There is a reason that the old cliché about ‘a dark and stormy night’ starts many short stories, especially the ones where mystery and drama become part of the tale. It sets the scene and lets us know what is about to follow is likely to be scary.
I also think it encourages creativity. Today, as thunder roared, clouds rolled in, wind picked up, and heavy rain pelted the roof, I felt compelled to pull out my journal and write.
Perhaps it is the feeling of not being able to work outdoors that frees the mind from the chores that beg to be completed. It’s hard to lay aside the weeding and mowing and porch cleaning, unless of course these things cannot be accomplished in a storm.
So the afternoon lends itself to another kind of storm – the brainstorm!
Ideas collide with locations, dark events in sunny locales, or romantic tales in cold climates, or a politician whose Neanderthal notions come back to haunt his family.
Oh wait, that last one would be non-fiction and I write novels unless it’s a travel piece, but still I wonder.
What encourages your creativity? Is there a time when you simply must write?
Today – for example I really had an urge to write! Today found an ancient (from right after the second world war) letter from my Grandmother-addressing my mom – in answer to the news that we as a whole family were emigarting to Canada! That really got my brain storm going!
Wow, Karin, I bet it did. I can’t wait to read what you write about concerning the letter. Are you still working on your memoir? That’s something else I’d like to read. You’ve had such an interesting life!
I’m not sure . . . sometimes it’s the people I’m around, or beautiful scenery, or wild weather, or just a deadline haunting me, that motivates me to write. But I sure do love a good thunderstorm you know?
It’s hard to beat a thunderstorm for inspiration. But since we can’t on them, it’s a good thing we know how to just buckle down to the keyboard and block out the world. Those deadlines can be truly encouraging.
I prefer the dark, quiet, wee hours of the morning; dimly lit so I can’t see the dust bunnies multiplying…
I gotcha! Early morning is sometimes the only interruption free part of the day!
I’m reading a detective novel right now and this weather would be perfect for me. As for writing inspiration, it happens at odd times, usually when I’m no where near any pen, paper, or computer.
Yes, and then you just know that you will remember it, but sadly…no.
I don’t think my inspiration comes at any particular time. But I love it when it hits!
I know when your inspiration hits – sunrise, sunset, and when two lovely swans pay a visit!
(Smiling). Yes, that’s true. Both swans were here today for sunrise AND sunset!
I find that the times when I must write the most are those times when I am struggling with something emotional: family dynamics, a personality trait of another that bothers me, witnessing someone unethical, etc. Those are the posts that pour out of me and end up writing themselves and, like Dianna said, I never know when they’ll come but I have learned to embrace them when they do!
Great to have you back with us!
MJ, I think I speak for all of your wonderful readers when I say that we can tell how much heart goes into your writing. It is always moving or inspirational or informative. Just love ya! And it’s good to be back with my friends on the blog. I missed you.
Heheheh…it is a dark and stormy morning here and I was thinking the same thing. I won’t go for my walk in this weather so I may catch up on some of my writing. Perhaps I will have a brainstorm as well.
Stormy mornings are best aren’t they? Just love the way daylight peeks through the clouds after a storm.
My inspirations always come at the worst times. Like late at night when I’m too sleepy to get up and write in a notebook. Or my ideas strike me in the middle of working out. It’s hard because then I have to race over and write my thoughts down right after exercise.
If you are anything like me, those great ideas dissipate quickly if not written down. Last night I was trying to go to sleep and two possible posts popped into my mind which I didn’t write down. I remember one, but the other…gone. Oh well.
Apparently sleep is what starts my creative juices. The minute I go to bed I have a million thoughts I want to write but by morning they have flown away. I don’t know if you saw or not but my second book hit number 1 on Amazon! It’s up there in three different categories. Now to get the word out about number 3! I may have a stroke before this is all done. lol
You are a goddess, divine Melynda. Someday….maybe…ME TOO! Send me a link to your latest book so I post it as well.
I get inspired when I’m at the computer late at night, taking walks or listening to and watching the news. Don’t ask me why, but these are the times I get my best ideas.
The news always gets me going, but you wouldn’t want to read what I might have to say about it. Yikes! You do a lot of reading as well. I bet that is inspiring for you too.
I love a good thunderstorm, but there’s also something about a fire, a warm drink and a pad of paper….
I wish I had one of those fabulous libraries with a fireplace and a cappuccino machine. Ah, your description is carrying me away….
I seem to have cycles of creativity but I cannot for the life of me figure out just what triggers them. Wish I could. I love the image of your writing inside while the storm rages out 🙂
I think being outdoors must give you a jolt of inspiration. Your pictures are always wonderful and the thoughts that accompany them – perfection. Love your blog.
If I had to try and narrow it down I’d have to say getting inspiration/ideas happens most while I’m driving. Cold snowy/stormy days help too!
I remember some great posts you had in the snow. Of course, your gorgeous Clydesdales must be a tremendous source of inspiration – like the pictures in your last post. Fantastic!
You truly have a writers voice. Your words are like paint on a canvas.
I really enjoy this sentence:
“So the afternoon lends itself to another kind of storm – the brainstorm!”
It’s a peach. 🙂
Thank you so much. Yours are the finest words any writer can receive.
You’re welcome. 🙂
I inspired by the peace and silence of night. Most of the things I write, are during nights. Yes sometimes walking on the street, watching different people crossing me, hearing them talking I do get that inspiration.
That sounds very much like Hemingway – watching people, hearing them talk. It keeps your stories true and relatable. Nice.
My own writing has suffered from other literary distractions lately. I always thought that early morning, just as the sun rises, is my “time.” But more often I find that I don’t get into my own writing till later in the day after I’ve cleared my head of mundane chores. So now, I guess my time is sparked with the gravity of the sun dropping off the horizon. I’m definitely attuned to the rhythms of the day.
Your comment reminds me of my attempts to meditate. I just can’t seem to quiet my mind in the morning because there is so much chatter with the lists I mentally make for all that needs to get done.
You mentioned other literary distractions – are you caught up in a good book?
No, I wish I could say that. I have been editing and formatting other people’s manuscripts. I absolutely love it, but it seems to have taken over my life. I’m juggling two clients right now.
Wow. Sounds like you are busy.
I love “dark and stormy” anytime – especially if there isn’t something else that has to be done…hate to waste a good storm sleeping!
Does your German mind the storms? Mine young one barks at lightening but the old girl can sleep through anything.
Renee, I’ll be honest and say that rain and storms lull me to sleep! I wish they inspired my creative muse to come to play, but alas, such is not the case. People watching, however, does. Today, as I sat drinking an espresso with the Significant Other in one of our favorite cafes, I saw a half dozen scenarios I wanted to write about! It was magnificent to have my brain firing left and right, but as luck would have it, I didn’t have a pen or paper to write down any of my ideas and I’ve already forgotten half of them! Oh, dear. I am getting old! 🙂
I’m sure the good ideas stuck. That cafe sounds interesting. I bet you find all kinds of inspirations surrounded with a mix of people.
I write mostly to make sense of the free-for-all that goes on constantly in my mind. When the need to clarify and understand exceeds the confusion, I start to write. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I end up more confused than ever. But time of day or time of the year seem to have little relevance. (Although gardening is a great distraction.)
Interesting discussion Renee. I find walking is the best way for me to be inspired. Earlier this summer I walked 250 km of the Camino in Spain and though I had a journal with me I lost my best thoughts by not bringing a tape recorder along, which is why my journal ended up being more along the lines of I did this and I did that and not the deep soul stuff that came out earlier in the day.
A voice recorder would be perfect for such a walk – you are absolutely right. You could just talk while you walked and lose neither time nor inspiration. Great idea and thanks for visiting.