As I stare in numb horror at the pile of sleeping bags, sleeping mats, chairs, and other camping paraphernalia that is choking our hallway at home, I can’t help but wonder what inspiration lies ahead of me in the Isles of Scilly.
I’ll be pretty miffed if I come away from such a beautiful place with none! But, undoubtedly, what I do take from the trip will be largely down to me.
I remember reading all sorts of advice about having a notebook with you to jot down ideas as they come into your head, things you see and observe, etc. Learning to view the world through the eyes of a writer. This is good advice but it takes practice. I like to record voice messages to myself on my iPhone.
I recall a special place that we found in Devon some years ago. A secluded waterfall hurled water down a gorge amid dense trees and bracken. The resulting stream raced away down the earthy valley, bubbling it’s way over smooth rocks and between banks covered in fluffy moss. It was so raw and unspoiled that the overhanging trees seemed to me to be trying to hide it from view, to protect it. That’s what came to me anyway and I captured the thought there and then as I took in the sights, smells and sounds.
So, my advice to new writers (and old) is to make sure that you take time to set your mind free to roam about the countryside this summer. Take in the sights of places and people and see how they impact upon you. Verbalise your thoughts, your feelings, what you hear, what you smell and capture them however you can. On a page. On a phone.
Make time to let your mind wander. I’m hoping that I can find many opportunities to set mine loose next week.
Even if it rains!