I’m running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don’t get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.
I’m a bit of a loser when it comes to fetishes that help me get into a creative state, because early on I cultivated an ascetic stance to writing. I don’t have a favourite pen, or chair, or computer or view out the window simply because – as a working stiff – I have to wedge my ‘writing time’ into whatever spare moments I can muster.
I write on trains, trams, buses and planes (though never behind the wheel). I write on sofas, in airport terminals between flights, in draughty bus stops, in bed with my eyes shut. I write with a laptop, with a pen in a notebook, on a post-it note. I feel smug that my writing does not depend on some talisman that, if lost, will mean the loss of my writing mojo. I don’t need to sit or stand or be somewhere to ‘get into the creative space’ because if I had to wait for that to happen I’d be a slower writer than I already am (and I’m glacial at present).
There are, however, two things that I fervently believe in when it comes to my writing. Firstly I believe in the power of my subconscious to mull away at problems in the background and throw up an elegant solution whenever I need it and, related to this, I find that writing in the early morning, when my brain has not yet hard-wired itself into reality lets me follow my instincts as I write. Secondly I believe in always finishing a particular writing session mid-sentence or mid-scene so I have the impetus to get right back into the story when I pick it up again.
Keith Stevenson’s debut novel, Horizon: an SF thriller, is published by Harper Collins Voyager Impulse. He blogs about the science and ideas behind Horizon at www.horizonbook.com.au
Are you a creative artist? Fancy joining in and letting us know about that special item, object, location or cosmic state of being at the heart of your creative process? There’s always room for another lunatic in the asylum: email me and make your most excited Horshack noise.