Thursday, March 31, 2011

Finding beauty

I spent the past week exploring the UK with an old friend. Lots of beautiful places, inspirational art, sunshine, good conversation and food. After my friend left yesterday, I was itching to get back to my writing, and to pour all that inspiration into Project Demo. But instead I spent the day cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, and catching up on billions of emails. That evening I had a big rehearsal for my community orchestra, the last full rehearsal before our concert Saturday (7:30 in the Victoria Rooms, if anyone happens to be in the Bristol area!).

I dreaded going to the rehearsal. I hadn't practiced in a week, I was dead tired, and there was so much more to do at home. But, as so often happens for me when it comes to orchestra, I was blown away when we actually got into the music. It was the first rehearsal with the full orchestra, including percussion, harp, and keyboard. We were in the midst of Mars, the first movement of Holst's Planets, and the room was vibrating with this incredible ocean of sound.

So often I get overwhelmed by the number of emails I need to answer, or the number of words I'm behind in Project Demo, that I don't take the time to relish the beauty around me. After all, that's what fuels my writing. Is it too formulaic to institute for myself a required regular inspiration? Perhaps. But I do think I need to get outside more often.

Do you regularly seek out inspiration in your writing life?

Next week I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I've missed you all!

*The pictures are all my own. In order: The river Avon in Bath, the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey in Glastonbury, and the Tate Modern in London.*

11 comments:

  1. I would love to perform the Planets. Wish I could hear you!

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  2. I don't know that I'd call it formulaic, but yes we have to fill the well. Yes, we need to leave the writing for a short bit and have, what Julia Cameron calls an artist's date. I wouldn't schedule it in--every Friday at 2pm--because that defeats the purpose and it becomes another task.

    Love the pics! Thanks for bringing us along. :)

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  3. Janet: The Planets has been sooo much fun! Honestly, I'd love to do it all over again next season! I hope you get to do it sometime, too. And too bad you can't come to hear it!

    Andrea: Yes, exactly. Scheduling inspiration is probably too formulaic, but I think we have to be aware of needing it regularly. And appreciating it a bit more in our daily lives. I think the blog is really good for that, actually, encouraging me to do things like share pictures! Glad you enjoyed them.

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  4. I agree that different kinds of art can be both relaxing and revitalising to take in. I like going to a museum or art gallery to soak in some beauty.

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  5. GF: Yes, art galleries are some of my favorite places for inspiration, too. Even crowded with school groups this week, the Tate was amazing. There's a lovely museum in Bristol with a great art collection, but of course I hardly ever go. I think I need to walk down there a bit more often.

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  6. Welcome back! Fab pictures! And it looks the weather was good to you :-).

    I get inspired by being out of the house all the time. Even walking the dogs around the block, looking at the flowers coming into bloom, starts a chain of thoughts and next thing you know, I've got a new protagonist and am outlining a new story! Now, to finish the other ones I've already started ... LOL

    Elisabeth

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  7. Those pictures are fantastic! So dreamy. . . . makes me want to visit the UK.

    I get most of my inspiration from life too. If I get stuck in a house or a rut --my writing life starts to suffer. But once I get my hands dirty and get busy living life . . . the ideas start to flow.

    great post!

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  8. Those pictures certainly are inspiring!

    I look for inspiration everywhere. My four-year-old inspires me all the time.

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  9. Elisabeth: Thanks! The English weather WAS strangely good! I wish I had the plethora of ideas you seem to have! But yes, being outside helps so much, just seeing beautiful things, other people. Even something about moving helps with generating ideas, doesn't it? I really miss having a dog to walk, such a great excuse for getting out!

    CR: Thanks! Happy to share! I do have to pinch myself every so often and remember I'm living in the UK and better make the most of it! It's a funny irony, isn't it, that we do our best work not when we're actually sitting down and forcing ourselves to do work, but when we're getting on with living our lives?

    Kelly: Thanks, glad to know I could share a bit of inspiration! And yes--kids are sooo inspirational! Especially for us children's writers.

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  10. Love the photos, Anne! Glad you are back.

    I don't think about seeking inspiration (sadly) but if anything inspires me I'd have to say art (paintings, photographs) and classical piano music.

    Of course, nothing inspires me more than having a deadline. LOL.

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  11. Aw, thanks, Bridgette. All you lovely people make me think I should post my own photos more often! And thanks for the welcome back.

    Art is really inspirational for me, too. And yes, strange how non-beautiful yet totally inspiring deadlines can be! =)

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