Monday, July 6, 2009

My Very Own Rival

Monday, July 6, 2009
I recently read a blog post by one of our frequent visitors, Tori Lennox, where she wrote about musical inspirations. Tori’s fabulous blog is called Hollywoodland. You can visit her site by clicking here:

Tori asked: “Do you ever get inspiration for your writing from music? Not necessarily as musical accompaniment or theme music for your book, but story ideas from songs and/or their videos?"

I loved that question and eagerly answered that there are in fact two scenes in my WIP that were inspired by songs. Each song played in my head over and over again as I wrote and choreographed those sections. To date, I believe those are the two best scenes in my entire book. Coincidence? I think not.

The very same day Tori wrote that particular post, our very own, SIS Brenda also wrote about inspirations. She asked: “What sparks your creativity?”

My answer was more of a who than a what: “People that don't give up. People that see a challenge, a mountain ahead of them. They know the odds are against them, but they push onward and upward. Those are the people that inspire me.”

Lately, I haven’t been quite as diligent with my writing as I’d like to be. Rather than pushing onward and upward, I just keep reading and re-reading what I’ve already written, making minor changes here and there in hopes that I would have one of those AHA moments. It didn’t happen. No AHA and no moment.

What is the problem here, I ask myself over and over again? Here is where the excuses—the lies—come into play.

1) I can’t focus because the kids aren’t in school and it’s too loud.
2) Tomorrow I’ll get back into the swing of things and make a writing schedule.
3) I have to work on the SIS site.
4) Blah, blah, blah…you get the point.


All of a sudden, I hear a theme song in the back of my head. Lame, I know, but oh yeah! Softly at first as I think back to both Tori’s and Brenda’s posts. Getting louder as the words start to inspire me and I see that I am the only person standing in my way. I, alone, can challenge myself. I am my own RIVAL!

Everybody Sing!

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight. Rising up to the challenge of our rival.
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night. And he's watching us all with the eye of the tiger.

This song written by Survivor and from the “Rocky III” soundtrack, continued to play in my head as I typed onward and upward for the next three hours, making more progress than I have in weeks. I am ecstatic! I am motivated! I am inspired! And yes, Beth, I have passion!

Do you have a theme song? Any diddy playing in the back of your head when you’re determined to accomplish something? Please share!

SIS Barb


Tori Lennox said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Barb! :)

haven’t been quite as diligent with my writing as I’d like to be. Rather than pushing onward and upward, I just keep reading and re-reading what I’ve already written, making minor changes here and there in hopes that I would have one of those AHA moments.

Oh my gosh! I so could have written that myself!!! I mean, let's face it, I've got that one fantasy story that's been languishing for 14 years! Despite the fact I love it and think it's a great story. I need to finish it! But my writing group would flay me alive if I deviate from my current project. I've been working on it pretty much non-stop for over a year. It's time to buckle down and get the sucker finished. Then I can move on to greener pastures. Well, okay, they're probably not greener since they've been waiting patiently for me to get back to them, but you know what I mean. :)

And congrats for finding your inspiration!!!!!

Beth Ciotta said...

I've been meaning to comment all day, but I, too, Barb, have been hammering away at my WIP--which, presently, is revisions on my next release. Oh, joy! Not. However, after much struggling, I'm now in the zone. The very best place to be. Sounds like you were there last night. Huzzah!

I know what you mean about excuses. But sometimes life really does get in the way. Sometimes you have to cut yourself some slack. But SOMETIMES you have to crack the whip, get on the stick, FORCE IT, just so you can make progress and not lose sight of your dream. Usually the longer I'm away from my story, the harder it is to get back into the swing. The pay off is when you hit your stride, when you're in the zone. What an incredible rush!

As for having one particular song that spurs me on, I can't think of one just now. BUT maybe that's because I can't get 'Eye of the Tiger' out of my head. *G*

SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...


You are so very welcome! Thanks for inspiring me!

14 years?? Oh my, you surely have me beat on that one. But I'm with you, it is time to buckle down and get this one done. I already have so many thoughts brewing for another story, but I must push them to the side! (except for the notes I'm keeping so I won't forget)

Thanks again Tori and keep us posted on all your stories!!

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Beth,

I agree with cutting myself some slack, but I almost always know when I am just making excuses so right now I'm in that-- Crack The Whip mode!

Good luck with those revisions.

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Tori,

14 years! Maybe that's more incentive to get your current WIP done so you can get back to your fantasy story and complete it. I'm sure you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment when you finish it! Good luck!

SIS Bren

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hello Barb,

Well, you know I'm right with you on the lack of writing. But, I too, am jumping back in the saddle. Maybe that should be my song... Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle".Can't you just see Steven Tyler and those lips?
Great idea to make notes for your next project. I guess most people would know to do that...I know I should do it. But of course I don't. I keep thinking I'll remember, but I probably won't. Oh well...
Happy writing, can't wait to read!!!

SIS Bren

Sisters-in-Sync said...


If one of your characters takes on the features of Steven Tyler, I'll know that song was stuck in your head.

You may not need to take notes. One thing will probably spark a memory that will spark another one and so on until you have book #2 up and running!

SIS Barb

B.J. said...

Hi Barb,

Happy to here you have some inspiration and passion. Send some of that my way. Can't wait to read your book.

Olga said...

Congrats on finding the inspiration! I don't have a particular theme song, but sometimes I imagine scenes while listening to music, be it by Quinta Estacion, or Elton John, or Julio Iglesias, etc.

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi BJ!

Inspiration and passion coming your way. Well, not right this minute but very soon. I have something in mind for you. (mad scientist hands rubbing together)

Excited to see you'll be guest blogging soon!

SIS Barb

Sisters-in-Sync said...


Thanks. I love Julio Iglesias. Do you write those scenes down? Sometimes I wish I had a personal assistant walking behind me so I could tell him to jot down notes as I think of things. (Notice I said "him"!)

SIS Barb

Unknown said...

I have such admiration for you Justen, and the rest of you creative writers. I truly find it amazing how people can create a story, develop characters and somehow have it all make sense. I truly didn't get that gene.....I think your post applies to so much in addition to writing. How many times have I been at home, thinking about going to the gym, making dinner, etc. and just don't feel the inspiration or motivation. But all of a sudden, you just start and do it, and it feels awesome! I also believe truly that you are your own worst enemy and the only thing stopping you from accomplishing what you want is you.

I think it is important to have those blocks and excuses because when you finally break them down and bust through, the reward is so much sweeter. I can't apply this feeling to writing, but I have spent the last 12 weeks trying to shape up, eat healthier, etc. because I was sick of feeling frumpy and wearing tight pants! I just finally said, enough is enough and stopped making excuses, putting other things first and got down to business. And guess what, it worked. So I think this was a great post because although I am not a writer, and unfortunately I don't think will ever be one, it is something that can be applied anywhere!

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Zans!

Very well put! I love what you said about the reward being so much sweeter. I can't tell you the high I got from making great progress in my book. It truly does motivate me to see what else I can do when I put my mind to it.

I am my own worst enemy! Well on!

SIS Barb

Anonymous said...

OK so I have been trying to think of a song and all that comes in my head is...... Wait for it...... OHHHHHHHH I wish I was an Oscar Meyer weiner... That is what I really like to be.... Cause if I was an Oscar Meyer weiner..... Everybody be in LOVE with me.....Good Post keep up the good work... Love ya

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Okay Anonymous...Who are you? That was very funny and I really feel the need to acknowledge you!

Fess up time! Out with it!

SIS Barb

Mary Stella said...

I don't have one fall-back inspirational song, but somehow a song comes along at some point when I'm working on a story that totally fits the emotion of a scene.

Toby Keith's Rock You Baby captured the feelings that the hero in Key of Sea had for the heroine -- how he cared for her, how he wanted to make her feel (and not just sexually), who he wanted to be for her.

Sisters-in-Sync said...

HI Mary,

I loved that book and how cool to know a song can capture a part of your hero. Love that!

SIS Barb

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