No, this isn’t going to be the great paradox of my blog, nor is it some sinister throw down to wage a war of debate between writer’s and artist. In fact the answer is rather easy and one that I was reminded of during a recent writing prompt.
So, when is a picture worth more than a word count?
Simple, when it becomes a story.
I have always been a thinker – heck I have also always been rather strange and unusual ta boot! My imagination seems to pick up the most minute of details and interpret them in the unique ways.
My take on things and what inspired them can really cock the eyebrow, but I usually wait for the spark to truly catch fire before I dedicate any of my creative effort towards its happening. Like J.J. Abrams says:
I try to push ideas away, and the one’s that will not leave me alone are the one’s that ultimately end up happening.
However! When I came across the Reedsy A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words writing prompt I was reminded just how fun it can be to look at images and run wild with what they provoke within the mind’s eye.
I used to have a weekly feature dedicated to just that (Throwback Thursday to Tumblin’ Tuesday anyone?) but, like the first iteration of my blog, it was lost and I fell out of the habit due to the dedication of self to first novel and sundry.
Seriously any free time I have to create had been dedicated to ultra specific deadline projects or my novel and the in’s and out’s of it being my first (Since I’m such an unconventional when it comes to my craft it has really been quite the journey – I didn’t even know I was writing a book until I was some 80+ pages in! But I’ve also wanted to take my time – you only get one “first” after all! ;))
Yet there I was, the week directly after a Tuesday New Years, with the energy of wanting to jump right back in, but the semi out of practice, at a loss feeling that the holiday hubbub will induce and this perfect opportunity to stretch my skills but in a totally fun and no pressure kind of way.
It was so much fun to look through their option of stock photo inspiration and allow my imagination the candy to totally go glutton over – though only with its choice of flavor.
I was still quite discerning, looking at the images and then walking away, keeping them indirectly in my minds eye to allow the right one to resonate. When I opened the blank document I didn’t even paste the image I just went off on what it inspired. After all I am an unconventional creative, I do not follow rules in the direct fashion, I follow the outline of what it is they pertain to. Creativity has not the same boundaries that your typical black and white rule box houses, so don’t jail yourself in the idea that just because your story is based on this image doesn’t mean that you have to paint this exact image to the reader. Art is meant to inspire new perspectives, to promote different ways of seeing into things.
That being said this is the image that I chose:
It really was such fun to have a word count and time limit (deadlines are some of my favorite things!) it meant that commitment was short but my creative cells were burning and bringing me back into my most natural and easy state of Go,Go,Go!
I encourage anyone and everyone – no matter what type of creative you are, and even if you aren’t do this to help open you perspective to become a problem solving powerhouse – to practice inspired creating.
You could randomly choose a book cover of something you’ve never read ( A Barnes & Noble challenge, if you will – and great excuse to wonder a bookstore!) that you then have to write the story that lies beneath, or just a picture – pinterest and the gram are chalk full! – or a song. You could read a book and choose a side character, watch a movie or a show and create a story around an Extra in the background, whatever you choose just make sure to set yourself the loose limits of time and count and withing that go nuts!
The more you do this the more you will start being inspired on a daily (hourly in some cases) by any given thing. Your mind will be opened to seeing things with a more studied eye, looking further then surface and deeper then face. You will be expanding your perspective and taking in a world that really is just full of stories waiting to be told and interpreted through the eye of the beholder that is you!
And as for my story STOP!? Well just stay tuned and be ready for a treat!