 🙂