Usually I travel with three kids in tow. But a few days ago, I ventured alone for the funeral of a close family member. In many ways, it was a melancholy, introspective sort of trip. However, the silver lining for me was being on my own. Unaccompanied, I found many moments to observe and study people, even eavesdrop a little. And I also had the chance to have some really meaningful exchanges. I usually am not afforded these opportunities while keeping up with children. So it was a refreshing change for me.
In this short interview with author Ian McEwan, he talks about how taking journeys is one way to discover ideas for writing. For inspiration, he suggests being away from home and obligations and breaking routines. He also mentions that writers should be actively looking for things to write about or in a “state of useful passivity, where at least you allow for the possiblity of something.”
A cool flight attendant shared stories from his life and travels with me before my last flight home. His tales ignited the spark for a story idea. In the dim cabin of the late evening flight, I envisioned scenes in my mind while lights twinkled below in the darkened sky. Stories are everywhere. It’s great when you have the chance to find them.