It’s around 1.30am here, Australian Eastern Standard Time…and once again I can’t sleep. So here I am, tapping away like some demented lunatic, if there is such a thing, searching the grey matter for something refined and inspirational to transmit onto screen.
Refined and inspirational, in my case, can be as elusive as the proverbial needle in the haystack – out in the barn and a mile away from the house. It takes a lot to get going, and it usually hits me at an inconvenient time when I’m at least a suburb away from my trusty laptop. I’ve developed a system that involves a dog-eared notebook and large pen – both of which lurk at the bottom of my handbag, and can be called upon when the creative juices begin to flow.
A lot of the things that I see around me can be exeptionally good fodder for great story, even if the event that I am witnessing is as unremarkable as my grandmother’s old socks. The man limping down the road with a walking cane, for all we know could have been a war hero, with a remarkable life of adventure and intrigue. The woman hurrying down the street glancing furtively behind her, may have a pandora’s box of secrets worthy of a Stephen King novel. That distracted kid down the street? Maybe he’s a bit like Dennis the Menace, he’s always got some big plan that’s definitely going to get him into hot water. Not to mention my local bus driver, who’s always eyeing me up, and every other female that crosses his path. He might be the friendly neighbourhood serial killer sizing up his next target. You never know. At the risk of offending anybody that can relate to the above, details have been changed to protect the innocent – except for my grandmother’s old socks, which were an unfortunate reality.
Anyway, I haven’t been suitably inspired tonight, as you can see, or I would be writing something inspiring, instead of writing about writing something inspiring. I have been told that the mainstay of a good writer is to write, write and write some more, even if it’s trash – you can only get better at it. If this is true, according to my calculations, I should be a great writer by 2018. But don’t quote me on that, I could be signing autographs in the next five years.
- Three Tips on Writing From Stephen King and Anne Lamott (gauravonomics.com)