IWSG 69: Pics Used For Inspiration


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?


Lee Lowery | Ronel Janse van Vuuren | Jennifer Hawes | Cathrina Constantine | Tyrean Martinson

First try

Was Seasons Change for the Make Believe Anthology. The pic before it became a cover was used for inspiration. I didn’t succeed but one of my friends got in and arranged this for me.

I still treasure it.

Next Time

Was and is one of my best loved stories is, Mexmur, the Huntress. The picture was this:

When Mexmur was published, I learned so much from the group at Roane Publishing. Unfortunately for all of us there, it closed its doors.

the lessons i learned

I learned what success felt like. What working with a supportive and inspired publisher felt like. What losing all that I gained felt like.

It was a wild ride.

Would I do it again? Hell! Yeah!

Well, that’s what I think until I have to push SEND. Then the reason I need all of you so much raises its head and pushes my hand away.

Good news is I’m still writing. And where there is writing; there’s hope.

106 responses to “IWSG 69: Pics Used For Inspiration

  1. Sorry Roane Publishing closed its doors. As for photographic or artistic inspiration, it’s usually the opposite. The story would come first and I’d find images that’ll help with the storytelling. My new age gap romance story was inspired by a black and white photo ad I saw in the metro station. Though I’ve already pre-plotted it, I haven’t tackled it yet so it’s not ‘finished.’

  2. I love The Portals picture. Glad it was such inspiration for you.

  3. Oh I remember you sharing that pic for the Seasons Change story. So gorgeous. I’m so glad you are still writing, there is definitely always hope for all of us. Hugs!

  4. It’s the little successes that matter, because you can build on them to bigger successes.

  5. Where there’s writing, there’s hope – YES! 🙂

  6. i was sorry to hear roane closed its doors too. both covers turned out awesome
    sherry @ fundinmental</

  7. Ronel Janse van Vuuren

    “where there is writing; there’s hope” Absolutely! Keep writing, Anna!

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day Project Evergreen

  8. I am so sorry Roane Publishing closed down. The image that is the cover to my BEWARE THE JADE CHRISTMAS is what inspired that story.

  9. No matter what happens in this business, we do learn, don’t we? I loved the cover for Make Believe. The lone figure of the woman in red was perfect.

  10. How lovely! Both the thoughts…How losing what I gained felt…And where there’s writing, there’s hope! Absolutely loved it! Good luck!!

  11. Those are pretty cool pictures. I can see how you’d pull inspiration from them. I hope you find another publisher that encourages and lifts you up as much as your last one did.

  12. I hadn’t heard of Roane Publishing before, but it’s a shame it closed down. We need as many publishers as we can get.

  13. Hi,
    Right on! Keep writing. That is your gift. The doors closed on one but there is still a door out there for you. It is a matter of letting it find you and it can’t find you if you aren’t writing.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  14. Love the Portals image. It would inspire me too.

  15. Writing and hope are inextricably linked!
    Love those covers – and I can see how they inspired great stories.
    I’v loved my experience working with a small publisher too – so supportive!

  16. Keep writing! Success is a double-edged sword… it’s awesome you experienced it, but now you know what you’re missing. 🙂

  17. I love the Make Believe image. Red always calls me. LOL

  18. I salute your inspired perseverance, Anna – and love that first image. It’s already triggered my imagination. Sorry about the publisher closing – a hard lesson I shared with another one.

  19. Both covers are so evocative. Portals is perfect for fantasy. And the red-cloaked woman with the basket brings to mind fairy tales, maybe the children grown up? Or not so happily-ever-after? Oh, there I go. Stopping now.

  20. Hi, Anna! That is sad when a publisher closes. I’ve met some wonderful authors and editors and designers through my publisher, which is still limping along but not publishing any new works these days.

  21. Nice visual inspirations!

  22. I remember both of those – and very cool you have one signed by all the authors. After the success with the second one, now you know it can be done.

  23. I love both covers. They are beautiful. I was listening to a podcast on how the author picks out a cover and writes the story to it.

  24. I love the idea of an image used to inspire the stories in an anthology. I pitched that to Alex for the next IWSG anthology. We shall see. 😉

  25. ooooh both of those gave me goosebumps

  26. I’m sorry you had to experience that, but I guess all is good when we learn and you overcome. You go! Happy IWSG!

  27. mlouisebarbourfundyblue

    Hi, Anna! I loved the last two sentences in your post! Keep going, girl!

  28. You’re inspiring me with your positive feelings despite the set back of a publisher closing. I’ve suffered the same a few times and it’s not fun.

  29. Both of these images are amazing. Inspirational indeed!

  30. The woman in red is mysterious. I want to know more. Tough times can make you tougher or take the stuffing out of you. Glad to know you are continuing. You have a message to share.

  31. Those are great pictures. I will check back on you next month to see how things are going. I’m completely new to this whole process and will definitely be following up on your writing. Thanks for sharing this great post!

  32. My story in that Make Believe anthology was my first ever novelette I’d ever written. I was so thrilled when it got accepted. I got the rights back to that story, so I should take another look at it and see if it’s worth re-releasing. So much has changed since I first got published… and I too have learned so much. And now I’ve gone independent! I’m thrilled to hear you are still writing.

  33. Debbie Johansson

    They’re lovely covers, Anna and I love your last line. Keep writing!

  34. The images are lovely and clearly were hugely successful in providing you with inspiration. What a shame your publisher folded, but I’ve no doubt you’ll find a new & wonderfully supportive home for your work.

  35. That first picture is stunning and totally gives off a cool Little Red Riding Hood spooky-ish vibe. Sorry you didn’t get in, but having a signed cover is amazing!

    The lessons learned are so true. This business is a series of ups and downs and there are things to learn from all of it. 🙂

  36. There are images and then there are images. Wow, yours are spectacular. I am inspired by them and I don’t write fantasy. They are by far two of the most stunning covers I’ve ever seen.

  37. Absolutely love love LOVE the Make Believe cover!!!

  38. The picture for the anthology is beautiful, it would be hard not to draw inspiration from it. Good luck with the continued writing.

  39. Sorry for the wild ride, but yes, do it again! You’ll find your success is all you!

  40. I can see why those covers gave you inspiration, they’re wonderful. I love this group, too. I think it’s brilliant to get support in this crazy world. I feel exactly the same way about writing, it pulls me through every crisis. 🙂

  41. So many of us self-reject by not even putting our work out there. So glad you took that step!

  42. It’s sad to hear of so many publishers shutting their doors! I’m with a small publisher and so far so good. But that’s always in my mind. Wishing you writing success in 2020!

  43. When your publisher closes its doors, it’s devastating to the authors. Hoping you find a good home for your work.

  44. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Great line, “where there is writing; there’s hope.”
    It’s sad when a small publisher closes its doors, but it’s nice when they are able to offer some authors their first taste of success.

  45. Victoria Marie Lees

    Toi stole my thunder. I was going to tell you, Anna, that writing always provides hope. More power to you. We need to keep each other moving forward. All best!

  46. Damyanti Biswas

    Keep writing!

  47. Sorry to hear that Roane Publishing closed down. It’s a shame so many small publishers find it difficult to compete with the well-known ones, as they are usually so supportive and fun to work with. But I’m glad you’re still writing.

  48. The cover of Make Believe is stunning. The red cloaked figure is haunting… it’s one of my three top favourite covers!

    In other news, please send those snowballs you offered!
    I’m frying… almost literally… hehe!

  49. Hi Anna,

    Great PORTALS pic. I can certainly understand why you were inspired by it. So many wonderful small publishers have close their doors. Sad, really. Amazon, as great as it is, has put some many publishers out of business.

  50. So true, Anna. It’s really hard to lose a publisher, I know, especially one that was great to work with.

    As long as we write, there is always hope of being “discovered.” The hope only dies when we stop. Keep going.

  51. I love the Make Believe Anthology. How nice to have those signatures on it.

  52. I’m sorry the publisher closed down, but of course it takes nothing away from the success you achieved. Both covers are great images and I can see how they would inspire.

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