by Joanna D'Angelo

Many of you know that I've been working on a novel for the past year. Ugh! That sounds pretentious. It seems like everyone is writing a novel these days. But here at popculturedivas we're all writers and creative types so when we say we're writing we mean it. The problem is that I've kind of, sort of, put my little book aside because of other projects I've been working on. And now I kind of, sort of feel like I've lost my inspiration when it comes to writing fiction. 

I'm sure some of you will roll your eyes at this especially those of you who occasionally send me friendly "kick-in-the-ass" e-mails about writing. ;)

But the problem right now is that I'm looking for some inspiration. And perhaps I shouldn't look so hard for it. Perhaps I should just let it come to me.  Not stress out so much. Just get back to the damn thing and the flow will come back. 

Lately I've had a string of rejections for my TV proposals - and so maybe it's getting to me a little.  Maybe, I'm wondering if I have what it takes to do this for the long haul.  When I made the transition from film/TV production to writing and working for myself I was nervous but really optimistic and I got two projects off the ground right away. So I guess I thought - hey this is great - I'm on a roll but then I had a rude awakening -or rather a reality check. TV is a tough grind and it's really hard to get a broadcaster on board. Even if they like your idea - it just doesn't fit into their current slate of programming. I hate getting that answer.  I know I'm wallowing a bit here and it will pass. I never allow myself to sit in that deep, dark hole for too long. I just can't do that. It's not in my nature.  I will always look for the light  - it's what keeps me balanced.

But processing those rejections has made it a little tougher for me to get back to my fiction writing.  I was pondering this last night and I think the reason is because this book means a lot to me - not because it's the great novel or anything but because I've always wanted to write the kind of book that I enjoy reading.  I can honestly say that I have enjoyed writing it so far.  I like my characters - they're quirky and real to me. In fact they are constantly bugging me to get back to them.  I know that sounds weird to the non-writers - but the writers know what I'm talking about. Characters live and breathe in your mind. Like dear friends who want to confide in you. But you have to listen.  Maybe this is what I need to - I need to listen again.  I think that's where the inspiration is for me.

I'm curious to know - where do you draw your inspiration from? What inspires you?

Photo of chained fingers courtesy of AArchibald
Photo of typewriter courtesy of f/1.4


  1. Great post, Jojo. We can all relate, I'm sure! Sometimes it's good to set your story aside for some perspective, but most of the time, you just have to sit down and do it. Don't wait for the muse to kick in. Write without worrying about whether it works or not. Get it down on paper (or hard drive) and edit later. Inspiration's too ephemeral. Listen to your characters, and let them guide you.
    Good critique partners are excellent for that much-needed kick in the butt sometimes too. :)

  2. Thanks Cate! I know what you mean - I don't have any specific critique partners just "concerned citizens" of the writing world who hound me! ;)

    But you're right - it's about doing not thinking.

    And I need to listen to my characters - they keep poking me in the head.

    Glad you're feeling better BTW.


  3. Glass of wine (just one), candlelight and really, really good music. Soundtracks do it for me. Pick one that fits your characters, then try to find them in the music, what they're doing and feeling, etc. Enjoy them without writing for them, without doing anything else. Just dream about them for a night or two, fall in love with them again. And, in regard to rejections, remember that it's a challenge to your determination, NOT your success! Just relax and get those creative juices flowing :-)

  4. Ah, Morgan you always say just the right thing! I do that - dream about my characters - or rather when I'm in bed at night in that sleep/wake state - I'll pick up their story in my head and see where it takes me.

    I know you're right about the rejections.

    And you my dear are also an inspiration to me- I love your writing. ;)

    Thanks Morgan.

  5. I just have to sit there, butt in chair, and write. As much as I'd like to find my inspiration lying on my bed, "thinking," it just doesn't happen that way. I think through my fingers - that's when inspiration strikes. Wishing you the best!

  6. Ha! great answer Kathy - I like your direct approach. ;) Thanks for that.


  7. Boredom can be a great motivator I find as long as it doesn't spiral into self pity. watching a great film inspires, reading a great book too. Also you'd be surprised what happens if you document and record your days, through a cheap camera, notebook, voice memo.

    I have a theory that unless we're consciously aware of what we're doing there's much less chance of it being remembered. Being drunk reduces inhibitions and thoughtfulness so we become less aware of what we are doing and bang there goes the memory!
    By documenting our lives we create memories, stories and inspiration.

    But then what do I know?


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