Dienstag, 2. November 2010

Bethany and the coffee brewing story

Bethany, a writer from Chicago, and I met on twitter, got connected and every once in a while we like to exchange some inspirational hellos and his about things like writing, creativity and inspiration.
Last summer, I commented on her blog saying:
I like the idea of brewing a story - like coffee! Because I am both, coffee- and literature-addicted, and I also know that the taste of coffee changes, depending on the time of day you brew it, of the place and even country where you do it. (May[be] it depends on the water ...) Think about Greek mokka or Turkish coffee! What I am thinking about: When I change the place, live somewhere else, will I brew another writing style?
So, what I think is: Not only the ingredients make the story! The whole context makes it a whole! Since Bethany and I discussed this idea, I was musing about the coffee metaphor over and over again. In the end, I didn't muse about coffee or writing so much; I rather considered my daily life, my routines, the seasons in my Central European country, the wheather, my occasional travelling, social networks, friends, family, demands in teaching and so on. They've for sure all got an influence on my writing. What makes it most visible is travelling. Living somewhere else means first of all that you come close to a spring of inspiration. New impressions, new people, new friends. I found out that I am a good researcher, when I am abroad, that I can easily take notes, journal or check plots and settings of a story. I also like to edit, re-edit and correct my texts. But I am not good at writing stories, books or even chapters of books, while I live somewhere away from home.

I don't know why. Maybe because the discipline we need for writing can't deal with too much distraction, and distraction is abundant, while you travel. Wouldn't it be quite stupid to lock yourself in a room for writing 8 hours a day, why you could walk around to see the marvels of a foreign country? Jet lag and an unaccostumed rhythm of meals, sleeping, meeting people, going out and coming home also make it difficult for me to write during journeys. Probably I'd need half a year somewhere else to get used to everything there and to finally start writing long stuff.

But what about the small literary genres like poetry, minimalistic prose, "calligrammes", haiku, aphorisms? Any writing is a good school for writing, that's what I tell my students, when they are reluctant to practise writing. Even some short notes on a shopping list can become a nice little art form. So I started to appreciate those writing experiences: sparkling little pieces of text, coming to me from somewhere, like a friendly joke, a "scherzo musicale", just for the fun of it, just to frolic, to please me.
I am glad that I could save some of the delight I enjoyed while travelling and take it home: materialised in a note book and - perhaps more important - as an unforgettable sensation, a memory of the person I was while I lived somewhere else in the world.

I wouldn't call it an accumulation of ideas and impacts I can refer to when I run out of inspiration. This makes it too technical, in my perspective. It is not a list. It is a piece of art, a scribbled image of myself. A source of a positive, adventurous, energetic me.

I am sitting in my home office now. The November outside doesn't raise my spirits. I can hear cars and busses running back and forth. There is such a typical sound of tires on a wet street. Somewhere in the house a neighbour slams a door. I am looking forward to sitting in front of a spitting fire tonight. Winter is coming, a time to shut oneself away. I'll brew myself a good cup of coffee, or let it be a latte macchiato with Kahlúa, and then I'll take my waste book from last summer out ... hm ... let's see ...

Chiemsee, South of Germany// photo: FS // all rights reserved


Anton hat gesagt…

Thank you for the text and the picture. I will visit both regularly during dark november. I like it very much.

Tanja hat gesagt…

Eine Tasse guten Kaffee ist genau das, was ich jetzt brauche! Deine Novembergedanken gefallen mir und auch das Foto vom Chiemsee ist ein Traum. Ich wünsche dir einen zauberhaften Novembertag.
Viele liebe Grüße, Tanja

Anton hat gesagt…

Den trüben November auf einer Schneedecke verlassend, genoss ich nochmals den wunderschönen Blick!