Finding Winter – Part 1

by M.J. Hearle

Inspiration is a tricky thing.

It’s like a rude friend who shows up at your door unannounced, stays for a while, eats all your food and then leaves without saying goodbye. As much as you might grumble about their inconsiderate behaviour, no doubt you’ll greet them with a big smile on your face the next time you see them. That smile won’t waver as they track dirt all over the carpet, kick your dog and insult your appearance. In fact you’ll love them for it. Because inspiration stays with us all too briefly, and once it’s gone it’s hard to find again. In fact it’s damn near impossible.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look, Welcome Reader. It’s absolutely vital to open yourself up to inspiration. To spend time alone with your thoughts, to read widely, watch a variety of movies, listen to alternative music and otherwise broaden your horizons. At the end of the day though it comes down to luck. Luck, that inspiration might deign to visit and rescue you from staring at your computer screen with a constipated expression on your face (or am I the only one that looks like this?).

Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if you’re the most talented writer in the world, able to weave sentences of such poetic beauty a dyslexic blind person would break down in tears at the sheer genius of your words, without inspiration you’ve got nothing. No, worse than that – you’ve got potential, which sounds great in theory, but all too often feels more like a burden than a gift. There’s a lot of people wandering around like Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, muttering to themselves bitterly, ‘I coulda been a contender.’

I sympathise with these poor souls. I feel their pain. I spent roughly a decade typing furiously and getting nowhere. Throughout that time I felt the pressure building that I was never going to realise my dreams of being a writer. I wrote screenplays, short stories, opening chapters of novels but nothing seemed to take. Countless nights (well, I did count them but I’d rather not depress you with figures) I lay awake feeling lost and frustrated, fearing that I’d be an old man and still tortured by what I could achieve if only I had the inspiration.

Then one day I found the idea I was looking for. In a cemetery of all places.

M.J.

(Part 2 to follow later in the week. Subscribe now so you don’t miss out. Or don’t. I won’t be offended. Much.)


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