The Flow of Inspiration
This painting is by the wonderfully gifted artist Christina Deubel and is called Courageous. Take a moment to gaze in awe at its beauty. Don’t read any more, because these words are mere filler to this exquisite work of art.
Just sit and look. Take it all in.
Come on, work with me here dear blog reader.
Stop reading and really look at it!
I’ll wait till you’re finished.
Don’t bother to highlight this text.
I made it white for a reason.
To give you some space.
Some freedom to enjoy something other than words.
At times like this you don’t need words.
Just your eyes.
And the colours.
Isn’t it wonderful?
Okay, back with me again? Jolly good. Had your fill for the moment? I’m sure you’ll drift back up the page when the need arises. The painting sure does have that effect doesn’t it? Kinda draws you in and you can’t stop looking at it.
The reason for this post on Writing Tips Thursday is mainly to draw your attention to this stunning work of art and the artist, Christina Deubel. You may have noticed I didn’t link her name to her website In The Depths when I mentioned it above because I didn’t want those with itchy clicker fingers to jump from this page before they’ve given her painting the eye-ball time it deserves.
In July 2011 Indigo Spider included one of Christina’s paintings, called Resilience (on the left) in her Sunday Picture Press writing challenge. It inspired me to write a short piece called Ground Fall. As it turns out this went on to become a real labour of love that spanned a 5 part novella of around 20,000 words.
I had been mulling over a story idea for several months but couldn’t find a way inside. I needed something to kick-start it and when I saw Resilience the words hammered their way out of my noggin and Ground Fall came alive. In truth I didn’t expect the catalyst to be quite so inspiring. The more I wrote the stranger it seemed that the painting was meant to be there, waiting for me to find it.
I consider myself to be a sensory writer. Sight, smell, sound, touch and taste are important to me when creating scenes, stories, plots and characters. As you can see everything about Resilience bombards the eyeballs, from the colour and mood to the subtle hints of a story begging to be told. Even the white areas speak volumes if you care to give it some thought.
Just as I was inspired to write a story with a painting at the centre, Christina has been inspired to create a work of art based on words alone. She has an upcoming show in May 2012 and is offering visitors to Indigo Spider the chance to have their poetry transformed into a piece of art. Poetry fans can submit their pieces to Indigo Spider - click the link for more information – and then they’ll vote on their favourite poem.
Submissions must be in by April 3, 2012. The winner will receive the painting Christina creates. How über awesome is that?
Inspiration – What do I see?
When I first saw Courageous I could do nothing but sit and stare at it. My mind was awash with potential story ideas. Here are just a few of them:
- A girl celebrating the arrival of dawn after being cooped up inside for a long time, her arms spread wide as if yearning to drag her fingers through the very essence of the sky above her.
- An explosion of magic has burst into the world devoid of this rare and virtually unknown element. With her teacher slain by a gruesome enemy, the girl clambers to the top of a rise to witness the birth of magic as it erupts across the sky.
- Something terrible has happened. Those arms flung wide are not in celebration but agony and despair. It may look beautiful but the forces unleashed are beyond nightmares.
- A beach party. People have been dancing all night to witness the dawn of the Summer Solstice. One girl slips away from the crowds. She leaves the music behind to wander the beach alone. As the sun titles over the horizon she welcomes the rainbow of colour with a smile on her face. The warmth of the sun touches her skin and the sight of the perfect sunrise brings her to tears.
I could go on but I’d be here all night. Inspiration can hit us at any moment. This post isn’t just about Courageous but about writing too. Those worlds and characters you create shouldn’t only come when you sit down to write at your PC. You can switch your creativity on and off like a light switch but I believe that’s not good enough. Writers write all the time, even when the physical act isn’t taking place.
Your Inner Writer
If you keep your senses wide open inspiration can filter through to your inner writer. That’s the guy/gal who sits at the back of your mind. The one that takes notes when you’re not looking.
If I have one then I’m pretty sure you do to.
My inner writer sits on a comfy beanbag in a softly lit room. Smooth pine floor and gentle natural colours. Nothing to distract him from the important stuff. It’s pretty sparse in there, just him, his beanbag and a notebook. Oh, and a floor to ceiling window that looks out through my eyes.
He never stops writing.
Even when I’m writing he’s feeding me reminders of what he’s seen throughout the day, or prodding me with memories locked away in dusty filing cabinets.
As a writer you need to get to know your inner writer as well as any character you create. If you can do this then your senses will take in more, maybe not consciously but it will happen. Think of your inner writer as an app on your phone that ticks away in the background.
Give your inner writer a name if you like, and a place to sit and watch. I don’t have a name for mine. He’s a quiet and observant little chap, methodical yet prone to bursts of uncontrollable excitement from time to time. Especially when something as beautiful as Christina’s Courageous fills his window.
If you prefer let your inner writer have a grand library and a desk made from solid oak. Line his/her room with books and all manner of scholarly items. Or imagine a dirty alley way filled with trash and stinky dead cats so your inner writer keeps that gritty determined edge. However you picture him/her is up to you, but I urge you to give it a try.
It will make you feel more like a writer.
It will prompt you to keep your senses open and let your wonderful world spill into that space.
What do you think, dear blog reader?
I’d love to hear what makes you tick and why you keep on writing.