|My favourite writing place - home!|
I am a writer because I write. I don't call myself a professional writer, because I don't write for a living. At least, I do, but within the context of the work that I am expected to do as a property manager - which does have it's occasional and welcome moments of creativity. I have great admiration for those who have taken a decision to make writing their career, whether as jobbing journalists or copywriters for a publication, freelancers or novelists and so on. Unhappily I do not have the courage nor the conviction that I can succeed that is necessary to give up the day job and dedicate myself to a career as a writer. Perhaps that is partly due to self-confidence although a large measure is down to having no option but to earn a reliable living in order to raise the kids. And there are many writers across the decades who have had to write in their spare time and yet have published successfully.
|Work - uninspiring and constrained - or a route to inspiration and success?|
Photo "Business Image" courtesy of Pong at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Or perhaps, as in my case, work provides the opportunity to observe people and situations, to use snatches of dialogue to inspire stories, or characteristics to blend together to build characters, or situations which can either inspire whole stories or poems or help unravel and episode in a novel. It also disciplines me to use the little time I have to knuckle down and be productive.
|Work places vary - as do characters and story lines. Work can provide ideas for stories.|
Photo courtesy of "Construction Building with support frame" by Keerati www.freedigitalphotos.net
As a property manager for many years, I have seen things and heard things that curl the toes, bleach the hair and curdle the milk. I have encountered odd and unusual people and have become a very firm believer - despite being a reader of fantasy novels - that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. In fact, it is unlikely some of the situations I have encountered could be replicated in a novel because it would stretch reader believability just a bit too far. But it is possible to develop ideas: what if that person were like this? What if the boiler had burst and flooded the apartment below - again? What if no-one had answered the door and the police had to force entry and a decomposing body found? What if that mild-mannered secretary turned out to be a lap dancer at the weekends?
Workplace inspiration has struck and won me second place in a competition a couple of years ago with the story "Predictable Me", which I've set out below - hope you enjoy.
Perhaps the moral of this piece then, is not to let the frustrations of having to spend day in day out at work instead of creating a literary masterpiece slow you down: use it to keep the ideas flowing and the literary masterpiece will come.