Finding Inspiration by Bronwen Griffiths
Where do we find inspiration? I’m not sure I can be categorical about this. We’re all different and no doubt we’ll find our inspiration from different sources – a newspaper article, a walk in a garden, a conversation overheard, a holiday, taking a lift in a skyscraper... Sometimes inspiration appears like a gift from the sky but we all know those times when it simply won’t come – perhaps when we are over-worked, anxious, stressed, depressed or bored.
Boredom and depression often descend on me when I’m doing the same thing day in day out, and in the same place. But they are also a state of mind. I’m not talking about serious depression here -- which requires professional help and/or other interventions -- but rather those low-level depressive states.
I remember reading about a young man who could not afford to take a holiday. He decided to create the same ‘holiday’ sensation by exploring his apartment with a new sense of wonder. I think he filmed his apartment. Unfortunately despite many Google searches using a different combination of search terms I could find no record of this. But that doesn’t really matter. I know it to be true! Trust me. What matters is that when we cannot find inspiration we must force ourselves to look more deeply into what is around us.
Yesterday it rained and I went out into the garden with my camera and the macro lens. I was tired and uninspired. What I found out there was astonishing. I discovered things I could not even see with my naked eye. I don’t know quite what the green creature in the photograph is but it was good to see it there, camouflaged on a green stalk.
There were other things to see too. Droplets of water on spiders’ webs, butterflies, rose petals fallen onto the path, a fox slinking into the hedge.
Making the effort to look, smell and listen – to connect either with the natural world or with each other – can help us find inspiration when it seems to be lacking. As a writer try something new. If you write poetry, try prose. If you are a fiction writer, try writing non-fiction. Try haikus, limericks, random words. It’s easy to stay stuck in our routines. We need to find new ways. Untrodden ways. You don’t have to climb a mountain or travel half way across the world. Inspiration is on your doorstep. You just have to search it out.
Bronwen is the author of two novels and a book of flash fiction. Her latest book, 'Listen with Mother' - based on her childhood growing up in a village in North Worcestershire in the 1960s - is published by Silverhill Press, Hastings tomorrow (Friday 12th July)
Her website is at:
You can find her on Twitter @bronwengwriter