Writers spend a great deal of time inside their own heads. They create tales, they grow characters, shape themes and build, bit by bit, their own worlds. Oh they may appear to be set in the world you see but really all stories are one step detached. Even in the writing of non-fiction, the act of recording the tale places the story outside the here and now.
Imagination is key to how a writer works. But it’s hard to get it to work in a vacuum. Like a plant it needs to be fed, watered and of course, placed in the sunlight.
I love to explore and find new places. That’s why there’s a whole section on my blog under the menu “Get inspired” called “Places“. It’s solely devoted to areas I’ve visited that I think will spark someone else’s creativity. Sometimes these visits are planned, others are a surprise.
The first famous writers grave I came across was by accident. Now Agatha Christie’s grave is now one of my most popular posts, and sparked my own an interest in finding where other famous writers are buried.
While exploring the beautiful islands in the Azores we stumbled across not one but two abandoned buildings from two very different eras.
Sometimes you can find the history behind such places potentially leading into all sorts of interesting tales. Other times, your discovery is more of a mystery, it’s humble origins not deemed worthy of record. Like this tumbledown stone cottage nestled in the woods of Snowdonia in Wales. Found on a walk, it was certainly evocative in the dappled sunlight.
To feed your imagination, to get you out of your writing rut, hell just to breathe new air into your soul, I believe all writers should explore. Visit places you know and ones you don’t. And stray, once in a while, off the beaten track.
What do you think? Do you think writers need to wander? Please share in the comments.