Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Ideas that get away

"Where do you get your ideas?" This must be the single most asked question that any writer has to answer. It's also one of the hardest.
For me I have a ready answer. Ideas are supplied by United Utilities, my local water authority, and a constantly flowing supply is plumbed straight into the house. Access is via the shower-head, and paid for as part of my water rate bill.

How is this?

Well, it took a little while to figure out but when you analyse it, it's obvious. I carry a notebook everywhere. I take it on the bus; I take it if I go out for a meal; I take it to work; I even take it to the toilet. I get ideas for stories in odd places, but it is a slow trickle. But the one place I cannot take a notebook is in the shower. It gets kind of soggy and the pencil cuts up the pages. And this the place where the ideas really flow. I mean, in the show there is a positive tsunami of brilliance. All my plot problems are solved in simple and intelligent ways.
And then they trickle down the plug hole.
I have a white board in my study and often in the morning I can been found there, naked and dripping on the carpet (not an image I would advise anyone to spend too long over) jotting down the few gems that survive the trip from the bathroom. On a good day I catch about 10% of them.
So imagine my delight, this evening, when my wife presented me with a surprise gift - a waterproof notebook. It can be written in using pen or pencil and it will survive any soaking. Brilliant!
So from now on, any time I'm short of ideas I can fling off all my clothes, dive into the shower, and plug in to the ideas reservoir. Woo hoo!

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