Today’s guest blog by my friend Fiona Simon – author, entrepreneur, mother, Spanish teacher, and world traveler.
I was ten years old when my paternal grandmother told me I’d be a writer. She saw something that I was yet to discover. By the time I got to high school, not even remembering what she had told me, my dream was to be a writer for National Geographic. I also dreamed of becoming an anthropologist. While the latter two didn’t happen, I did become a writer and an editor. For the first ten years after graduating with my Bachelor’s degree, I was a travel writer, newspaper editor and writer, marketing writer, and website copywriter. I also wrote and edited Spanish language publications, as I had gotten my Master’s in Spanish along the way. After a brief stint teaching Spanish, I returned to writing.
One day, the entrepreneurial bug set in. I had been working as Communications Director for the Boulder (Colorado) Chamber of Commerce, interviewing entrepreneurs and writing their business profiles. Long story short, I quit my job to start a granola company, not knowing what might be before me. I was fortunate; the granola company met with great success and I was able to grow my company for the next decade and then sell it. During those years, the writing continued: website, newsletters, marketing pieces. After taking some time off, I decided to heed many customers’ suggestions that I write a book to tell of my granola adventures. I was a single mom when I started the company and for most of the years I owned it. That was a story in itself. I think the main reason I heeded those suggestions was the lack of creativity in my life after selling my company. Writing is a creative process. Creating recipes and starting a company is a creative process. Growing a business is a creative process. Raising a child is a creative process. Facing challenges of any sort is a creative process. My daughter was in high school when I sold my company and didn’t need much supervision or parenting at that point. The creative modes that had sustained me since college were no longer part of my life. And I was feeling the void.
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way was my salvation. My morning pages reignited the creative process. I faithfully wrote my three pages each day, took myself on artist dates, and completed the projects. Once again, I was in flow with creativity, and that’s when the book writing started. For me, and so many others, creativity is a vital force in experiencing wellbeing and purpose. Life can easily go on remote control without some sort of creative process to break up the daily routine. Using our minds for a regenerative and meaningful purpose is a key to finding happiness. Creativity means mystery: what will unfold? What paths will we discover? How might we develop as a result of our creative endeavors? Who might we meet? What will we create next? How will the creative process transform other aspects of our lives? These questions and others are worth considering.
Lately, my creative process is focused on decluttering. As I organize and clear the spaces around me, I feel lighter and enjoy an expanded sense of wellbeing. I’ve gotten rid of so much stuff, and it feels great! Quite unexpectedly, the decluttering has turned out to be very creative. Seeing empty space makes me feel more relaxed and my brain less cluttered. This project shall continue. I’m sure that with free spaces around me and inside me, new creative projects will unfold. May it be so.
Check out Fiona’s recent book talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xey28tO4PDA