Finding Inspiration

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity: receiving an offer for my mystery/thriller, With Full Malice, a novel that took nearly two years to write and edit, completing the other tasks my new publisher requested, then getting it all submitted. And I formed a local critique group for novel writers.

Then came the lull. And letdown.

I’d decided to write in another genre – paranormal – one of my favorites, although my three previous novels are women’s fiction, sorta, with a touch of suspense, although With Full Malice is more of a mystery/thriller. So I’ve been thinking about the new storyline, working on the opening chapter and more, but unlike my work habits in the past, I haven’t dedicated all my time to writing. I do my part; I show up for work and firmly plant myself in my desk chair, but instead of opening my novel file, I surf the net, checking this site and that one, wondering what my friends were doing while I spent time with my nose to the computer. That lassitude lasted for days and weeks and I hadn’t been able to snap myself out of it. I’d been so lackluster that I was concerned I’d lost my drive to succeed.

But I finally found the solution to my problem. Or at least something to help me get back on track – the Paul Potts youtube videos, from his first audition to the one announcing him as the Britain’s Got Talent contest winner. After the announcement he’d won, they requested an encore performance, and he was magnificent. It’s all so inspiring, and no matter how many times I watch the videos, tears stream down my cheeks. There’s a young man who went for a dream – and made it come true.

Then I turn to the Susan Boyle videos. I love those especially when I’m feeling down and on the verge of a pity party. I’m getting too old to be successful, I’d think, and, if only circumstances had allowed me to pursue my dreams and goals when I was a younger woman. If only I’d realized, as a young woman, that I didn’t need a literary family heritage or even have a college degree to be a writer. If only I’d known all I needed was the drive to succeed and a willingness to learn. If only . . . if only . . .

To snap me out of that dead end, I watch Susan Boyle. She strutted on stage – to everyone’s horror – but once she began singing, she had the audience, including the judges, on their feet cheering her on. No one cared about her age or her degrees – or the lack thereof. She, along with Paul Potts, turns my thinking around and drives home the message: if I want to succeed, nothing’s stopping me, even at my age, except me, that the world will accept me if I have something to offer, so I have to get back to work and try my damndest to make my next story interesting enough to entertain others.

That’s the thing: to write a story that will entertain others. If I can do that, no matter what, I will have succeeded.

Paul Potts audition:

Susan Boyle:

I'm a novelist, short story writer, and I currently serve as CEO for L. Cooper Press, a service for writers. Thomson-Gale bought one of my novels, With Full Malice, for their 5 Star Mystery line, then Harlequin WorldWide Mysteries bought the mass market paperback rights. I lead a novel critique group in Redlands, CA, so if you're in the area and writing a novel, join us: When I can't attend, Amy Fletcher leads the group. You can always contact me through my websites:

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April 2011
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