Stupa eyes close-upInspiration comes in mysterious ways but one of them is not staring tensely at a blank screen or page. Our brains get cluttered with everyday expectations blocking the freeways for our imagination to wonder, speculate, and activate our creativity.

Less than a week before my new book is released and my mind is in that congested state, so I turned to a way of clearing the debris that I usually find effective: stop striving and simply look. I look at pictures.

Stills, as opposed to video or even watching a street scene, are particularly good for this because you see only a second in time – more often a 100th of a second – and what led up to or will take place after that moment is up to your mind to create.

The fascinating thing is, ‘what you see’ may be different for each set of eyes, or even each time one looks at the same image because our perception changes with mood and situation – a fact that can make a mockery of an ’eye witness account’.

I tend to think visually, see time, space and events in patterns and scenes, but even if you don’t, quietly focusing on a picture can stimulate the imagination to a ripple of ideas. So for this week’s post, I share with you five random pictures – may they bring you inspiration.

IMG_1641What is left behind? Or is it the ‘going’ that is more important?


DSC_0016What ghosts of joy, sorrow and hope linger here?


IMG_0851Age need not dim those finer feelings of appreciation and affection…


IMG_0283‘Shame’ – but whose?




The opening scene… or is this the finale? 

Have an inspiring day!

Trish Nicholson is the author of, A Biography of Stories, A Brief History of Humanity, the first global history of storytelling. You can find out more about this special book HERE.


Inspiration: what you see is not what you get
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4 thoughts on “Inspiration: what you see is not what you get

  • July 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    These are lovely pictures, Trish – isn’t it wonderful what can set us off with stories.

    My own solution when my head is all a-muddle – the clear the papers on my desk. I find the general state of disarray mirrors what’s going on in my head. If I clear it, then I have space to think. And maybe give one of these lovely pictures time to breathe.

    • July 11, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Jo, that’s a useful tip and I’m sure you are right about muddle. The only snag is, it would take me the best part of a day to clear my desk!

  • August 2, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Wish I could take photos half as good as you. They’ll linger in my mind as I try to drop off to sleep. They do bring inspiration to the creative part of the brain.

    • August 2, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Thank you, Christina, I’m so pleased the photos worked for you. May you wake inspired as I did this morning, but may you remember to eat breakfast which I did not 🙂

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