Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A gentle shove

I was told off by Big Bro last night for not having written anything since last week; he thought I should've been a lean, mean blogging machine while I was snowed in, and was disappointed to find out that I'd spent the vast majority of my time watching remastered episodes of the original Star Trek and reading books. I responded that quite frankly he should've been working rather than reading my blog, and some mild Family Guy-inspired name calling subsequently ensued, followed by a bit of playful jabbing to our respective ribs.

Anyway, the upshot of this is that although I am writing a new blog post a little over 24 hours after said incident, it does not constitute a victory on Big Bro's part.

So, I feel 2010 has gotten off to a bit of a good start. The whole thing of sharing my idea of starting a little publishing company that I wrote about in my previous post has actually had a very positive effect on me. I feel energised and enthusiastic about the whole endeavour, so much so that I actually set up a Facebook fan page for it at the weekend. Admittedly it's not the most auspicious of beginnings for what I hope will be something I'll eventually devote a substantial part of my life to, but, y'know, baby steps and all that. If you'd like to join it, just click here.

In addition to that, I've also been feeling a little bit inspired about writing again. One of the books I was reading last week was All and Sundry, a collection of previously uncollected work by Paul Hornschemeier that included a whole section of sketches, notes, and doodles taken from his sketchbook. This had a little bit of a profound effect on me, and made me realise that I've kind of been waiting for inspiration to strike before I started writing again rather than just exercise my writing muscles and do something - anything! In particular, Paul had included a couple of sketches of random people that he'd seen while on planes or just sitting around, effectively turning what should've been a relatively mundane moment - and indeed subject - into a remarkable burst of creativity. The result of this was that I felt inspired to write about something that should be mundane to see if, like Paul's artwork, I could make a figurative silk purse out of an equally figurative sow's ear - in my case, a walk in the snow that I did on Thursday lunchtime. The hastily written result ain't exactly Shakespeare, but as an exercise it was pretty useful.

I decided to repeat the exercise again today, this time writing about my daily trip to Secret Starbucks. The result here was, I felt, much better due in part to the fact that it felt more cohesive as a piece of writing that was completed in just 20 minutes or so; it would still be helped by a bit of rewriting, but on the whole I closed my notebook feeling a wee bit satisfied. And it was just as I was leaving Secret Starbucks that inspiration struck again.

I think I might've mentioned somewhere before that as a result of frequenting the same coffee shop day after day I often end up seeing the same people walking past on a daily basis. I don't talk to them, and I don't acknowledge them - and I certainly don't know anything about them … but I have, mainly as a result of lunching with Yazzle Dazzle, come to give some of them names (one guy looks like Michael J. Fox, for example, so I'll often interrupt her mid conversation to say "here comes Michael"). That being the case, I wondered what the outcome might be if, as a writing exercise, I spent my lunchtimes writing fictional backstories for passing strangers?

So that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Beginning next Monday and going through until Friday, I'm going to write a fictional backstory for the first random person who walks past Secret Starbucks from the moment I settle at a table. And I'm going to try to type up and post each day's effort every evening. Could be a fun little experiment, eh? At the very least Big Bro won't be able to grumble that I'm not posting anything.


the projectivist said...

Yay! I can't wait.

That's a capitol idea!

Tim said...

I'm quite excited by it - hopefully it'll turn out to be an interesting experience!!

Tara said...

I am totally looking forward to reading your Secret Starbucks chronicles!

Ah, brothers. They can be so...supportive sometimes, can't they? We must learn to breathe in.....and breathe out...When we're exposed to their guru-ish advice.

Dinah said...

That. sounds. awesome. Full stop.

CyberPete said...

Sounds great.


Inexplicable DeVice said...

Hey! Who used up all the full stops?

* narrows eyes at Dinah & 'Petra *

Your bolt of inspiration has caused a similar inspiratorial (yes, I made the word up [or does it exist?], but I'm sticking with it) small-item-of-hardware/electrical discharge to strike me, too

I'm looking forward to reading your backstories next week

Tim said...

Tara - Indeed we must. Mine spouts pearls of wisdom with alarming regularity … although I do subsequently realise that he's just usually just quoting dialogue from Family Guy.

Dinah - I hope it's as awesome as it has the potential to be.

Cyberpete - OK, now I'm feeling under a little pressure to make it great…

Inexplicable Device - Ooo, are you going to finish one of your stories?

CyberPete said...

Don't worry about it. You'll be great!

Tim said...

Why thank you!

Miss Smuggersham said...

Goooooooo Team Sparky! I'll be cheering you on too!

wordless words said...

look forward to reading your stories. And I think its a wonderful idea!

Tim said...

Miss Smuggersham - Hurrah!

Wordless Words - Hopefully you won't change that point of view when you've read them!