Sunday, 24 September 2017

Creativity - where do your ideas come from?

Where do your ideas come from Ness?
Where do your ideas come from? As writers, this is a question we are so often asked and, I am sure if you had a group of writers together they would all come up with many different answers. We all have our own ways to feed our creativity ensuring that those ideas keep flowing.

For example, Flight came about because I am passionate about the Second World War as both my parents were part of it and I was brought up listening to their stories. Plus I asked a question, I wanted to know what happened to the Spanish Riding School during the Second World War. I asked Google and some wonderful snippets of information came up including details of Operation Cowboy. The seed of a story began to grow and grow. It soon formed into the story that is now Flight.

I believe this is from National Geographic
For me, a lot of ideas come from questions like that, or from pictures such as the image on the left, which was the one that inspired my PhD novel, Ham and Jam. Ideas might also come from past events in my life or memories. While a previous novel Disjointed was based on something I was interested in at that time - cannabis psychosis. Working on that inspired my PhD.

All of these things are reliant on one thing and that is being curious. A writer must want to know about the world they live in. As Csikszentmihalyi suggests 'sustaining high levels of curiosity is the starting point of creativity.' Being curious therefore leads to increased creativity enabling you to write more.

I have a notebook where I write down all my ideas as they come to me so that when I have finished a manuscript I can look at this book to see what I am going to work on next. This is because ideas don't wait for you to finish a book. They can come along at the most inconvenient moments so it is important to have somewhere to store them.

I like to feed my curiosity and creativity by doing different things and occasionally challenging myself. Listening to music, going to the theatre and art exhibitions. Watching people, reading newspapers and watching the news - you'd be surprised how that can trigger ideas. Going for walks where you just allow the brain to just wander as you do. Often when I do this, ideas float to the surface. This is all about looking after you as a writer and nurturing yourself and your creativity. Giving those ideas the freedom to grow. This is an important part of pre-writing. Make sure you remember to include some activities that are going to feed your creativity.

PS the puppy above is the latest member to join our family and belongs to my son and his partner. Welcome Beaumont (named after my mother's dog who was a huge part of my children's lives as they grew up). There is such a story there too...

I love this song so much and it seemed a perfect opportunity to share it: Limerance's Shine On 

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