Let Your Mind Fly: Re-Discovering the World by Veronica Manzanares Alberola

When we live in a place for a long time, we tend to take it for granted and to lose interest for what it can bring to us, but sometimes it seems impossible to go nowhere else, especially if you are young and have no money on your own.

While nobody can deny that travelling can offer you new adventures and inspiration to keep learning and writing, it is also possible to find new sources of inspiration in your hometown or city. All you need to do is to observe and to let your mind fly.

To find these, I invite you to read about the history of your place and see if there were any relevant people, like writers, nobles or scientists.

If so, you can try to see if there are any books that you could use as a bibliography. Once you have completed the research stage, you can opt by writing about their lives or about what they brought up to the town or the country.

For example, the city of Dublin has Oscar Wilde, who was not only an excellent novelist and theatre plays writer, but also spent some years and had to exile in Paris due to his homosexuality. You don’t necessarily need to point out every single fact you find about them. You could, in fact, write a fictional novel where you include a character based on them but with a different name. That’s up to you.

Another aspect that you can consider is how has the town or city changed in the last ten or twenty years.

Shops and restaurants that have closed and new ones that have opened, unwritten traditions, things that you miss because they have changed or no longer exist, or people from your childhood that you might see in the streets every time that you go out.

I remember that, when I was younger, I lived in a town and it was typical on Sundays to eat hot chocolate and churros for breakfast. There was a ‘churrería’ next to my house where everyone in the neighbourhood used to go, and I used to go with my father or with my grandfather when he came to visit. Today, that place does not exist any longer and, the more time I live in such a big city as London, the more I miss these traditional cheerful aspects of life in a small town.

You can also try to find any building that makes you feel curiosity and do some research about it. It does not need to be famous; it can simply be a house. I am sure that you will find some information at your town hall!

There was a house in ruins in front of my school, and when I was about nine years old, my classmates were always challenging each other to go in and see what they discovered. It was said to be haunted, so everyone looked at it with a mixed feeling of curiosity and fear.

My classmates spoke about a wedding dress, a cupboard and dead cats, but nobody knew for sure if it was true or just a bunch of lies told by a group of children with a lot of imagination. Who knows!

If you are a keen your writer interested in myths, mystery and horror films and novels, this can be an idea for you to work on!

Last but not least, you can opt by writing about traditional stories and legends. Given that you live in a small town, I am sure that you will have heard about stories told by old people about something that happened many decades or centuries ago. Frequently, these are not written anywhere, they are passed from generation to generation, but you can change that by writing them in a book!

By talking to the elderly, you will realise that they can do a lot more than gossiping. They can teach you a lot more than you think!

You can join your grandparents or elderly neighbours for a cup of coffee or tea and just relax and listen! You might end up with plenty of new ideas for upcoming essays and novels after spending a couple of hours with them, and you will make them very happy by visiting them time to time!

We tend to think that we need to run away and escape from everything we know to find new ideas, but it is not true. We just need to observe around us and pay more attention to things that we used to consider as eternal. Only then, our mind will be ready to fly, and we will find the inspiration that we need to keep writing and to keep inspiring others.