Story Starter: Go Away, I’m Writing

Go Away, I'm Writing

Here’s my office desk, complete with Go Away, I’m Writing mug. And yet do you know what I thought of when I chose this image as my latest story starter inspiration? Coming home. Not because it’s home, obviously. I know I’m dedicated but I do have a real home with a lovely husband who spoils me rotten!

No, coming home sprang to mind because the last few images I’ve posted have been from various European cities. So, from far-flung destinations we’re right back to ground zero. Or square 1.

Don’t know about you but I’ve got a load of ideas teeming through my mind already!

So, what do we see? My computer keyboard – complete with dust. But focused on the numbers keypad at the end….

Reading specs – which potentially gives your character an age range.

Writing mug – which, as it happens, was last year’s office Secret Santa present. (But let’s not get onto that Shirley-writes-stories topic again!)

I’ve told you that the desk is here in the office, but where might it be for your character? And who’s she, or he, fending off with her mug – who’s being told to go away?

Was it a gift in your story? Who gave it? As a message of support, or as a gentle prod towards achieving a long-held ambition?

Go Away, I’m…

Of course, those mugs come in a huge variety of I’ms…. reading, sleeping, cooking, knitting….sailboarding….paragliding, maybe? The beauty of it being your story is that you can please yourself what it says.

This is the kind of winding trail of questions that these images are intended to prompt. It’s why I say at our writing workshops that sometimes you need to give yourself permission to do what you did as a child and just let your mind wander. Remember what that was like? When upturned tables became bus platforms or flight decks; when a crisp packet bouncing in the breeze became an exuberant dancing fairy?

It’s when you give your mind leave to wander that your imagination really takes flight…

The usual details: 2000 words or 3000, please; any genre. Seasonwise, you’ll have to be very quick if you’re writing for winter because I chose the stories for our January 21 issue this week. Safer to think spring or even – hurrah! – summer.


Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.