Thursday, 29 October 2015

Writing - What influences writing #babyboomer

Influences on writing are unique to every writer. Stephen King refers back to his experiences from being involved with music. Life influences what we write.

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So how would you answer a question about what aspects of life have influenced your writing? Here are some thoughts from authors asked just that.

Alan Black - Best selling SF writer

No matter what an author says, everything in their life from what they had for breakfast to their near death experience at the hands of a sexual predator has influenced their writing.

B C Stone - Murder mystery author

We all bring a lot of ourselves to writing, consciously or not. My own quirk is that I prefer to have visited, even more so, have lived in, the locale where my novels are set, though with so much information online I don’t think this is absolutely necessary in all cases.

Jack Woodville London - author, historian and trial attorney

Certainly as a child of Depression – and World War II – era parents and myself a Vietnam war army officer I am absorbed with the questions how our cultural norms have gone from impoverished to heroic to wealthy to entitled while creating a whole new class system built on wealth and consumerism rather than on merit and honour.

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So what has influenced my writing? The above authors, and others I considered, concur with the view that we bring our lives to what we write in varying degrees. Seems logical enough. I was born in the baby boomers era and consider myself as fortunate to have lived through the flower power era which, apart from the psychedelic style, was typified by protesting.

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CND - Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament wasn't the only protest that went on although it was the one attracting most publicity, but all of them were largely peaceful. There were the riots in the USA in Selma that helped Martin Luther King rise to fame; make love not war; anti-Vietnam war marches and more took place. There was a general feeling that the general population was having the wool pulled over its collective eyes by governments around the western world. 

My own father often said that you shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspapers. Edward Snowden is yet  another protester vilified as a spy and yet all he was doing was blowing the whistle on inappropriate behaviours of the USA and UK governments.

If, as a self-published author, I was asked what was the main influence on my work I would have to say that I have a disbelief in the veracity of government bodies, both local council and national, and of large corporations. I believe that they are self-serving and the people who end up paying for their errors are the ordinary wage earners.

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I was brought up in the Christian faith. My formative years were partly spent as an observer watching Irish people kill each other and some of us in the name of religion, and as a result I sympathise with ordinary Muslims experiencing the same senseless slaughter. In the song 'Imagine' John Lennon one of the verses he makes a plea,

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

'And no religion too' speaks volumes as over the centuries around 

the world there are usually only two causes for war, land and 



Yet I attend church regularly and support the teachings of all the world's major religions - that is in fact to live in peace and mutual respect.

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Then of course there is music both as a listener and a performer. I believe that music was once accurately described as 'what emotions sound like'. I couldn't agree more. In thinking about this factor I tried to imagine a world without music and failed. Most of us listen to some kind of music at least once a day. I am no exception and couldn't imagine a life without it.

These are the major factors that I believe have influence on my writing, they are not the only ones but I believe the most significant. At times other things may relegate the above briefly, sport is an example, but for the most part I return to the above. If you are a budding writer having influences is just part of humanity and you can't deny them. We can't aspire to be a different writer when we are not that person so enjoy who you are and wallow luxuriously in the attitudes that brings.

God Bless