As writers it is easy to lose inspiration at the drop of a hat. This can be an annoyance but what I’ve also found is that inspiration comes just as quickly. It can be anything, a building, a forest, a train journey. It really can be anything. You feel this click, like a piece of a puzzle fitting into a place you never even knew was missing something and suddenly you have a new story arc or a new story altogether.
It’s quite an amazing feeling, especially if you feel like you’re struggling with a particular part of a narrative. I am very fortunate because I currently live and work in Hong Kong, a city that can provide inspiration at almost every turn. It was during a walk through Central, Hong Kong that I decided to change the setting of my novel to this city itself. It was during a hike through the jungle-like mountains that I finally decided on the names for a few of my characters, and it was during a particularly regular walk through the underground subway system (MTR) that I decided how to end my book.
Now, the end of my book is a long way away but writing a book is knowing every inch of it regardless of if it is written down or not. I wonder if I hadn’t been on the MTR at that time if I would have made a different decision. Would a walk through a more rural part of Hong Kong affected the setting I chose?
Who knows! It can be difficult I think when you’re a writer. I think we’re prone to have really vivid imaginations and that’s what makes us have the need to write things down and form stories and characters. Even if it’s a short story, it’s like we have to get the idea out of us and onto paper before it goes away and that in itself is a problem; it goes away. Sometimes it’s possible to be so over stimulated with inspiring things and have so many ideas that it’s hard to focus them into one streamlined idea or story and then it’s gone. But it isn’t really gone, the ideas linger and you forget snippets of how you wanted it to be and then you feel bad that you didn’t get it down.
That’s how it makes me feel anyway. My back pack for work is packed with notebooks, I have at least five in there. They’re all different shapes and sizes and they all have a variety of notations and sketches and name ideas. Added to that, if I see something I find inspiring, I take a quick shot of it in the hopes that the inspiration can be recalled at a later time.
If you’re ever feeling a bit blocked up writing wise, then I think the best thing you can do it leave the pen and paper. Go for a walk, go for a hike, get inspired by all of the stuff out in the world. Man made or natural, it will have an effect on you. Included in this post are some of the places I’ve found to be an inspiration. They got my mind flowing for whatever reason. On some level they are the key to my writing.
What are your inspirations?