You know how people talk about the ideal place to write? As though inspiration will surely hit if you sit atop a tranquil mountain, away from the pull of home and work, listening only to your characters’ voices and the gentle breeze?
Well, it doesn’t work like that. Not for me, anyway.
This morning I got up early(ish) and climbed a mountain with my sister and some friends. Well, I say ‘climbed’…there was some steep walking in places. Our conquest for the day was technically a mountain, but it’s more like a big hill. Anyway, standing at the summit(?) offered me a pretty view, but not a drop of inspiration. In Stephen King’s book On Writing, he describes routine as paramount to making progress with a story, and I’ve found this to be true with my own work. Inspiration is more likely to wash over me when I’m sitting in my usual spot at my computer than when I’m in a new setting, however beautiful it is. In fact, sometimes I find it’s best to get some writing done in a familiarly dull location. If I’m bored by my environment then I will want to be transported, and my mind will search for ways to breathe colour and magic into a story.
So, if you’re wondering about where to write, maybe look for a place that isn’t too stimulating. But don’t become a hermit, either. Experiences of all sorts can factor into your stories, and give you details to make them vivid. I guess I’m really talking about timing. While I’m on a mountain: zero inspiration. But who knows? Now I’m trapped in my room – and waiting for inspiration to come – maybe my ideas will be influenced by some echo from this morning’s adventure. The cursor in my Word document blinks at me. Time to spill out some words. Wish me luck!