Ask any writer and he’ll tell you that writing is a solitary, often agonisingly frustrating occupation; especially fiction. Just consider this: every character, every scene, every piece of action, every conversation, is a product of your imagination. Often this can be very draining, and a little time out is needed to refresh the mind.
But how is this to be done? Well, every writer has a different technique. Mine? I visit my inspiration rock. What on earth is that? I hear you ask. Here, let me show you.
This spectacular rock sculpture is a creation of the elements. Polished by wind and rain, cracked by fire and ice, it has resided for eons just below my house here in the Blue Mountains. I visit the rock often. To reach it, all I have to do is to get up from my desk here in the attic, walk out the front door and follow a narrow path through a dense rain forest to the edge of the escarpment. The view from there is breathtaking. Here, have a look.
Over the years, the rock has become a good friend. A small piece of it, which must have broken off a long time ago, is right here on my desk and I use it as a paperweight. When I travel, this piece of rock, which is millions of years old, travels with me. I goes where I go and has served me well
Just imagine what this ancient piece of rock would have witnessed over the millennia. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes so violent that the earth trembled with fear, followed by floods, raging bush fires and incredible storms destroying everything in their path. For a while it would have been buried under the sea, before being lifted up again by more eruptions just to be exposed to the relentless elements once more. There it would have watched dinosaurs lumber past and seen giant birds circle above. It would have seen the sunlight disappear behind thick curtains of ash turning days into long nights lasting weeks at a time.
And what of human history? Aborigines have roamed these ancient lands for thousands of years. Perhaps this was once a sacred site? Looking at this remarkable rock it isn’t difficult to imagine that this may well have been so. Its extraordinary shape and prominent position high above the valley inspires both awe and respect.
When I wrestle with my writing demons or struggle to find the right words, I visit the rock and somehow it speaks to me. Often I sit for hours in its hollow and listen … Then, inspired and refreshed, I return to my attic, and continue to write…