It didn’t occur to me that my books would be widely read at all, and that enabled me to write anything I wanted to. And even once I realized that they were being read, I still wrote as if I were writing in secret. That’s how one has to write anyway – in secret.
Writing Prompt: You’re writing a scene set in the past (say, between 1890 and 1912). Two people go out on a first date. They could take a walk in the park, see a play or visit the ice cream parlor. But what if she suggests something a little more offbeat? Or what if he’s just received two pairs of stilts from his eccentric great-uncle? Or a newfangled zipline has just opened up down the block? What happens next?
As I’ve gone through life, I’ve found that your chances for happiness are increased if you wind up doing something that is a reflection of what you loved most when you were somewhere between nine and eleven years old.
Writing Prompt: Create a scene in which one, two or dozens of characters are inspired to start dancing in the street. (Humming Motown as you write is optional.)
So this seems like a good day to mention that there’s a mini-Star Wars theme in my first novel, The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney. (One of the characters, Jack, has this action figure on his bookshelf. It means something…)
Check out my Pinterest board for other images related to Sparrow!
The advice I always give the aspiring writer is persist — and don’t get stuck on one manuscript. I think that’s a mistake that a lot of writers make. They write one manuscript, one book, and then they spend an awful lot of time trying to improve it, to get it just right, whereas in fact what I think they should be doing is going immediately on to the next book and starting the second manuscript. So that’s my advice to aspiring writers: Don’t get stuck on your first book or indeed your second. Go on and write manuscript after manuscript after manuscript. Writing is like playing the piano or long-distance running; you have to practice it.
— Alexander McCall Smith
Chicago artist Theaster Gates Jr. bought a derelict bank in Chicago for $1 and turned it into an arts center within three years.Here’s more:
Under the new moniker Stony Island Arts Bank, the building is now home to art installations, artists, scholars, and archives on art history, architecture, and black culture. It also houses the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Gates to invest culture in underdeveloped neighborhoods.
A true (and inspiring) story that could generate all kinds of ideas for fictional stories and/or travel itineraries…
Errands are so effective at killing great projects that a lot of people use them for that purpose. Someone who has decided to write a novel, for example, will suddenly find that the house needs cleaning. People who fail to write novels don’t do it by sitting in front of a blank page for days without writing anything. They do it by feeding the cat, going out to buy something they need for their apartment, meeting a friend for coffee, checking email. “I don’t have time to work,” they say. And they don’t; they’ve made sure of that.
Writing prompt: Who is this boy and why is he dressed as a bear?
The photo is by Tamas Dezso. Here is more of his work.