Friday, July 08, 2011


They say writing is not a matter of inspiration but of hard work.

Of course I wouldn’t dare to disagree. And it is true: writing involves a lot of hours of serious labour, formulating, developing plot, finding consistency in the story line. So truly 90% of it makes it a desk job. However, all that effort cannot avoid moments of frustration, of being stuck. You can mull over your problems as much as you like, but the desk will not provide the answer.

Now that one of my novels is getting published I have rekindled revising an old one that was lying idly on a shelf. It wasn’t going very well. It didn’t sit right. I didn’t see the plot. What was the story I really wanted to tell? I fiddled around with it, I gave bits of it to read to my writers group, but the answer wouldn’t come.

Yesterday I got fed up with the tasks around the house: the planting and the weeding, even with reading the newspaper. So I took the dog and went for a spin “around the block”, which is a 45 minute walk up the hill, past the farm and down the undulating lane back to the house.

And then it came, the inspiration. I realised that the main character is really getting crazy, and I knew why. I began to see how it would work, how it would be the focus around which the story could develop.

I hopped home and told P. about it. That I would feel the incentive to write again, that I would know where to go from now on.

And that, that is inspiration indeed!

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