Friday, December 22, 2006

Dead Beat Does Not Believe In Inspiration

I always want to write, but often I can't get inspiration.

Biggest Little Dead Beat

Dear Biggest Little Dead Beat,

The good news is that Dead Beat is not a great believer in 'inspiration.' Inspiration, he believes, is simply a process we can learn or already possess unconsciously.

Ideas do no just 'pop' into our minds. We set ourselves up to use our senses in a way to generate 'ideas'.

Ho hum, Dead Beat, go on.

Really. Begin the practice of this process and continue to practice it until it is an unconscious process we simply do.

So how to practice: Return to the senses. We interpret our world through them. We use sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. We see something(s), we hear something(s) etc. and we have an internal response to these - an emotional response - we get angry, sad, happy and so on.

We use our senses unconsciously and have a conscious response. For many people this response is an 'idea'. So to practice we need to 'consciously' note what our senses are up to. Look in great detail. Listen in great detail etc. Observe people around us, listen to what they are saying, feel, taste, smell in great detail.

Is there on detail about that person sitting opposite me that is particularly interesting? Is there some comment coupled with a tone of voice and an expression that is particulary interesting?

Walking along the shore, if I carefully observe what is around me, is there something I see which stands out for me?

Now can I use the comment, tone, expression to kick start a story or poem? Can I use the 'detail' on the beach.

Write your observations down if that helps. Five or ten things a day. By the end of a week, how many? By the end of a month?

Is there not one thing there that stirs some idea? Dead Beat thinks so.

Ideas are all around us. We lose them beneath the weight of emotion.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Faraway Hills- Age and Writing

Dear Dead Beat, I am nearly seventy years old and have started writing. I used to write some stories in my late twenties but did not continue. I have recently started again but feel it is probably too late.

Over the Hill.

Dear Over the Hill,

The great thing about writing is that you can never be too old. You can never reach the top of the hill. The other great thing is that the older you get the better positioned you are to write also.

You have seen more of life. You have made learnings which will assist greatly with the craft of writing. Many published writers did not begin writing until late in their life.

If you were writing in your twenties and still are keen to write this many years later, do not believe your 'writing' mind has been inactive. It has been working away unconsciously thinking about writing and the process. I truly believe this. I think you will surprise yourself with your ability.

Stick with it. It is all ahead of you.
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