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Source of Inspiration
Category: Writing
Tags: writing inspiration travel

Source of Inspiration

Travelling is my thing. You could almost call it an addiction. I started at 20 years old when I emigrated to Australia, but I didn’t stop there and have been travelling ever since, whenever I can. It’s hard to say which is more important to me or makes me happier – travelling or writing. Basically, I can’t do one without the other. So it’s hardly surprising my first published work was non-fiction in the form of travel features for magazines.

It wasn’t until I was a member of Writers Abroad and became more confident (and successful from time to time) that I realised I could use the same material, gathered in my travels, for fiction. And I also found this much more fun. And more fulfilling. Apart from what I write from our members’ Monday Muse prompts which often come totally out of the blue, just about everything I write includes a setting taken from my travels.

A couple of months back I went on a camping trip around Namibia, travelling with like-minded (mostly!) folk in a small group. Sharing my life, from sun-up to sun-down with ten other people I’d never met before was quite an experience and in this situation I got to know them quite well. It would probably surprise them – if not you, as writers – that several of them, especially the stronger characters in the group, will turn up in one form or other in my fiction. Some already have. Along with certain situations experienced there. At times there were scenes that reminded me of William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’. If not as dramatic, a peppering of poetic licence could make them so.

It’s rare for me to base characters on my friends or to use a setting from just outside my back-door. For me, both these are too familiar and don’t inspire me, although I admit it occasionally happens. Rather, it’s extraordinary places and novel circumstances that stimulate my imagination.

I know that many writers write very successfully about ordinary people in ordinary places, who perhaps do extraordinary things, and possibly more people can relate to this, which might bring them more success. It would interesting to know where your inspiration comes from. From real life? Home? Or away? Or purely from the depths of your imagination?



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