Following on from the re-blogging spree I’ve recently had (and the post that explains why) I have found myself drawn to my Writing Shelf. This is a very particular shelf – and the name sort of implies the purpose: this shelf is filled with books bought with many a good intention – “how to” writing books, books on how to create plotlines, where plotlines come from, ideas for writing various genres, and memoirs from famous authors (the kind of authors I wish I was instead of mediocre me). This shelf sits alongside other abandoned shelves – with dusty volumes of diet books, recipe books, books on art for beginners, how to find your way around a car engine, starter photography, books on creating a wildlife sanctuary in your back garden (unfortunately Sophie-cat rather spoils that dream).
Anyway, I digress.
There are several books I bought all at once from Amazon just after I finished university in an attempt to keep the writing mill churning. Clearly, it failed. But these new re-blogged blog posts have shown me that inspiration from nowhere generally remains, well, nowhere. You can’t force imagination, but you can direct it.
I can’t give up my fiction reading – it’s one of the things that gets me through the manic day of reality – but I might have to pick up one of these books at the same time.
First on the list: The 3 a.m. Epiphany, by Brian Kiteley. This book provides over 200 writing exercises designed to get you thinking about your writing and, most importantly, writing in the first place.
The idea is I write one of these exercises once a week. Just like my Story Cubes, I need things to spark my writing off. I feel if I can get back to the basic routine of writing, the ideas for my novel will just evolve and appear. Not in some hippy, fluffy way – the way I always imagined – but in an organic, honest way where something I write shows me a direction, a character, a thread to the plot I hadn’t thought of before. Where something written down in a scrambled writing exercise is more imaginative than anything that is forced onto a blank page in a frantic realisation that I have been staring at the computer screen for 3 hours.
Anyway. Now I’ve been staring at a computer screen for 3 hours and FINALLY panic-written this post, I am sneaking away to bed (with my fiction book instead of the 3 a.m. Epiphany – I’m not quite ready yet for that, of course).