Monday, August 15, 2022

Here comes inspiration

 Inspiration can strike writers at any time, in any place.

As songsmith Paul Williams once sang, here comes inspiration, walking through the door.

Before I expand on that, let me just repeat something I've said before. Inspiration is NOT reclining in a chaise longue awaiting the angel's kiss upon your brow. Inspiration is nothing more than the spark of the first flame of a fire that might - might - one day erupt into a story, book, screenplay, play, shopping list, whatever. 

That takes application and, sometimes, perspiration.

I have a number of books I have been inspired to write, have begun and then at some point stopped not because of that mythical malaise writer's block but because I realised I was writing the wrong thing. That spark, the inspiration, was a false prophet and I eventually saw it for what it was.

The thing is, I never know it's a lying, no good rascal until I have a good few thousands words down.

Last night I watched a performance by my partner, the lovely Beatrice (I am contractually obligated to call her that). She's a singer, you know, and a darn good one.

Well, it was while I was ostensibly keeping an eye on sound levels and making myself look very busy that an idea for a book came to me. Or at least part of a book. I can't tell you what it is because then I would have to deploy a highly-trained team of ninjas to silence you. 

(Side Note: Autocorrect changed highly-trained to highway-rained. I mean - what?)

Yes, at the moment it is but a mere germ of an idea but it's there and it really was generated by listening to Beatrice and watching the audience. I didn't expect it but that's how inspiration works. It just walks through the door, or, in this case, was carried on the notes of songs wonderfully sung. 

Unfortunately, I am hip-deep in my second historical thriller, I have another to write after that and a further two Rebecca Connolly novels. And all before Christmas!

I'm lying, of course.

It's next Easter.

I'm still lying.

I could go into politics.

The thing is, I really, really, REALLY want to pursue this idea to see where it goes but it will have to sit on the far back burner for now, along with other notions, including a one man play based on one of my non-fiction books and - wait for it - a musical! No, I can't sing or play an instrument or read or write music but I can string words one after the other in some semblance of order and have a yen to put something together.

I'm the same with reading. I can be into something, might even be enjoying it, but then another title comes my way and I am desperate to dive into it, too. 

TV shows, too. I can be enjoying a series (or, as I've written before, finding it way too long but sticking with it to see how it ends) when another one, all shiny and bright, begins to flicker in the corner of my screen and I think I'll just have a wee taste and the next thing you know I'm immersed in that and the other one is left to languish so long that I've forgotten what it was all about. 

A bit like that last sentence.

I'm beginning to think I may have a problem.

Anyway, back to inspiration and the mercurial nature thereof. I never sweat where my next idea is coming from because I know that it will present itself at the proper time. At the moment I am quite replete with story ideas and have no need to go searching, thank you very much.

If only they wouldn't come looking for me!


Anna said...

Douglas, aren't we all grateful for the infinitely expanding size of that back burner? (Meanwhile, your auto-correct has given us a new prompt: hordes of ninjas raining down on a highway. I think I'll pass.)

Douglas Skelton said...

Ha! And yes, a back-burner is needed by every author.