Rjurik Davidson is a writer who takes a unique look at the world. He’s wise, he’s funny, and he knows how to pull a story together. Here’s how he refreshes his well:
“There’s a place in the Dandenong Ranges that I visit to get away from Melbourne. The Dandenongs are a small range of hills, gloriously populated with mountain ash, great trees that rise up to the sky and fern-trees clutching the damp earth. The place is a temperate rainforest, cool in summer, full of mist and water in winter.
To drive there is to drive into the past, because I grew up in the area and I know the roads (though they’ve been paved and widened). I know many of the walking tracks. As I walk I find myself thrown back into that younger self, remembering days long gone, but again experiencing its passions. Here, relaxed and surrounded by that beauty, I feel the well replenish. Stories leap into my mind. Not only ideas but also the feel of the stories: their dash and excitement, their flights of fancy, their half-perceived promise. I see images of wilderness adventures, which make up so much of my new novel The Stars Askew. I picture characters facing forests and mountains, striving for something, facing dangers.
(Photo by Nick Carson at English Wikipedia)
What are the elements that replenish the well so quickly (and it can take 10 minutes!)? First, the relaxation that comes from escape from the everyday. Second, the stimulation of natural beauty rarely seen: the immense tress, the wonderful greens, the alien-looking tree ferns, the sound of creeks in the distance. Third, the associations with my childhood, the passions of youth, from which springs the authors first loves. If ever I want to get excited about writing, I think about the loves of my younger self: ancient ruins, immense landscapes, Ancient Rome, fantastical beasts, the 1920s, horrific monsters – if I can place myself back into that space, them my well refills quickly. An easy way, then, is to visit the Dandenongs with their wondrous trees.”
You can find Rjurik at rjurik.com and twitter: @rjurikdavidson and you should because he’s a very interesting fella.