It started out like this: “Spam — “A tinned meat product made mainly from ham,” as Oxford Living Dictionary puts it. I guess, the accent there should be on “mainly”. Spam it seems was coined out of spiced ham where that ‘spiced’ part turned out to be neither spicy or particularly healthy. I guess that is where all the complaints came from, as far as the original spam is concerned.
But then, that ham part seems to have been lost completely, while that ‘spicy’ or ‘not so main’ part took over, and it all turned into “Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to a large number of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.”
These days, it turned into an irritating habit of mass bombardment, of your email or almost any online page you try to open, basically taking over your information (and inspiration) sources. Oh, with another irritating habit of your email services, in an attempt to alleviate the pressure deciding themselves what needs to end up in your spam or trash boxes, with quite a few messages you do want to read or need ending up there.
In the end, you find yourself looking at the spam anyway. Useless exercise, besides retrieving something you want or need? Not really, particularly if as a writer, you are scraping the barrel for ideas, for whatever reason you are in a situation that they are running dry.
So why not use this current, modern spam as inspiration? At least three music bands use it as their name, there are as many album that hold that title, and the range of songs go from Weird Al Yankovic spoof to classical compositions like “Menagerie: №7, Spam Guitar by Rolland Miller.
Sure, it takes an effort, maybe even a stretch of imagination, but you can pick up almost any spam message and turn it into a source that will get your writing on the roll. Sometimes, those that seem almost unbearable to look at can be even more inspiring — at least if you turn the anger they created into something productive. By chance, the one I’m looking at right now from somebody that claims they are representing “a luxury hotel company” is asking me to be inspired by their ad.
And why not? New love at a sandy beach, a mystery evolving by a crackling fireplace in a ski resort, anything that involves a ‘luxurious’ or not so luxurious hotel. Somewhere. Make that ‘spice’ useful. With or without ham. If the inspiration is still lacking, you can always resort to Weird Al Yankovic or that “Spam Guitar” modern classical piece and find the ham in spam.
To learn more about me, please check my LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/profile/preview?locale=en_US&trk=prof-0-sb-preview-primary-button.