Monday, 19 January 2015

Direction


Seeing as this is my first post of 2015 I'll start by wishing you all a Happy New Year! I hope you've set yourself lots of attainable goals, and abandoned the not so attainable ones, with much enthusiasm...

As part of my Christmas my Mum got me a 'Writing Map', (from the Write Around Town series - see Writingmaps.com ).
The theme of mine is 'My Writing Life'. This is one type of map that won't bring me out in a cold sweat - I'm pretty hopeless at reading regular maps and also have a terrible sense of direction. A lot of my wandering is aided by instinct (and google streetview), and I guess when it comes to my writing 'instinct' is what often sets me off in the right direction a lot of the time too...

Within this map are lots of questions and tasks. One of the questions is 'What does writing mean to you?'. And I've been pondering this for a while now. What does writing mean to me? For me, writing feels part of who I am. From a very young age it's what I spent a lot of time doing - writing stories, drawing silly pictures to go along with them, writing ridiculous angst ridden journals from about the age of eleven right through to my late teens, and sometimes throughout my twenties and even now into my thirties...( I like to think I've dropped the angst and have now moved into depths of philosophising about life). My observation journal from last year actually provided a lot of new story ideas.
Writing is what keeps me sane, and connected to a deeper part of my brain that even I don't understand.
I was having a conversation with a friend once, describing moments in life where I've gone for weeks, (or longer), without writing anything and how it feels kind of horrible, like 'I'm missing a feeling'.  So for me, writing is keeping that 'feeling' alive and having fun creating characters and worlds where I get to choose the ending. (But actually, if the writing is going well, more often than not your characters choose that for you.)

Another question within this map is 'What Inspires You?'  I've touched upon this topic in many a blog post, but I was thinking about this question on my walk home today and when I looked up at a clock tower I regularly pass by I noticed that the hands on one of the clock faces were missing. (I'm guessing the high winds probably blew them away, or damaged them badly enough for them to be taken off).
Without the hands, the clock face looks so different - blank and eerily naked. It made me think how fragile time is - how it can be easily altered or stopped by uncontrollable events and how that change can transform the face of everything. And that train of thought reminded me again how little observations like this have the potential to inspire lots of ideas.
News stories and interesting articles also spark off ideas for me. Life is stranger than fiction when you read what some people get up to...
Reading about life, and living life - these are key inspirations.
And great storytellers - they're the most important inspiration for me. Closing the last page of a great book always ignites that fire inside of me; the desire to be able to write a story half as good as the one I just read keeps me writing, and keeps me learning!

How about you?

15 comments:

  1. What a lovely, interesting post, Vikki - I'm glad the writing map is making you think so much. Love the image of the clock without its hands!

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    1. Thanks again for the map - there's lots of different parts to it that I'll enjoy exploring!

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  2. I love this post, Vikki, and also your beautiful writing map.

    I am inspired by books and always make time not just to read them, but to absorb the layers of meaning behind the words, or often, the truth beneath the unwritten words. This is why I read very slowly! My memories also inspire me. Not necessarily the hugely important, big-occasion ones, but just a person's casual mannerism or their sad smile or the way they get into a car. It could be any tiny thing, but those are the kind of things that are imprinted in my brain. I am hopeless socially, always in a world of my own, away with the fairies, observing and storing these collected human odds and ends for later.

    Wishing you the greatest success and happiness for 2015. I hope all your dreams come true. x

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    1. I like your description of what inspires you, Joanna. You're so right that the little memories can remain imprinted in your brain and re-surface in helpful ways to form fiction!

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  3. Great post Vikki, and I love the invitation for introspection and deeper thinking on all that inspires, but particularly in terms of writing. Your writing map sounds like a great tool for inspiration and will be a nice snapshot to return to in the future and meditate on your writing 'journey'.

    I love the image of the clock without hands too, which then completely removes its purpose, albeit temporarily until it is fixed (assuming it does get fixed!). I can see sparks already flying from that image.

    My inspiration is that I see and experience so many things in my days, and in my life, that I want to express those things through words and stories and share them with others the best way that I can, to in turn inspire others. It's a circle of inspiration!

    Looking forward to hearing/seeing more of your 'map' xx

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    1. Thanks Rebecca. I like that description of a 'circle of inspiration' and the desire to inspire others. I always enjoy looking at your photos of interesting places and objects that you stumble across!

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  4. Such an interesting post, Vikki. Your writing map is clearly a successful Christmas present. I can relate to much of what you say, but I'll single out the idea of life being stranger than fiction.

    At the moment I'm editing/re-writing my WIP. The storyline is (was) based on a real-life situation that one of my friends found herself in. Once I finished my first draft, I suspected the plot simply didn't work. Two 'buddies' who read it agreed. Hence the re-write. Definitely a case of life being stranger than fiction!

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    1. I'm sure I've heard writers say something similar - that they've tried to capture a real life event and feed it into a story, but then it just ends up sounding too bizarre and unbelievable!

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  5. Deadlines seem to inspire me!

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    1. Ha - there is nothing like a deadline to make those words flow, is there!?

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  6. HI Vikki, and a Happy New Year to you too.
    I'm inspired by everything. Hearing a song, seeing an article on TV or in the paper, talking to friends, or reading a blog (!) bring me inspiration. I adore reading and only wish that I could produce a book as good as some of my favourites!

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    1. Thanks Jean. I think it's great you find inspiration in everything. I love those light bulb moments where something you hear or see can spark off ideas!

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  7. Happy New Year to you, Vikki! I love the idea of a writing map and will go over and look at the website you've linked to. Your paragraph about the clock is wonderful, could see that in a scene, with a parallel to time adjusting or standing still. And of course there is the clock tower in Back to the Future! Best of luck with your writing in 2015.

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    1. Thanks Anita. The clock tower did make me think of Back to the Future also-I love the storytelling in that film! All the best for your writing in 2015 too

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