Saturday, 15 December 2012

Something original

I reckon I've had things a bit easy over the last few weeks.

With all the new releases from my fellow writers in the Alexandria Publishing Group and my participation in a bunch of blog hops, I haven't had to come up with anything original on here for quite a few weeks.

So here's the challenge. No more blog hops. No more new releases. I'm on my own now, and I have to think of something new to write about. And believe me, that's not as easy as it sounds.

It's an amazing thing really, this whole idea of creativity. How it is that an idea can just come to you - a thought just plucked out of the air - something where previously there'd been nothing. How the hell do you do it? I've got no idea.

You'd think we writers would be the first to know. After all, that's our business isn't it? We're professional idea makers. We're expert at the delicate art of something out of nothing.

Except that we have no idea how we actually do it. Okay, let me temper that. I suppose I can't speak for every single writer out there, but I know I certainly have no idea how to do it, and I suspect that a pretty large proportion of my colleagues have no idea either.

It's something that kind of just happens. You can't force it. Often the best ideas come at the most inopportune moments. When you're walking around the block or in the middle of cleaning the house. I often seem to get them just as I'm falling asleep (hey, I sometimes get them when I am asleep). The problem of course is that the moments when you're most likely to get a great, different original idea are precisely when you're least able to grab a piece of paper and quickly jot it down - so of course, you run the risk of losing it completely.

So there's the problem. Here I am, siting at my desk, knowing I need a good idea for this post and also knowing it's not something I can force. I'd prefer not to go and clean the house now, and the weather's not looking too promising so a walk is out of the question.

 Maybe I should go off now and take a quick nap.

Hopefully I can do better next week. 


  1. It’s the difference between natural pearl and cultured pearls. To the untrained eye—or maybe tooth—there’s no difference but there is. I don’t subscribe to any kind of romantic notion of inspiration but I still believe in ideas and sometimes we have good ideas and sometimes we have to work with what we’ve got which is what you’ve done here. And sometimes the act of writing itself produces a good idea and sometimes not. It’s awfully hit and miss. I’m revising short stories at the moment, not rewriting as such but grafting bits into, and I’m having a real run of good ideas which I’m grateful for but the process is really underlining that we very rarely write a story from beginning to end and it’s great. We fiddle with them constantly and by the time we’re done we look like blinkin’ geniuses but we’re far from that. Even genius can be faked. I don’t do well under pressure which is why I write my posts weeks ahead of time so that I’m never stuck starting at a blank page. I wrote a poem about that a wee while back:


          Nietzsche said that when you
          look into an abyss,
          the abyss also looks
          into you.

          Some imagine blackness,
          some an all-consuming
          fire. I am a writer –
          mine is white.

          Friday, 14 October 2011

    1. Hi Jim,

      Like the poem.

      I think my abyss is mostly grey with little specks of colour on the edge of my sight.