“I write because I can’t not”

For someone whose art teacher once told her that she had no imagination, Janine Clifton seems awfully imaginative. In fact, this mother, adventurer, and soon-to-be novelist from Essex, UK, not only went on to earn a degree in performance studies, but has crafted numerous flash fiction pieces and short stories, and spends a lot of her time daydreaming.

Indeed, she relies on her vivid imagination to take her away. As she explains so eloquently below, while she remains firmly grounded through family, writing allows her to soar off in any direction she chooses.

But imagination can only take you so far. Travel certainly helps to fill in the blanks, and as Janine will attest, it can also provide a great deal of inspiration. One of her favorite adventures was a stint as camp counselor at a summer camp in Virginia followed by a trip through “some amazing parts” of the United States. “I have a strong sense of adventure,” she says, “and would love to see more of the world.” And now, she’s got some new, younger travel companions who are eager to see the world with their mother.

If you’d like to read her upcoming novel, just log on to Amazon “sometime in the next decade.” It sounds to me like Janine, as a busy mother and part-time learning support assistant, would be lucky just to have time for a cup of coffee some days. But she’s driven by her passion, and not even the demands of a bustling household will keep her away from her writing desk. Janine proclaims that she’ll keep writing “even if no one reads a single word.” But we will read, of course.

Now, before Janine jets off on her next journey, I’ve arranged for her to fill us in on what inspires her writing. It’s a beautiful piece in itself, and it’s printed below this equally inspiring photograph.

What inspires your writing? Enter the contest

A stroll along my local seafront. On a sunny day, it's just the place to find some inspiration. Photo credit: Janine Clifton

A stroll along my local seafront. On a sunny day, it’s just the place to find some inspiration. Photo credit: Janine Clifton

Janine’s two cents:

Once upon a time, I was young, had a head full of ideas and a fire in my belly. I thought that I could be something amazing, but I just hadn’t figured out what yet. With a strong sense of adventure, I set off travelling the world. But the universe had other plans for me and gave me children and a husband. They are my everything. But that fire still burns in my belly, and so I write. I write to free my imagination and to chase my dreams. I write to relive my adventures, albeit hashed up versions of them. I write to show my children that they can be and do anything if they put their minds to it. I write because I can’t not.

Feeling inspired? Be sure to check out Janine’s blog, The Thinking Girl’s Guide To Life, and click that follow button.

Then enter the inspiration contest here and the next article might be about you!


5 thoughts on ““I write because I can’t not”

  1. On traveling writers – Nietzsche did his thinking on the road, as did Kerouac. Reminds me of pilgrimage to visit saints’ shrines in late antiquity. If God is in your head, or out of it, or both… the land speaks to everyone, if they listen.

    Liked by 1 person

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