Many of my Facebook friends have commented on the stunning pictures I post both on my wall and on my Author Fan page. The point is I’m a very visual person and ‘eye candy’ in the form of pictures of beautiful spots, derelict buildings, exotic animals and surreal settings are an important source of inspiration to me. They make me yearn to pick up my pen to unravel the hidden story behind the scene. For me the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is absolutely true. I even find it hard to write a new story without having a cover to keep me going. So, to have pictures all around me in my office is an absolute must.
I can also get inspired by listening to music and certain lyrics make me go off in a gallop but not as much as some of my writer pals and not during the process of writing. I know of friends who can’t even write a single word without having their favourite soundtrack playing in their ears or on the stereo, whereas I need absolute silence. Our different sources of inspiration made me wonder what makes us funny writers tick, so I set up a poll to find out what fires us to work like nothing else. The initial idea was to ask what external factors led to inspiration (peoplewatching, photographs, music, nature, etc.) but as questions can be added to FB polls other people made suggestions too, which were more based on intrinsic inspiration (characters demanding to be written, painful past, miscarriages of injustice). Being a liberal-minded person 🙂 I have no probs repositioning my pickets somewhat. So here are the results.
Peoplewatching: 25 votes
The stories/characters keep nagging me: 19 votes
Music: 13 votes
Dreams: 12 votes
Internal conflicts, personal experiences, painful memories: 9 votes
Reading other authors: 5 votes
Films: 4 votes
Being in Nature: 4 votes
Figuring out why we are in the world: 3 votes
Inspirational photographs: 3 votes
Miscarriages of justice: 1 vote
Some quick comments on this list. Of course, we all have more than one inspirational source based on this list, maybe all of them at some time or other. We get mostly inspired by watching other people, which is a combination of real-life observation and our imagination taking hold of us. Peoplewatching is the strongest outside trigger, whereas the strongest inside pull are the characters that come to sit at our table, slump on our couches, lie in our beds, walk in our ways. They are quite adamant they want a place on our page and we have to listen to them. As the characters legitimise our writer’s job, they’d better be the key players!
Final remark: other writers do not strongly endorse my visual disposition. But never mind we continue to enjoy the beautiful pics.