When someone asks me where my ideas come from, the question is so open-ended that I never know where to start. Do I talk about the sudden spark that comes from an overheard conversation, the image of a character that floats across my brain, the memory from childhood, or the “what if” that appears to arrive at random? What happens to these prompts is shaped by the conscious and the sub-conscious mind. Sometimes there is a deliberate choice to write to submit to an anthology, or to try out a genre I haven’t attempted before. On other occasions the arrival of a certain character demands that their story is told. Then again, a couple of lines of dialogue lead seamlessly into a longer piece.
It’s as if there is so much going on in my brain that I only have to reach out and snag something I want, or need to write about.
And the place where these stories come into my mind is often…the shower.
There is something about standing under a fall of water that sets the creative processes flowing.
Maybe, symbolically the brain is being washed clean and made ready. Or the shower is a place to relax, get the alpha waves working and unblock any impediments to the imagination.
Whatever the reasons, quite often I have to leap out of the shower and start writing.
Years ago an agent told me that many of her writers work in the same way. She was surprised by this finding, I am not.
All I wish is that someone would invent a waterproof notebook and pen, so that I could stand under a shower of blissfully hot water and write whatever comes into my head.
PS Why the waterfall? It’s much more beautiful that me in the shower.