Saturday, March 23, 2013
But it's also important to get out and about. Don't worry, this isn't a lecture on health or anything, it's more of a piece about how staring at the same four walls isn't overly good for the imagination. I take my dog for a walk every day (granted, the walks are shorter when the weather is horrible), and I don't work weekends. During those times, I do my best to go and see something a little different, have some fun. Because it's those experiences that fire the imagination, even when you're not expecting it. Even if you don't get any inspiration while you're walking or visiting a place, you may clear your brain of the dull stuff and give yourself time to think about your next story. As putting one foot in front of the other doesn't take an awful lot of brain power, you can think about your characters, your storyline, your setting. Or, if you're busy chatting to someone or doing something exciting, you can rest assured that whatever you're doing may later spark a story idea.
I can attest to all of the above. Staring at the screen, or the four walls doesn't really help when I'm seriously stuck with someone. However, walking the dog gives me time to think up new ideas, or to work out how I'm going to start a story that's been floating around in my head for a while. This time is invaluable.
When it comes to visiting interesting places, be it cities, stately homes, ruins or stone circles, I just live for the moment, take lots of photos, and if something comes to me later about that place that I can write about, then that's just a bonus. I've written about tons of places after the fact, including London, Paris, The Peak District, various stately homes, and so on. It's great fun, but it does give me awful wanderlust!
I know that everyone is different and works in different ways, but if you do find yourself stuck, then I can highly recommend getting out somewhere. Go and walk in the countryside, explore a town or city with no particular aim in mind or visit a tourist attraction. You'll be surprised at what it can spark in your creativity. Even if it doesn't, though, at least you had fun. And fun is a valuable commodity in itself.