I said, in my last post, that there might be some form of grand adventure that I’d talk about today. Sadly, nothing too extravagant happened, unless you count going to Tim Hortons at 10pm and buying timbits both grand and adventurous. I also had a maple doughnut, if that helps. Mostly my time has been spent at the gym, working on Dreamstate II, and wondering what my life would be like if my computer could just suck the thoughts out of my brain and turn it into a book for me. I like to think that it would be a better world, and not one where I was put out of work by everyone else having brain sucked novels for sale as well. Anyways, this is not at all what I wanted to talk about today. What I really wanted to talk about was music and the way that it integrates with my writing process—we’re not going to talk about that either (maybe next time). What I do have is this video:
This TEDTalk comes from the very famous Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Even if you’ve never read her book (I haven’t), her talk skirts her work and focuses predominantly on the way in which creative types get their inspiration. If you can’t be bothered to sit through the full twenty minute video, which you should, because it really is fantastic, I will give you a very short rundown. Gilbert says that the idea of artists being solely responsible for their creative works has only been around since the renaissance. Prior to that, it was thought that there were demons, or gods, or house elves living in the walls of the artist’s studio, and that they would creep out and guide the artist’s hand. She goes on to give examples of different musicians, poets, and authors, all talking about the same sort of voodoo. Now, I found a lot of what she was saying to be pretty interesting stuff, and I could see how it would seem like divine inspiration when an idea comes to you, but I think there’s a lot more to the human side of things than she gives credit for, at least on the surface.
When I have my moments of inspiration, they tend to stem from something planted in my consciousness long ago. They are what my brain has been working at while I’ve been focused on more immediate matters. I know these ideas don’t come from nothing, and I’m sort of aware of how they’re pieced together. I tend to try to avoid getting involved with them until they’re fully formed thoughts, but, they are in my head the whole time—they don’t come from somewhere, or something else.
I’m not sure how every other author gets their personal inspiration. I know a lot of it does involve slogging through the dull bits of a story, and waiting for those sparks of pure ‘I’ve got it!’ That’s how a good 70% of my work is too. Just because I can see the scene in my head doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to translate perfectly onto paper—but the important thing is I know what I want, and I just need to figure out the way to get there.
I’m not too sure if this post makes all that much sense, it sort of just turned into me linking a video and then talking about the way that I feel inspired. I imagine that if I sat down and started writing about it, I could finish a pretty solid sized book on all the different ways that I’ve come up with ideas, and how and why—but that seems longwinded and a bit extreme. This shortened version might be the best that I can do without stretching into that realm of ten weeks worth of posts. Maybe I’ll do that at some point, maybe in a few weeks time if I can’t think of anything else to talk about; we’ll see.