Finding life interesting. It must surely be a pre-requisite of a writer? I’ve been growing ever more convinced of this the deeper I delved into medical journals this week in researching for this rather delightful looking short story competition being run by Glasgow University and sponsored by the Wellcome trust.
Now my own delight in the weird and wonderful world of medicine is both a personal one in response to my own particular needs but more widely about how strange, fascinating and downright amazing human ingenuity and modern technology can be in treating illness. What’s not to love about a field that gives us this total boss of a kid enjoying the use of hands for the first time, mechanical suits that help people walk again or bionic eyes that return people’s sight. Science fiction isn’t just waiting at the door step anymore, it’s inside, in your front room, holding a cup of tea with a robot hand. It doesn’t take sugar though. It’s not a heathen.
Aside from the wonderful world of medicine there’s so much more we learn to write about. Whether I’m crafting copy for a business with my more mundane copywriter hat on or creating a strange new world with a bright green imaginary wizard hat proud on my head, there’s always something to learn. If you’re a writer then you’re surely the kind of person who loves to learn it? I’ve read ancient Persian fables for fantasy stories, interviewed psychologists for my novel on illness and tried to understand the weird and wonderful world of the mechanics or our immune system on a cellular level to write a sci-fi story that’s full of fi but without leaving the sci behind. I’ll let you know how that goes. Sci is hard guys. You just have to keep reading.
But then reading is part of the fun surely? And that more than anything is something you must love in order to want to write. The world is a fascinating place, and the more you try to learn about it, the more interesting it becomes. The trick is working out what’s interesting for other people to read too. That’s where the hard part starts.
Don’t worry though. Keep finding life interesting. There’s a whole lot of it to enjoy.