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Monday, January 5, 2015

Living Large...

Recently I started reading 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. I was hoping for a little inspiration and while there were several wonderful quotes about not letting fear control your life, the one that impressed me most was from Anais Nin:

                         Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage.

I haven't made much of a secret about taking some time off to try and figure out the next direction that I wanted to take with my writing but a couple of years ago every project that I attempted stalled. I was honestly afraid that I'd lost the passion to create the stories that before had given me so much pleasure. I had always written because I enjoyed the process and was terrified when that enjoyment turned into a fixation with equating my success with something other than loving the creative journey.

Rediscovering my passion took a bit of time and a few detours before I understood that I had put down all of my other pleasurable creative outlets, including cooking. I love to cook. There's nothing like tweaking a recipe, concentrating on just the right blend of spices and ingredients to create a lovely meal that my husband and I take the time to sit down at the table and enjoy. Somewhere along the line, hubby took over kitchen duties so that I had more time to write and a quick dinner so that I could get in a few more hours became the norm.

I'm not saying there was anything wrong with that but focusing on work to the detriment of everything else will kill creativity for me faster than anything. When I examined my motives, I found that I was actually afraid that if I didn't produce something quickly, the reading world would forget who I am.

I'll just have to remind them when the new stories that I've been writing are published. I still keep a schedule and accomplish a word count every day but I take days off now, not just an occasional Sunday afternoon. I don't feel guilty if I want to shop or bake or just have lunch with friends. I truly believe that  fearlessly chasing my passion wherever it leads can only make me a happier person and a better writer.

May your new year be full of exciting possibilities!

Until next month,
Happy Reading!
Paris Brandon 



Sandy said...

Paris, I think we all tend to push ourselves too far and it kills our creativity.

I see lunch in our future one of these days. Marianne, Polly and maybe some others nearby. Smile!

Paris said...


Lunch sounds fabulous! Yes, I can't believe I didn't take my own advice about recharging the old batteries but apparently I wasn't paying attention. Happy New Year!

Rose Anderson said...

Love that quote! I'm a linear writer so I try block out the rest of the world for a time. The world doesn't often cooperate. Best luck in the coming year, Paris. :)

Sandy said...

We'll do it, Paris. Marianne has been talking about doing it since last year, but with all the things going on in her life we haven't done it.

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks for reminding us that we need to focus on our lives too. I sometimes tend to focus all my energy on either writing or worrying about writing. I too enjoy cooking. I need to put things in perspective.

Paris said...

Just let me know!

Paris said...

I had a face palm moment when I realized that I wasn't following the advice that I'd been dishing out for years. Making stew today:)

Tina Donahue said...

I agree with your thinking, Paris, you have to blow off steam in between books. Doing it constantly and never relaxing is a sure path to burn out.

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Paris,

I was working too hard and serving something from the microwave at dinner, if I remembered to eat at all. My daughter would jump in and cook most meals or her BF.

Now, I'm sitting and watching TV with my family of an evening. Taking time to be with them. Getting to re-know my husband, and spending time with my daughter who is now grown and about ready to leave the nest.


jean hart stewart said...

Bless you, Paris, you gotta ease up and enjoy yourself. Easier to say than do sometimes, as I well know.

Paris said...

A big hug to everyone that showed up today!

Taking a more relaxed path this year:)

Good for you!

Thank you sweetie :) taking it easy now!

Melissa Keir said...

Congrats Paris on finding your passion again! Cooking is something I have to be in the mood for! I am looking forward to seeing your upcoming works! All the best!

Paris said...

Thanks, Melissa!
All the best to you too :) I'm looking forward to your upcoming works also!

Judy Baker said...

Great quote. I'm still trying to find myself and where my writing's going. It isn't easy in the busy world we live in. Best of luck during this New Year.

Paris said...

Thanks, Judy! Best of luck to you, also:)

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