I have been getting my writing mojo on where my manuscript is concerned*. After almost a year of paying it zero attention, even though I was almost/practically half way (I forget, because I have not been writing it in order – for example, I wrote chapters 17, 19, 21 and the last chapter before I wrote chapters 2-13, and mixed-up things like that).

But last Friday, something happened. I discovered 96.1 on the radio, a station which apparently plays the kind of music that DJs spun at my high school parties. And for some reason, even though I really hated the music back then, I LOVED it. I lapped it up. It was amazingly inspiring.

So as soon as I got out of the car and into the office, I started writing. That was at 3:30pm. I wrote until 5, had a break for dinner, and wrote from six to 8:45 pm. And then I wrote a teeny bit more earlier on in the week, and I am writing again today. All because of some blast-from-the-past music.

I tend to think my renewed, musically-inspired enthusiasm for the manuscript makes perfect sense. The music I speak of (stay tuned – oh pardon the pun – for the playlist below) is kinda ghetto-y, performed by the likes of Nelly and Ja Rule, and thus a great fit for my set-in-Bankstown YA novel. After all, all the boys in Bankstown think they’re ghetto gangsters, and once upon a time, this music was their predecessors’ (aka my generation’s) High-School Gangsta Ghetto Gospel. I don’t know what the current generation is listening to now, but I do know that my generation got over it for the likes of House and Funk and Dance genres.

Anyway, immersing myself in the kind of music that was (in some cases) gospel to the type of people I am writing about almost at the time that I am writing about (I was 17 in 2003, and I am writing about 2006) has served me well. I don’t know how long it will serve me well for, but for the mean time, I am riding the musically-inspired wave. Here’s a peek into the playlist:

  • Ashanti – Foolish
  • City High – What would you do
  • Nelly & P Diddy – Shake ya Tailfeather
  • Ja Rule ft Ashanti – Mesmerize
  • Ja Rule ft Ashanti – Always on time
  • Fat Joe & Ashanti – What’s love
  • 112 – Peaches & Cream
  • 112 – Dance with Me
  • Jagged Edge – Let’s Get Married
  • Ja Rule – Livin’ it up
  • Tupac & Elton John – Ghetto Gospel
  • Tupac – Changes
  • Boys II Men – Roll with me
  • Brandy ft R Kelly – Afrodisiac
  • Jay Z & Beyonce – Crazy in Love
  • P Diddy (and others) – I need a girl (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Jay Z & Beyonce – Bonnie & Clyde
  • Nelly – Ride with Me

Fun huh? Not really into the kind of music that objectifies women through the lyrics and/or film clips, but if it’s going to get me writing, well, then I ain’t complaining (and evidently, neither are the bikini-clad girls in the film clips).

I’d be interested in seeing/hearing/reading what inspires your writing, so please take a moment to comment about it. I’d honestly enjoy knowing.

* Lest there be any confusion: I don’t actually have a book deal. I have a couple of positive shoves, one from an agent, and one from a YA publisher. They’re obviously not going to sign me if I can’t deliver (which seemed to be the case over much of 2010) but they’re still quite encouraging because they have told me that from what they have seen, my story has potential. So yes the ball is in my court. And yes, there is a chance it won’t ever be published. No, this doesn’t diminish my motivation levels, because I will keep on trying even if it gets rejected until I am exhausted of trying. Yes, I am very optimistic. I agree, I have to be. But, yes, I do like talking about. It makes it a little bit more real and makes me want to work on it even more. And you know what? I do experience the It’s-never-going-to-happen and I-can’t-go-on moments with it. A LOT. But the other day, I emailed the agent lady to see if she was still interested in reading it even though I missed my delivery deadline by many many months, and she said yes. There’s hope for me yet. Which means there’s hope for you too.