I know, it is a very strange photo, but it has been my inspiration on several occasions.
A few weeks ago, Phyllis spoke about her writing quirk – listening to a specific play list while writing. I added a comment indicating one way that I get inspired, and decided to blog about another.
When I come across an interesting image, I save it in a folder on my computer. When I have been staring at the blank piece of paper for a long time, I sometimes choose an image and challenge myself to come up with a background story. It may explain the painting or describe the events that led the artist to produce the artwork.
One of my favorite images for this purpose is the one I have attached. This is a piece of batik art from Uganda and the reality is that the woman who is walking away has probably been banished from her village and is leaving with her “georgie bundle” (all of her belongings) on her head. Sometime I create dialogue imagining what the seated woman is saying to her. My favorite scenario begins with “Go put some clothes on!” (The standing woman is bare behind that little black banner I added).
Other times, I think about why she is being banished, what she may have done, whether she is guilty or innocent of the crime of which she is accused. After having a little fun with this, I find that my mind is back in gear for writing and creating my own stories.
I would love to hear other exercises that you use to jump start your creative thinking.
(Originally posted at Novel Spaces on September 12, 2010)