Inspiration- Why we write

Bahaa Taher, Yann Martel and Imtiaz Dharker
In conversation with Paul Blezard

Concept of muses:

Bahaa: I don't believe we need muses to inspire poetry or music. We need inspiration and own realisation to to create poetry. Inspiration changes from one period to another. Writers or artist fail to produce words sometimes. Muses of poetry or music is inside ourself and its upon us how can we make use of them.

Joy of creative writing: What sustains you?

Imtiaz: I don't believe you can write in hope that someone will publish it. You have to start with that, just start with that. With poetry you write knowing its a hopeless cause. You are forced to do it. The audience may never be there. When I first read Gerard Manley Hopkins, I realised words were playful, thats when I began to write.

Bahaa: If inspiration dies, you need to stop at that stage and consider two options: First - Refrain from writing or Pursue with diligence or wait, wait for inspiration. Hemmingway shot himself when he couldn't write. Optimism is paramount. When writing is impossible, people still continue to write without inspiration.

I do think they do understand the advises, they continue to write when the inspiration is not present for fans. Stop writing when inspiration dies. God takes care of writers.

Yann: Writing is North America is commercialised. Publishers now make huge sums, while writers suffer. Writers now submit themselves to commercialisation. When I started writing, what I loved was that I control things. You have a sense you are god. When you are 19, you can follow your dreams, so do when you are 30. But at 40, you need to stop being optimistic and be realistic.

Imtiaz: For a writer, colleagues are other writers in the world, great source of inspiration, living and dead.

Bahaa: Applies to real writers, not superficial writers. People write series of books to prove their effective presence.

Yann Martel leapt to public attention in 2001 when his second novel, Life of Pi, won the Booker Prize.

Bahaa Taher's novel Sunset Oasis won the IPAF, or Arabic Bo0ker in 2008.

Imtiaz Dharker is a Pakistan-born, Scottish educated poet.