When the writer is inspired, clouds with fantastic shapes can be observed in the sky, and the shadow of the wind can be seen, and the beating of ants’ hearts can be heard…
a. Non-fiction – I get more story ideas from reading non-fiction than from reading novels. It seems to me that a lie built on a truth is a more reliable lie than a lie built on another lie.
b. History: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque. Sometimes reality seems more fantastic than fiction.
c. Wikipedia – Biographies of personages are full of charming anecdotes.
d. Verbs – When I began to learn English I read all English verbs in the dictionary: regular, irregular, prepositional, and idiomatic. Now I don’t consciously remember 1% of them, but I suppose I have assimilated a few. Oftentimes I find myself writing a sentence using a verb whose meaning I don’t know. Puzzled, I look up that verb in the dictionary, and to my surprise I discover that it is the right choice. Curious and curiouser!
e. Poetry – A poem a day keeps the imagination astray. That said, too much poetry turns an aspiring story-writer into a lousy poet, which is not good. I was not born under a rhyming planet.
2. Audiobooks, especially when I listen to them after nightfall, when the world is stilly. Shakespeare’s plays, histories of the Middle Ages, and Oxford Very Short Introductions.
3. Music. Classical and piano and ambient music when writing. Every other kind of music when not writing. Listening to music with vocals while writing is distracting.
4. Melancholy. When I am happy I have to force myself to write. When I am sad, I just write.
5. Dish-washing. I get many writing ideas when I do not think about getting writing ideas, that is when I wash the dishes or do other trivial things about the house.
6. Soapy baths. Oh, the things I think about when I am naked in the shower, with the brush ready for its work on my soaped back…
7. The sight of the outside world after several weeks of voluntary seclusion. Walking on the street after a few weeks of not walking on the street feels like walking on the moon.
8. Long walks. Autumn, winter, and early spring are my favorite walking seasons. Summer not so much, because everyone’s out on the streets until late at night, and the wind is balmy, and the heat is unpleasant, and my frail hands sweat under my long sleeves.
9. Romantic thoughts involving hatted women. A hatted woman is the most fortunate combination of atoms in the universe, devised by the devil to ruin the faint-hearted young writer…
What inspires you, writer?This is a republished post.