Yesterday I decided to take a long walk; I was searching for inspiration. Before then, I sat in front of my laptop and tried to continue work on my novel, Halima but I got stuck. I just couldn’t move further. Of course that is natural when you just open a blank page and begin to type out a story, no plot, no characterization, no anything that professional authors tell you are necessary to writing a good novel, hey, not even a story line! So it is not surprising at all that I got stuck. Anyway, I decided to go for a walk to get inspiration.
I live in a rocky wilderness; it is wild, untamed and beautiful! Everything, or almost everything is in its natural state – if this failed to inspire me, I knew that little else would. My original plan was to walk the well trodden path and so I started with that. But I soon veered off. I have been taking long strolls for as long as I remember and over the years, have taken several friends out to experience nature. This has given me insight into the personalities of a lot of these people. Always, when we get to a certain point, I ask the inevitable question: do we keep going on the path, or do we veer off into the wilderness? Always, the answers differ. There is nothing wrong with the path; in fact the view there is spectacular. But it is also a spectacularly uneventful walk. Off the path however, there the goodies lie! There are lakes; a stream which winds and winds, rocks, gullies, a wood…it is an adventure. It takes twice as long as the path, but it is worth every second. It has been my experience that those who usually stick to the path are conservatives; my fiancé almost always sticks to the path. I on the other hand, I crave new experiences.
So on this day, even though I started on the path, before too long I found myself climbing the rocks and going down to the other side where I took off my slippers and waded barefoot in the stream that winds and winds. It was an experience that was almost spiritual. I feel it each time I take the stroll and that is several days a week and I can’t ever get tired of it. Did I get inspired? Definitely. Not only did my heroine take shape in my mind, including her background and some minor characters, I felt refreshed and lighter plus the exercise was really good.
I am a fledgling author even though I have been writing short stories since forever. Still, I’ve discovered that inspiration is almost like a talisman. I can write without music, but when I have music I don’t have to pause every 5 seconds and wonder what next I’m going to write. And when music does not do it for me? I veer off the beaten path. Oh and reading novels too… except that this weekend alone, I read (devoured) 5 novels – maybe I was suffering from fiction overload, I don’t know. I would really appreciate it if any of you authors out there can share with me what inspires you.