Way back in 1972, when some avant-garde rock sounds were coming out of Germany, British rock journalists named the genre ‘Krautrock’ . At the time, Can, one of the seminal bands coming out of that scene came up with a track named “Vitamin C”. A mantric song, with the band’s Japanese singer Damo Suzuki, who usually sang in a language known exclusively to him, continuously repeated, in clear English - “Hey, you’re losing, you’re losing your Vitamin C!”
While in no way truly musically connected, it also harked back to Terry Riley’s late Sixties modern classical masterpiece “In C”. A note. A vitamin. Ideas connected. But, what has all this to do with writers and writing anyway?
Well, it has to do with vitamins. C, B12, the lot. Or with the method in which you access your writing ideas and what stimulates them. Besides the fact that writers, as anybody else for that matter, need to have a regular intake of ‘physical’ vitamins, they often need a dose of those unfathomable idea vitamins, stimuli that would push them forward and formulate words, sentences in their minds and transform them into something comprehensible and worthy of reading.
Sometimes it is just good old, plain observation that does the trick. People, relations, moods, atmosphere. Good, solid and diversified reading. Music. Any music. Often, just solid personal concentration will do the trick. More often, its is good solid and steady research - sometimes without a strictly set goal - that will represent that stimulus that will lead the writer in a good direction.
Other times, that might be the good, old, ‘boring’ TV. Particularly the ads. Usually, these contain a concentration of possible ideas in brief seconds or minutes than complete feature shows don’t contain in an hour or so.
All it takes is afresh mind and a penchant for picking up ideas, even from people, places and situations that seem to contain none. It can lead to a multitude of directions of thinking and writing that do not necessarily have to do with the original context. Like that Can song, which seems to have been intended as a warning to drug users, alcoholics…
But then, why not use an already formulated idea, re-shape it, transform it, turn it into a completely new one and start your writing from there?
Oh, good old vitamin supplements, in healthy doses will do the trick too…
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