Sunday, 10 January 2010


Jack London (1876-1916) said, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." Well, sometimes inspiration comes knocking on your door whether you want it or not, as indeed it has done here this week – on two occasions: one unfortunate, the other sad.

To be honest, it's not really inspiration; just pictures to go into the great image bank. For both instances it's the sort of experience I would rather imagine than live through. I've seen people being incredibly strong, spiritually, when they have experienced one of the worst blows that can be dealt – not the worst, perhaps, but still bloody awful.

I feel awkward because I am taking it all in: the words, the gestures, the sorrow and the strength.

And yes, should I ever need to write such scenes I may find myself calling on what I have witnessed people living through because writing isn't only about making up stuff – it is about showing life and death and how it affects people, altering their lives and philosophies and how they see the world.

Writing can also be about showing just how fragile we really are.

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