In psychological terms, context is almost everything. Much as we like to think that we know how we will act and react in a given situation, without the richness of...
As readers of my previous blogs will know, I’m condensing the first part of my journey in trying to get my book published because some stages have taken weeks, during which all I’ve been doing is waiting for replies.
This raises a really important point: how do you find the energy to keep plugging away when things get tough, either when writing or when attempting to get published?
My solution is to keep half an eye out for inspiration all the time. I received a signed photograph of my favourite guitar player (Eric Clapton) for Christmas and, remarkably, a Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt Clapton Stratocaster from my family and friends for my 40th birthday.
The presence of both of these in my office inspire me.
Clapton is a genius in my mind, but that genius was achieved by him playing guitar for hours because it was something he was passionate about. These symbols of him are reminders about what can be achieved through passion and perseverance.
On Sunday I found another source of inspiration; the documentary ‘Man on Wire’.
It’s the astounding, moving and poignant story of Philippe Petit’s attempt to put a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Center and walk across.
The documentary has no footage of his incredible walk; instead (and I think the documentary is enhanced by this) we have the photographs taken by Jean Louis Blondeau, a photographer and friend of Philippe who did a whole lot more than simply take photographs (but I’ll let the documentary tell you that story).
After a mistake by Philippe, Jean Louis spent seven hours hauling the very heavy cable up into position on the second tower – a task one of the others in the group had given up on because he thought it was impossible. When it came to taking the photographs he was exhausted and barely able to operate the camera from his exertions with the cable and yet he still managed to document this incredible feat.
I can’t begin to relate to what Philippe did – the thought terrifies me beyond words. Nor can I appreciate what drove Jean Louis Blondeau to bear what he did to make the tightrope walk possible and document it afterwards. But I can be inspired by the passion and perseverance that drove these men to do what they did.
If you have a moment, take a look at some of the images of the Man on Wire walking between the Twin Towers at Jean’s site here. Who knows, perhaps it will inspire you too.
P.S. I know I said I would tell you about Francis next time I posted; sorry I got swept along by this post. I promise I’ll tell you about him next time!