Louise Couper
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Author Image
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Words, words, words
It’s all words, words, words.  My brain needed a holiday, so I took myself off to see the Picasso exhibition in London.  It consists of his collected works from 1932 when he had a burst of creativity.  I gather he was fed up hearing that at the age of 49, he had passed his peak.  For anyone to hear that must be galling and I expect it either goads or floors.  In the manner of the bulls he liked to paint, he contemptuously scraped the dust from the ground, snorted – and charged.  And what a charge.  He found himself a new Muse, new surroundings and didn’t stop.
For a year’s work, it is a massive collection with one or two exceptional works.  No matter where he went – to the beach, shopping or visiting – Picasso always had a pen and paper handy.  I remember visiting his studio in Antibes where dozens of his plates were for sale.  For about ten euros you could have bought a dinner plate.  At the time it was too hot and too heavy to carry, so no regrets … or have I?
While it took a challenge to his ego to get Picasso motivated, a writers’ festival or conference can open our mind to new possibilities, pluck our creative strings.  I have been to two this year and found them inspiring and encouraging.  Meeting others who are involved in the same crazy game as yourself – whether its stamp collecting or writing – can change the way you think and encourage you to new possibilities.
Being a writer means being mostly alone.
Of necessity, we try to avoid distractions.  However, these are vital from time-to-time, to re-charge the batteries, to get a different perspective.  At the Words Conference I particularly enjoyed Mia Gallagher’s talk on the writing life and how the ‘wilderness years’ form part of it.
And just to stir the creative juices to new heights (or lows!)  I went to a workshop on Early Recollection and how our first memories shape and mirror our current life and experience.  An amazing idea that got me started on another project … talk to you soon.