Saturday, March 27, 2010

So uninspired I can't even think of a title!

To say I've been feeling uninspired lately would be a slight understatement. I just can't be bothered, and there's always something else to do. Maybe it's to do with the days drawing in, the beginning of some kind of creative hibernation.

Anyway, sitting at the computer is not doing it for me right now, so this morning I took my notebook and a pen to a local cafe and spent an hour frowning to myself, scribbling stuff down and generally looking very creative I'm sure. And it worked! I wrote a whole scene about two of my characters meeting for the first time.

There are many reasons I will never give up writing in notebooks:

- They are light and the battery never goes flat

- They don't crash and they can't catch viruses, though I admit they are flammable

- My handwriting takes up more space than typed words, so it looks like I've written more

- My handwriting is almost illegible, so I don't waste hours re-reading it and agonising that it's all rubbish - I just get on with it

- I can doodle in the margins while I'm thinking.

I'm interested in how other people find inspiration when it's just not working. A change of scenery? A change in technique? A change of underwear?


  1. A change of underwear is a must! Please.


    Anyway! Oh inspiration!! Where is the muse when you need her eh? I like the thought of you sitting in the cafe looking all writer-ly and doing writer-ly things like scribbling with a proper pen on proper paper! Well done you!

    I bake. I bake like the wind when I'm lost for inspiration. I guess it's a kind of clearing of the mind and focusing on something else that's also creative in its own right.

    So yes, I bake.

    And change my underwear (Marks and Spencers - you can't beat M&S knickers).

    Take care

  2. Hi Old Kitty,

    Looking writerly - yes, and I forgot to mention tapping my pen against my chin and staring into the middle-distance.

    Baking is a good one for clearing the mind, and it's nice to do something away from the desk. Maybe I'll try that next time I'm stuck!

  3. Run the bath or get on a train... that always seems to be where it happens for me...

    I think I'm going to have to keep a notebook in the bathroom :)

  4. I do a lot of thinking on trains and trams, but haven't mastered writing while moving yet.

    Notebook in the bathroom! Might need a plastic cover for that one.

  5. 'they are flammable' - made me smile :-)
    I guess as long as they don't spontaneous combust everythings a-ok.

  6. I suppose theoretically, if I were to write fast enough they might catch fire through friction! Not much danger of that though

  7. I love notebooks too, and they're a good place to look for inspiration because I always take one with me and jot down descriptions or half baked story ideas as they come to me. If possible I prefer to write the first draft in a notebook because it feels more like writing and less like editing, which is inevitably what you do when you have a backspace key and cut and paste options at your disposal.
    I told a friend once that I was writing a novel in longhand in my notebook. "Gosh, I'd be afraid I would lose it," she replied. So was I after that. I went around for weeks with my handbag clutched to my chest. So yeah, flammable AND losable.

  8. I agree about the editing - so much harder to do if everything's down in ink! No backspace in a notebook.
    Oh, no now have something else to worry about - losing it!