As most people know, being a writer is one of the loneliest professions. Most days, it’s just you, the writing weapon of choice, a caffeinated drink, and a song of frustrating key-tapping to keep you company. Then there’s that moment when you hit a wall, but you simply can’t give up because your deadline is approaching.
There are times you could just circle back and find a new starting point to work on, yet there are also those days where you need a real kick of motivation. So you send an immediate plea of help to your group chat of friends with artistic souls for encouragement. They fill you with warm words and it sustains you until one of your fellow comrades sends out their SOS. After a few replies back and forth, all is *write* again.
There will never be a day when writers aren’t characters in your favorite media, but I want to focus on the ever-brilliant Jane the Virgin–specifically Jane Villanueva’s writing path.
*Warning: spoilers ahead if you’re not caught up on the current season of Jane The Virgin. I won’t warn you again!*
Jane–played by the spectacular Gina Rodriguez–is one of the best characters created for television. Not only is she super smart, but Jane is a character who’s relatable, the supportive center in all of her relationships, quirky and goofy in the best ways, formidable when the need arises, and always and forever lovable.
And so it pains me to say that perhaps this character is lacking in one thing: more positive friendships in her creative sphere. Not only would it be a great representation of artists supporting other artists, but this could help Jane in so many ways.
Let me explain. Jane is well along in her path of being a writer, as her book is optioned by a publisher. The character has great connections: her mentor, Professor Donaldson (Melanie Mayron) has finally given in and is now relaxed in a friendship with her former student, plus Jane’s sports-talk editor, Jeremy, is sweet on her book.
However, as the telenovela progressed, Jane found herself in some interesting situations regarding writer friends. First, there was Andi, Michael’s ex-girlfriend. Andi hoodwinked her way into a friendship with Jane to confirm if Michael was spoken for. On the creepy scale, that registers low, but anyone would have trust issues after that. But alarms rang very loud and clear when Wesley proved diabolical; he pretended to care about Jane’s story, only to write a tell-all about Rafael Solano’s family secrets.
We can’t forget Amanda, Jane’s romance writing group instructor in the second season and former lover of Rogelio. While the beautiful Jane Seymour plays the part beautifully, I can’t help but wish it paved a more significant experience for Jane. Last but not least, Jane’s former boss tried to discourage Jane’s recent signing to a book publisher by hitting low points. Instead of explaining to Jane that her journey to accomplished author is long, wunderkind Chloe hits below the belt by exclaiming Jane doesn’t have the chops.
With experiences like these, who could blame anyone for living the writer’s solitude path?
There is also Jane’s busy life. As a full-time manager of The Marbella’s restaurant and mother to adorable, yet mischievous, Mateo, we know that Jane’s schedule is a nightmare. Yet, creatives have to let out some steam. In fact, it’s a must for self-care. And what better way than to find a friend or two to commiserate over things that only an artist could understand?
Before finishing my last paragraph, I had already text two of my favorite creatives about my fear of losing my writer’s voice. Not only did they shut me down, but they reminded me that I have a lot more to offer. A text from my self-assigned editor also pinged me about my deadline for this piece, so back to the writing I went.
Imagine Jane having some of these self-doubt moments play out with friends who could inspire?
And while her parents have creativity-centered careers–the fabulous actor Rogelio whom helped Jane with a writer’s assistant position once and Xiomara as dance instructor–perhaps we can have a scene or two where Jane could talk to a few writers who are facing similar situations.
Admit it–it’d be fun to watch.
“Hives” of writers are known to exist: places where the air is thick with muses flying across the keyboard, and what an interesting place Jane could find herself moving across her story. You never know who you could meet and who could give you advice on particular plot points, or even a lesson in something they know, cutting your research in half.
Technology, despite having the cons of diverting our attention, could be another way that Jane finds her niche group to vent to. There are so many writers I follow for their snappy takes on pop culture, politics, and more. Jane could be perplexed at maneuvering her way through a Facebook writers’ group, but if she felt the need to visit a writers’ conference or (gasp) a BookCon, making online connections first could help her immensely. Just think of the good times.
I know, I know – it’s a lot to ask for. But I couldn’t help but think about seeing a group of positive writers’ experiences and how cool it would be to have one of my favorite characters create that moment on television. They’ve always helped me get through my writing.