Termites, and Surprising Inspiration

termite problemsThe true artist is inspired by everything. Only yesterday I spent 45 minutes in a cafe, sitting at my table and waiting for my vanilla slice. Instead of growing angry, I used the time to think about pacing in a musical and when you should allow the stage to be empty. Eventually the mistake was realised, and I received my vanilla slice with gladness.

Another time I went out for an evening walk and was caught in a severe downpour. My shoes were ruined, but I instead used it to write in a scene with a character going through the same thing.

And then today, where I have discovered a severe termite problem. It is not in my own home, but I have called the Frankston termite control people anyway. My property is rather close to the one next door, you see. If they had a problem with termites, it could very easily spread, and my neighbours are on holiday. Like a good neighbour I have informed them of the situation and called in the professionals, so that they do not come home to find that their house is the domain of the insects. Also, my house.

This has all made me think about the creative process. Often we can see the signs of trouble, much like a termite nest growing on the wall. And yet, we look over it for one reason or another. A scene that lacks proper pacing, a character with no true purpose, or maybe a musical number that is pure filler. But it’s too much hassle to remove, so we let it go.

No good! It grows until it becomes the biggest problem of all, the niggling flaw that brings down the whole show and is savaged by critics.

That’s why we call in the Dandenong pest control. And that’s why I’m scrapping the love interest’s satellite love interest. It’s just too much love, and not enough interest.