1) I write for all year round
At the moment I have three things on the go, four if you could blogging, which I think is still proper writing, I mean, it’s not dancing about architecture is it? (I have Playing By Heart to thank for that one.) I have first round of amends for WIP, after vomit on page first draft. I have a shorter piece bubbling away in the background. I have the first book amends. And I have blogging. So if I had a media blackout I wouldn’t read or watch anything. For the whole year.
2) A phrase/scene/character can give you an idea to expand on in your own writing
In Best Friends Perfect, Kieran and Jo climb Ayers Rock in drag. Yes I took that from Priscilla Queen of the Desert (PQD in our house), but the situation and characters are completely different. It was an interesting event, which I wanted to reflect on differently. Kieran and Jo refer to being inspired by PQD, and that’s way post modern, or something... Haven’t you ever watched a film and thought, I wonder how that character would get on trapped in space? Or maybe those lyrics perfectly express the feeling at the end of a relationship your strong silent character would feel?
In the same way that seeing friends or family is part of your life, media consumption is too. Jonathan Harvey said he wanted to be a teacher before becoming a writer, so he’d have some life experience to draw from in his writing. He’s a writer on Coronation Street, and his first book All She Wants, is about a girl who became a soap star. Most of us consume a fair bit of media every week, so I say why deny yourself an important aspect of life just because you’re writing that month/week/year?
4)Guarding your own voice is important – however
Yes, it’s important to guard your own voice. Some people say they can’t listen to music while they’re writing or they end up writing about what the songs are about. Others say that’s a perfect way to overcome a writing block. I think even if you use an idea in some media, and write about it, the story can only ever be told in your voice: if I went on holiday with three friends, we would all tell the holiday story differently, all using our own voice. That’s all people ever do, tell each other stories: through films, music, books it’s all stories.
Until next time