I’ve never understood what people mean by writer’s block for I can find inspiration in the strangest of places and see a storyline developing in everyday things others pass by. Perhaps I’m blessed – or cursed, if you’re a reader of my blog and already sick to the gills with my output!
Take Cardiff’s many fantastic pieces of art for example, the statues that are dotted around the city. They form an excellent basis for a story, for their bronzed faces never twitch, when you cheerfully proclaim you want to “write” them.
Unlike friends, colleagues and family, statues don’t have shifty, hard to define characters that drive a writer to distraction, nor do they suddenly decide to change their appearance by going “Goth”, dyeing their hair platinum blonde or breaking a leg just when you want to use them as the template on which to base your hero or villain.
To make my grocery shopping trip more interesting, I often invent little stories for this static bronze nation. I call it exercising my writer’s imagination; you might call it the onset of insanity.
Take the couple at Mermaid Quay for example, beloved by the tourist board, for they’re pointing so endearingly to St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay.
Let’s call them Holly and John; they are romantically involved. A steamy affair, indulged in the Bay’s most luxurious love-nest.
Alas, trouble is brewing, because John already has a wife and small child, Ursula and Digby, both ever so sweet and gentle.
Will John’s affair break up the marriage? Will Ursula be so distraught, she commits suicide by jumping off Roath Dock, leaving Digby abandoned, singing the blues in a park, where a lonely employee from the National Museum of Wales finds him in her lunch hour and takes the boy home? She “adopts” him on the quiet, but before they can really bond, a corrupt social services man snatches the boy and sells him to a sweatshop owner on Queen Street! What’s going to happen to poor little Digby, I hear you gasp?
Will Holly start an affair with a man from Gallifrey instead? Now THAT, I fear, will take another shopping trip.
Next time you’re suffering from writer’s block, take a closer look at the statues you pass on the way to the pub. Try guessing at their secret lives…let them tell you their story.