I’m currently reading an awesome book (well, if you’re interested in writing horror stories that is). It’s called Where Nightmares Come From – The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre edited by Joe Mynhardt & Eugene Johnson. It is full of essays and interviews with famous writers. One in particular struck a cord with me. It’s a chapter called How to Get Your Score On by S.G. Browne. Here is a quote that I thought was interesting:
“Likewise, the second definition of inspiration-the physical drawing in of air into the lungs-applies to the process of writing, as inspiration is as necessary to creativity as oxygen is to breathing. The writer breathes in ideas from his or her environment and consumes them in order to breathe life into his or her creations.”
Where do ideas for stories come from? Well, the short answer is everywhere. I’ve had them come from personal experience, dreams, people-watching and most often, seemingly out of thin air. Not that long ago I had a whole story pop into my head while we were driving in the country. A field of corn had been clear-cut for the winter and in the snow it looked like children had come along and planted a crop of popsicle sticks-that one brief image is all it took.
I had taken a 30 year hiatus from writing. I used to write a lot as a child and as a teen. I have tried over the years to get started again without any luck. Every time I tried it turned out horribly. I honestly thought my dream of being a writer was gone forever. Last year I thought I’d give it one more go and I signed up for a couple of creative writing classes. I’ve been taking more courses and writing non-stop ever since.
I found my inspiration in a two-day Writer’s Weekend Workshop and I can tell you honestly, with every fibre of my being, I’m not going to stop. Even if I’m never published again I am going to keep writing.
Like I have said in previous posts, perhaps it’s my mid-life crisis. I had started to become incredibly dissatisfied with my life-not that there was anything wrong with it. I have a great husband of over 30 years, a job that I enjoy with people that are simply the best, a roof over my head, food on the table and two little fur-balls that are the sweetest creations ever. It just wasn’t enough. I found I was daydreaming constantly and it was beginning to interfere with the rest of my life. I started pulling away from the people and the things that I love and I knew I had to put a stop to it or risk losing everything.
My writing is my outlet. I don’t have to daydream anymore, I can get it all down on paper (into Word anyway). I write for me, not others. If Brent, Spartan and Bella are the only ones who get to read (hear) what I write I am actually OK with that. They all think I’m wonderful and everything I write is fantastic!
Moral of my story? Find the thing that you love doing and go for it. You really don’t have anything to lose and a whole world to gain.