Where do writers get their strength? I mean, I don’t know many aspiring writers. As a matter of fact, I might even only know one (that I can think of) in my extended circle of friends. It was talking to this particular friend (shout out to Rosie, who is lovely!) that I got to thinking about writers-at-large. Where do we find our strength to keep working in such a competitive market, despite the fact that the odds usually don’t appear to be in our favour?
I think the first place that I look for strength is in my friends and family. Just having people to speak to about my writing that take it seriously and don’t patronise me because they think it’s just a flight of fancy. Maybe it will always be a fantasy to me – how am I supposed to know? But just having people to speak to that take it as seriously as I do instantly makes it feel like more of a reality. People say you’re a writer when you consider yourself a writer, but it certainly helps when other people think of you as one.
Inspiration is, in itself, a form of strength for a writer – well, for anybody who has chosen a creative profession really. I probably get the majority of my inspiration from just getting around. I love being in the car with Jennie, she’ll be driving and we’ll be listening to music and I can just stare out of the window and daydream and get inspired. Either that or walking in nature, or even walking around towns and cities… just anywhere really. I have an extremely overactive imagination so I’m always looking around and dreaming of new worlds, new characters, new scenarios.
Castle Combe – one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever seen.
Music, of course, is a fabulous way to flex your creative muscle. I think you can find so much inspiration in music. There are just as many genres and styles of music as there are genres and styles of literature. If you think about it that way, there’s always going to be a soundtrack to whatever you’re writing. Finding the right songs might be a challenge, but when you do, you’ll find it so much easier to get into the right frame of mind.
I think probably the most important strength a writer can hope to have, however, is really a combination of two things: self-belief, and confidence in whatever you’re working on. I say that because when you have confidence in your project, you find yourself getting support from the story itself. If that sounds a bit lame or arbitrary, then fine, but I honestly believe it. There are days when the writing itself seems like a chore, but I keep working because I can still daydream and visualise the story and the characters, and that gives me support. It gives me strength.
Anyway, I’m getting distracted by Come Dine With Me and I’m hungry, so I’m going to go. But before I do, I will also suggest that another great form of strength can just come from having a nice day out with your Mum.