Write about what you know (part 5)

It’s two weeks since we were coming home from a week in Marrakech, bodies bronzed and brains shimmering with ideas for articles and projects. The people we met, the places we saw, the air we breathed (both foul and crystal clear according to the mode of transport – spluttering old Merc taxi or mountainside mule) were just the inspiration I needed after a summer of teaching. (Did you know that ‘inspiro’ is Latin for ‘I breathe in’?).

Two weeks on and my mind is crammed full and I can do almost nothing with any of it.

How does that work? Surely digging for oil is the best way of finding it (if it hadn’t run out) rather than sitting around chatting about it. But with writing, it doesn’t seem to work that way – which is why our writers’ retreats will be more of a house party than a Jungian excavation.

If I were to turn off my PC, shut the office up and walk around my neighbourhood, I bet the chat I’d have over a bottle of wine (yes it’s 3.30pm. And?) would produce more than I could achieve on a keyboard today.

Rule #37 in the Gilly Smith Writer’s Handbook: When the words don’t come easy, take it easy. Or something like that…


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