It seems to me that Glasgow is slowly becoming one of my more regular holiday destinations. Although, holiday may not be the correct word. I have yet to spend more than 24 hours at a time there and each occasion I have gone, it has always been for a reason other than relaxation.
Last Friday, I went for Orientation Training as I am volunteering at the Commonwealth Games. The training itself was more a show, with demonstrations from various sports and numerous videos and guests. It introduced us to the mascot, the various roles and at the uniform. More importantly though, we were given a chance to meet other volunteers.
If anywhere is a place of multiculturalism, of unity and of just plain friendliness, it is the Commonwealth Games. So many people were there from different backgrounds, for different reasons. There were students, retired workers, parents. Past volunteers and new. Even before the games have begun, people are coming together and it is great.
Even outside the training it is very clear to see the large variety of people that inhabit this world. Walking down one road outside the station, I passed beggars, business men and shoppers. In the café, there was a small family on my right, old friends on my left and a woman hard at work in front of me.
Taking the time to actually observe the world around you can be extremely beneficial to writing. The vast number of personalities and backstories becomes clear just be watching and each can inform and develop the characters you write. Each distinct character you add to your writing makes the world you’ve created that little bit more real.
This post started as a description of my time in Glasgow, at the training, but as I wrote, I began to realise how one place can be such a source of information and inspiration. So, if you can, take the time to go somewhere new, even if it is only an hour away from where you live. It will be worth it.