Just found the link to a short piece of mine originally broadcast on Resonance FM, as part of a series of shows called ‘In Search of Inspiration’ made by Sharon Gal. Most of the weekly show is her in conversation with various people (not just ‘creatives’ but a tai-chi teacher, charity worker and health visitor in the episode i’m in) but mine was a prerecorded segment.
Listening back to it – never a fun part of performing or reading anything aloud – I’m not sure about ‘the balloon of art’ as a metaphor, but I’ll stand by what I say towards the end, about how sudden, dramatic moments of inspiration occur. Here it is:
The Eureka moment comes when you realise you can dispense with an assumption about your character, or plot, or situation, that you didn’t realise you had been relying upon. Those tiny camels my main character had been trying to create for her lunatic billionaire employer in another story (he wanted them small enough to go through the eye of a needle, naturally), but which obviously didn’t – couldn’t – exist… well, what if they did exist already – to her surprise, and mine? Surprise yourself, and you surprise your reader. The solid wall you had been leaning on suddenly gives way and a secret passage opens up into a part of your work you never knew was there. The shape of the house, the shape of the work, starts to reform inside your head. The possibilities expand to fill its empty corners, its new rooms.
Sharon has archived the show here and I come in at about 13:30 mins.