Travelling to write

John Adair’s book The Art of Creative Thinking is a brilliant but short and concise summary, of how to be creative and the  importance it holds in life. There are a few gem quotes in there.

Travelling is like gambling; it is never connected

with winning and losing, and generally where

least expected we receive more or less than

we hoped for – Goethe

I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled extensively and the relevance to improving creativity (of the above quote) is that exploring new places is a risk. And I’d further add, that any gamble taken whether it results in a good or bad experience will certainly add to your creativity. You’ll see new faces, new characters, new places, new smells and so on, any of which can trigger ideas. You don’t have to trek to the Himalayas to have a new experience, how many people haven’t even explored their own countryside, hamlet, village, town or city? – Do hamlets still exist?

Another quote, from Robert Frost this time, I found entirely assuring and vindicating in that he never knows where he is going with his writing. In an anti-formula spirit he says, “I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew” – Robert Frost.

I never know exactly where I’m going with a book, but somewhere along the way I will have an endpoint in mind. ‘Organic’ would be the best way to describe it. I hope it is as reassuring to you as it was to me. Some writer’s are formula writers, they work out what’s going to happen then fill in the blanks. That’s fine, whatever works, but I could never write well in that capacity. A side note, the author of many of the Hardy Boy’s books, Franklin W. Dixon was actually several people. They ghostwrote after receiving plot outlines and the main story pre-packaged to an extent. That seems a horrid way to write and I’m sure many writer’s still do this. But for those who don’t the above quote is quite inspiring.

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