Diary of a hopeful author: How inspiration can strike – even when watching Argo

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

 Inspiration comes in different disguises. I went to see Argo last night. What a film. I can completely see why it got Best Picture at the Oscars, it is a masterpiece. But why, you may think, why me lady, are you talking about a film when you write books?

Aha, well, that’s the inspiration bit, see. Inspiration is like an unexpected sunny day – when it comes you’ve got to make the most of it. For me, inspiration has always come unexpectedly. Walking to school to drop off my kids, driving the car, eating my dinner, dribbling on my pillow, going to see a film. At any point, at any time it can strike, and when it does, you’ve got to make the most of it.

The film Argo is one of those times. Argo is a masterpiece because it achieves the amazing thing of respecting the intelligence of the film goer. It doesn’t, like your standard Hollywood movie, spoon feed and sugar coat, but intrigues, quizzes and prods. Argo shows you things and, without any further explanation, let’s you, the viewer, come to your own assumptions, your own understandings.

And this is the inspiration, this understanding. See, the back story for the film is Iran in the 70s, volatile, politically charged Iran. What Ben Affleck and his team so cleverly do is to explain this back story by dropping in information as the film passes, feeding you morsels of the background as opposed to chucking it all in your face or unwrapping it for you.

And it was this, watching this clever piece of film, that made me think of my own book, my own writing. Because, whether it be film, TV, plays or novels, writing is about letting the recipient unwrap it all themselves. Themselves. It’s like respecting, if you will, the fact that whoever is watching/reading/viewing your work, has a brain of their own.

I was inspired, then, by Argo. Who knew? Who knew when I set out to the cinema last night that I would sit, watch and learn, learn how to be a better writer. And that is what’s great about this inspiration lark – it can strike at any time, you just have to be on the lookout for it. And when you spot it, rinse it for all it’s worth.

Because writing is a job that never ends. Asleep, awake, on the school run, gawping out the window – at the cinema – your writing is only ever two steps away. Granted, you may not want it all the time, but when the sun shines, when inspiration strikes, you can guarantee writing will make you smile. And if not, at least you’ve seen a good film.

How does inspiration strike you? Do you need a certain atmosphere or can it happen anywhere?

 **Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**

2 thoughts on “Diary of a hopeful author: How inspiration can strike – even when watching Argo”

  1. My inspiration usually comes at about 4am when I’m in bed half asleep, I sometimes make some notes on my iPhone and go back to sleep then, I pick through them a couple of weeks or so later, it always astounds me how some of the ideas spring in to my mind at that hour! Ideas that I otherwise would forget or would never come up with if I was put on the hot spot – really interesting perspective and thanks for asking.


    1. Hi Elliot! Mighty fine to hear from you, Sir. I’m a likin’ the 4am inspiration thing. Mornings are my time, too, the time when I get my head together and, I think, am probably at my most creative. By the evening I am no use to anyone. High five to us early inspiration risers!


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