I haven’t been in here for a while. A very long while. Earlier this week, a friend mentioned she’d popped in to look at my website and I thought, phew – it must be six months since I did that. Then I looked – and it’s considerably longer than six months!
I know I’ve been busy. I’ve been having a lovely time giving talks to the ladies of the Warwickshire Women’s Institute and hosting Live Lit events. Here’s a montage of the talented writers I hosted at this year’s Stratford Literary Festival Indie Authors event – what a great night that was.
Then there was the day my StoryVine colleagues (Terri Daneshyar & Sue Newgas) and I ran a day of creative writing workshops for my daughter’s school, Stratford Girls’ Grammar. Five sessions reaching around one hundred and fifty girls, plus Terri’s lunchtime talk about her new young adult fantasy!
It’s all been great. I’ve heard a lot of excellent writing and been inspired by so many interesting and stimulating people. I’ve even started work on my first novel, which is a big new adventure for me. But more about that another time.
Through all of this, there’s been another constant, and time-thirsty, activity. I’ve spent many hours in front of my laptop. To tell you the truth, not all of it has been what you might call ‘productive’. I’ve become rather prone to letting myself get distracted by social media, especially twitter.
It’s a most guilty pleasure, and some days it’s not even that pleasurable. There’s so much gloom and unrest at the moment, not only here in the U.K., it’s going on all around the world. Like a lot of other people, people from all points on the political compass, I’m left feeling impotent and depressed. Some days not even a picture of a whole litter of kittens riding on alpacas could cheer me up.
So, I’ve come up with a way to turn my guilty pleasure into a force for creativity. For all the misery, the internet is still a beautiful place and I follow some wonderfully talented folk who post the most amazing pictures. Now when I indulge myself with twitter (which is still at least twice a day), I retweet anything that prompts me creatively with the hashtag #inspiringastory. It might be a beautiful painting or sculpture, a poignant wildlife photograph, or a thought-provoking news story. No rules, just inspiration.
Why not take a look, you can find me on twitter as @jennyjheap or just look for #inspiringastory. Even better, tweet some yourself and help spread the creativity. Here are a few examples to get you started (with thanks and full honours to the original tweeters and accredited artists).