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Monday, September 28, 2015

What Fuels Creativity?

This is a guest post by Belinda Bennett.

Writing is very much like painting, it requires a certain amount of artistic skill and an understanding of how to colour characters and settings to make them ‘real’. It is an art form in its own right, of course, but the similarities are striking. In the same way a painter is captivated by a certain landscape or figure, the writer is inspired by what they see, hear, feel and, yes, read. Inspiration truly is everywhere, all around us, from news reports to personal experiences.

I have always been inspired by human emotions and the frailties in our make-up. Raw emotion can lead us astray when we are under pressure. Anger, hate, love, weakness. Strong feelings. Like some authors are drawn to the blood and gore of war in an action sense, I am drawn to the tragedy of war. I don’t see victory as a theme, just the cost of winning in human suffering.

Something as mundane as raking the lawn or doing the weekly shop can inspire me. I have even been known to be inspired by silence. But, mostly, I am inspired by the people I see; passers-by who prick my curiosity just by their posture or the way they walk. Maybe, they are wearing odd socks or look especially downtrodden on a gloriously sunny day when everyone around them is basking in the heat. What is wrong with them? What are they hiding? What are they afraid of? I ask myself. And then I start answering my own questions!

As you can tell, I am a devoted people watcher and my imagination runs riot. There is no controlling it. I see everything. My eyes scan the nooks and crannies of the built environment, from street corners to bus stops and supermarket queues, seeking out anything that is not the ‘norm’.  Yes, I see the abused. I see the liars. I see them all.

Good job they don’t see me!

Having a vivid imagination is so important for any artist. Without inspiration to fuel those imaginations, art would be a lesser, not so tangible component of life. Actually, I’m feeling inspired, are you?

Belinda Bennett is the author of The Road to Ataco and five other Kindle books. She wrote her first piece of major fiction at the age of nine, but went on to become a journalist. She started her career as a newspaper reporter at the former Exeter Weekly News, in south-west England, when she was 17. She is best-known for her seven-year tenure as editor of the multi-award-winning Midweek Herald, which covers her hometown of Honiton in Devon. She also enjoyed successful stints on the Sunday Independent, Bridport News and Chard and Ilminster News. She ended her 33-year career in June 2015 (she had been writing headlines for daily newspapers owned by Newsquest along the south coast) to concentrate on creative writing.