Wednesday, 27 January 2010

o for a muse of fire

Even Shakespeare prayed for inspiration.

A reader mentioned on my author blog ( that she takes a walk in the woods when she's stuck for ideas. I agree, a change of scene can be very stimulating, and walking in the fresh air is helpful, but I'm not sure I can identify any one location or situation where I feel inspired. I usually have ideas after I've gone to bed. Up I get, scurry over to my notebook and scribble furiously, often illegibly.

When I first started writing – (is it really over two years ago now?) – I used to jot down all my ideas as they occurred to me, worried I would forget my gems of inspiration if I didn’t record them. I ended up with hundreds of incoherent notes which I couldn’t decipher. I now subscribe to the forgetability principle. If an idea is good, I trust I will remember it. If I forget an idea, it wasn’t worth much in the first place.

But I still get up in the night to scrawl pages and pages of my best writing. Perhaps during the day there are too many distractions. In any case, isn’t the night the best time for writing crime fiction… in the dark… when you can’t see who might be prowling outside … and discover ideas lurking within…

Leigh Russell

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