Thursday, November 30, 2017

Trying new things to rejuvenate old passions

Posted by: Angela Campbell
The past year has been one of the most difficult of my life. I became a caregiver for an aging parent who has a terminal illness, and I recently found out my beloved cat has cancer. Plus, with day job and family drama, I really, really mean it when I say I could use a vacation.

Still, I've continued to write. Slowly. I mean, I barely have time to sleep, so writing means not sleeping, and there have been days where I've run on only two hours of sleep because I felt compelled to write the night before. For me, writing is a form of therapy, so I refuse to give it up completely. I've been writing a romantic comedy because I thought it would improve my personal outlook on life, and laughter is the best medicine. Problem is, I don't feel funny these days, so my rom-com always takes a dark turn and I have to hit the delete button a lot. I've also been rewriting the next book in my psychic detectives series, but I keep having to step back because, again, my mind takes me to some dark places. But I've also tried something new.

I've always loved movies and, once upon a time, I wanted to be a filmmaker. I took some screenwriting classes in college that never amounted to anything, and a few years ago, a production company showed interest in my first book "Cry Wolf," but if you know anything about the movie business, it's that you should never get excited until the cameras start rolling, and even then, there's a chance your project never sees the light of day.


What happens when your life is in chaos and you're constantly trying to hang onto your sanity through writing? You end up writing a bunch of different things because you can't stay focused on one project longer than two days at a time.

So amidst all the chaos of my life this year, I recently had the idea that I wanted to try to write a screenplay, too. It's original, not based on any of my books, but I decided why not? So I'm channeling all my dark thoughts and impulses into a screenplay. It's a horror film, of course.

An odd thing has happened since I began writing my little dark horror movie.

When I've returned to my rom-com or psychic detectives story, I'm not having to hit delete as much because I killed off a character who had no right being killed in the first place. I think I've actually written some funny scenes...I think. We'll see. The point is, channeling my dark feelings into a separate project has helped me focus better on the lighter stuff I want to write. Go figure.

What about you? How do you write when it's a challenge? I'm always looking for advice.


You can read more about Angela Campbell and her books at her website,, or connect with her on twitter @angelacampbel.


  1. This is more of a 'focus' technique, than coping with dark times, but I've recently been trying concentration/study music for when I really don't want to edit a scene.

  2. That's an unexpected benefit to the screenplay!

    Big (((hugs)))

  3. I've been where you are, Angela--except for the full-time caregiver. With a full-time job, I was weekend backup. Still, I kept writing. But the stress became too much. Like you, my work took a weird turn. I lost my voice and sense of humor. After two years, I quit writing. Mom died, then MIL, and then a beloved aunt. Grief kept me away from writing for five years. I had no creative energy. Then an odd thing happened. I started writing for fun. No intent to publish. My joy in writing returned. I'm glad you found an outlet for your dark writing. Try to enjoy it. And get more sleep.


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