Friday, 13 July 2012

A creativity walk

I'm planning a new book and recently I felt quite stuck with trying to work out the structure. In the past I've noticed how acivity helps, gets the oxygen flowing through the blood cells.

So despite the black clouds I made for our nearby nature reserve, Attenborough. As well as being stuck with the book, I almost became stuck in the real mud walking round.

With me I took a digital cassette recorder, such a gift for writers, and as well as recording some of my thoughts, recorded some of my impressions as I walked round.

At the unpromising beginning with diggers churning up the path.

Further on in the walk when I got distracted by a heron

Back to the start

I enjoyed the experience. It worked and I could recommend any writer trying it if it isn't already in your tool kit.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Inspiration and encouragement hit you in funny places sometimes don't they?

Last Tuesday I was standing in a queue in the tearoom of Rockingham Castle (lovely place to go, very friendly staff).

You know what it's like, when you walk in a crowded place to find a seat, you're met with a sea of faces and no apparent free seats. That's how it was.

In front of me several couples, behind me a couple and near me in the queue a woman who I assumed was in one of the parties. Long story short, the twos and fours got placed and she and I stood waiting. Till we started to speak and decided to become, for the sake of getting seats, a two.

Which we did almost instantly after our decision. Good move I thought.

Even better as we started talking again. I asked her, as you do, what had brought her to Rockingham. Turned out she was with an arts association party. Next question of course, 'was she an artist?'

No but she was a gardener.

Over the next ten minutes she told me the story of how she became a gardener, after a long career in IT, including working for the BBC. How did she decide to change to gardening?

On a train going home she met someone from her neighbourhood and told him she'd been offered a redundancy package. 'What are you going to do now',  he asked.

In her own words, 'out of my mouth popped, I'm going to become a gardener.' 'My wife's looking for a gardener' he replied and by the time they reached their station he'd taken her contact details. Two days later, his wife phoned, asked for help and her next career was launched.

She's never advertised, she's turning work away and trying now to downsize her practice so she can concentrate on more design work.

Fabulous fabulous story. So happy for her that it worked out. Obviously from the smiles that accompanied her story she loves it.

She asked about me but what I didn't tell her was that also on a train, though this time alone words had popped into my head about what next for me. For a couple of weeks I tried to fit it into a space that already existed but then it clicked. This needs a space of its own.

Over the next couple of months, I'll tell you more about it but for now I leave you with two thoughts.

If you're stuck about a change of direction, maybe take a train!

And inspiration and encouragement are only a conversation away.