While reflecting on our 10 years of writing recently, we mentioned the number of locations we had been in to write our three books.
To some degree the different locations came down to necessity as we lived in different countries while writing our first two books, but that’s certainly not the whole story. No, we also decided that we now and then needed to see and experience something different in order to continuously get a new perspective and new ideas for our writing.
One such example was deciding to go to Oxford while writing our first book, The Team Formula.
In the book, the team was having a team offsite in Oxford and to do the location justice, we decided we needed to write some of the story in situ. And it really worked. If we may say so ourselves, it added depth to the location descriptions that would have been hard to achieve from our usual writing setting. And it affected the characters outlooks too as we had to really put ourselves in their shoes while describing what they experienced while there.
Having enjoyed the inspiration of Oxford, and the new perspectives it provided, we have made a point of taking any and all opportunity to write while travelling together.
So we have now not just written in several locations in Sussex, London, Oxford and Stockholm – but also in San Francisco, Singapore, Charlotte and Houston – and in mid-air, on planes!
Here are some examples – inspiration hit while…
- punting on the river Thames in Oxford
- observing the sea lions from San Francisco’s Pier 39
- consuming HUGE coffees at Starbucks in Charlotte, North Carolina
- working on a keynote talk in the bar onboard a plane to Singapore
- researching garden mazes at Hampton Court Palace outside London
- being interviewed on Share Radio in London
- working in Brighton
- taking a boat trip in Stockholm
What all these examples remind us of is that when we stimulate our senses with new scenery, new sounds and even new scents, we feel differently; energised, determined, calm – or any other relevant feeling. And we get new perspectives, we notice new things, we break the monotony of day-to-day habits – and inspiration hits.
This can easily be recreated in day-to-day work too. Imagine that you are working from home and how simply going for a walk (not always the same route) or meeting up for lunch with colleague/friend can provide that opportunity for new brainwaves and aha moments. How valuable is that!
AND – and this is a crucial one – constant innovation is a top priority for all organisations, so all you can do to make creativity, idea creation and ongoing innovation a reality is not just a necessity but a clever success strategy!
You just never know exactly how and when inspiration will hit, but it does. And you can be the architect of that.
Yes, variety is the spice of life, and we never know which particular situation or location will provide the most inspiration or why. Sometimes we may be inspired just because we are open to it – there can be so many reasons. But the important thing to remember is that breaking away from patterns always gives new perspective and subsequently much welcome inspiration.