Friday, 22 July 2011

Meat and two veg

09:26:00 Posted by Lindsay 3 comments

Inspiration. Not the process of diligently excavating a written artefact from a dusty pit with a fuzzy brush. For me it’s usually a spade sideswiped to the head of a Tuesday afternoon whilst hanging greying underpants on the line. I don’t believe there is inherently spiritual about inspiration, but it does feel like magic when it all comes together so beautifully. Inspiration to me is the desire to create something, the transformation of a thought into an idea. For me it is an urge, rather than anything ethereal.

It needs to be fed regularly though.

Feed it a diet of trash and that is what it will assemble and place at your feet. It needs quality feed, and a varied diet. It’s no good feeding it only the tabloids, catalogues and Heat magazine. It also isn’t healthy to stick with the classics alone, too much highbrow and it can get bloated. A healthy mixture of roughage and nutritious input is what brews and reacts, bubbling away until an idea floats to the surface. Sometimes it’s fully formed, sometimes it isn’t, but it is quality.
It is at its optimal temperature in the early hours for many, evenings for some; get to know when yours is at its peak. Some simmer slowly, others are more productive. It will occasionally need a stir, or at least a little agitation to shake it out of apathy. This is essential, or the flavour will be bland.

An often overlooked part of this process is the time to blend. A watched idea never boils. Physical action, jobs which require little mental effort are perfect to allow the juices to bubble and at these times it can be very productive, so I try to keep a pen nearby.

It can be accelerated by viewing talent in close proximity, and can progress beyond a simmer to a full boil. But you have to be quick; it has a tendency to slip through your fingers and can lose its shape under pressure, so handle carefully and quickly.

Come along to the next Dead Good Poets’ Society event in August; and give your inspiration a little extra seasoning.


Lara Clayton said...

I really liked this. A very clever idea. It's been so interesting to see how each of us views (and has written about) the concept of inspiration.

Ashley R Lister said...

I dread to think how many people will click onto a blog entitled 'meat and two veg' and be disappointed by the content :-)

Great post,


vicky ellis said...

Brilliant. For me this perfectly encapsulates the need for a complex diet of information with the transition from initial thoughts to full blown ideas. This is one of the best explanations for how it feels to be a writer that I've read.